Skip to comments.TV has made nation complacent, Gore says
Posted on 11/12/2003 4:52:46 AM PST by Prov1322
TV has made nation complacent, Gore says By AMBER MCDOWELL, Associated Press November 12, 2003
NASHVILLE - The "quasi-hypnotic influence" of television in America has fostered a complacent nation that is a danger to democracy, former Vice President Al Gore said Tuesday.
Gore, speaking on "Media and Democracy" at Middle Tennessee State University, told attendees the decline of newspapers as the country's dominant method of communication leaves average Americans without an outlet for scholarly debate.
"Our democracy is suffering in an age when the dominant medium is not accessible to the average person and does not lend itself most readily to the conveyance of complex ideas about self-governance," Gore said. "Instead it pushes toward a lowest common denominator."
Gore said the results of that inaccessibility are reflected most prominently in the changed priorities of the country's elected officials, who feel that debating important issues is "relatively meaningless today. How do they spend their time instead? Raising money to buy 30-second television commercials."
Students and members of the community filled the 235-seat auditorium for Gore's appearance, and several hundred more watched his speech on a big-screen monitor set up in the building's lobby. It was the first of two lectures Gore has scheduled at MTSU as part of the "American Democracy Project for Civil Engagement," an effort to launch a national discussion on the "vigor of the national democracy."
Students at 200 college campuses across the country also watched Gore's speech via satellite, and asked the former vice president questions by calling a toll-free number.
Gore, who has taught several classes at MTSU, put on his professor's hat for much of the lecture, giving attendees a history lesson on the origins of communication and democracy - from the first evidence of complex speech 60,000 years ago to the invention of the printing press to the eventual evolution of media as it's known today and it's role in a free society.
Gore said democracy in America flourished at the height of the newspaper era, which "empowered the one to influence the many." That changed with the advent and subsequent popularity of television, he said, noting that the average American watches four hours of television a day.
"What does it do to us that has relevance to democracy? Does it encourage passivity? Is it connected to the obesity epidemic? ... If people are just staring at a little box four hours a day, it has a big impact on democracy," he said.
Gore said a remedy to television's dominance may the Internet, a "print-based medium that is extremely accessible to the average person."
"We have to choose to rehabilitate our democracy in part by making creative use of these new media and by insisting within the current institutions of our democracy that we open up access to the dominant medium," he said.
Gore's second speech is scheduled Nov. 25. Both appearances, sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and The New York Times, are part of MTSU's Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies.
Copyright 2003, KnoxNews. All Rights Reserved.
(a) I am always amazed at how bizarre his distorted thoght processes are. The man suffers borderline schizophrenia.
(b)I thank G-d that he gave this undeserving nation a second chance, by giving us Dudya as President. We definitely dodged a bullet by mere millimeters.
Or am I thinking about the phonograph?
The "quasi-hypnotic influence" of television in America has fostered a complacent nation that is a danger to democracy, former Vice President Al Gore said Tuesday.You would think that the "inventor of the internet" would realize that the influence of television is decreasing as the influence of the net is increasing.
Well, after all, it's his invention.
It's Deja vu, folks. I'd have finished this essay sooner if it weren't for all the dang interruptions. Some federal agents kept ringing my door bell, wanting to know what book I was reading and what websites I visited since last questioned -- 20 minutes earlier. At first I thought it was some annoying salesman at the door. Then I heard, 'This is the Bush Secret Police! Open up or I'll frog-march you out of that house in hand-cuffs!' Living in a Police State ruined my whole day.
It all so vividly reminded me of Gore's speech Sunday.
America, says Gore, now lives an Orwellian nightmare of horrific repression by Bush in which federal agents pursue suspected terrorist activities before terrorist activities are committed, illegal combatants are treated as illegal combatants, illegal non-citizens as illegal non-citizens (some even jailed and deported!), and al-Qaeda communications intercepted just like narco-trafficker communications. You'd think there's a war going on or something.
There are even chilling reports of government agents removing displays of the Ten Commandants...oh, wait.
Gore's address has dominated the airwaves for days, a testament to the overwhelming strength of the current crop of '04 titans. Gore started his speech with a touch of humor, noting he's a "recovering politician." But then the speech got funnier. Gore took aim at the U.S.A. Patriot Act, a right-wing Republican power-grab which passed the Senate by a razor-thin 98-1, and the House, 357-66. Proving the real intent here was to turn America permanently into tyranny, many of the law's provisions expire by 2005.
Gore charged Bush with using "fear as a political tool to consolidate (his) power and to escape any accountability for its use." (There is overwhelming fear of Bush throughout this Police State -- only 67 percent say Bush is honest and trustworthy! -- and some suspect Gore's using this fear as a political tool to consolidate his base and remind Americans of just how much safer they would be under Gore. Why, just listening to Gore's speeches is enough to make you feel safe, more at ease...more relaxed...really relaxed...to the point that you start...*y a w n i n g* ... which prompts more *y a w n i n g* till you can't stand it anymore and you soon zzzZZZzzzZZZ).
See? Don't you feel safer just watching Al Gore on TV -- safely away from the White House?
Bush says the U.S. is fighting terrorism -- yeah, right. Nice try, Bush. Look, don't let Bush fool you. That's not what all this repression and tyranny is really about. This Orwellian nightmare we're living under has been Bush's life-long pursuit -- his dream all along. It's a Texas thing -- the pursuit of despotism. Buttressing his point, Gore looked really repressed and tyrannized as he delivered his speech before a crowd of internet Fedayeenies at Washington's DAR Constitution Hall. Indeed, you could see it in his eyes, and in the eyes of the crowd as it cheered -- all the oppression and tyranny they've suffered under Bush and Dick Cheney. It's enough to make you want to call Amnesty International, just in case they missed the speech, which was carried on C-Span, which Gore invented. (The White House, up to its usual bag of (tyranny) tricks, tried jamming all broadcasts of Gore's speech, but the jammers were so electrified by Gore's speech that they fell asleep).
Gore told the crowd of Move-on-ers who won't move on, "for the first time in our history, American citizens have been seized by the executive branch of government and put in prison without being charged with a crime." Analysts note this was another brilliant point by Al Gore. Would-be dirty bomber Jose Padilla was seized by the executive branch of government, not the legislative branch, another chilling first. (You can understand how all this talk of 'branches' makes the Wooden-One a tad nervous; a little 'branch' here, a little 'branch' there, and pretty soon you're talking a whole Gore). Nor has the dirty bomber had access to a lawyer, a thought which sends shivers up and down the spines of lawyers. Indeed, the heartbreaking plight of Jose Padilla is probably hot topic for nightly family dinner conversations across America. Think of how peachy things would be if Bush would just junk this idea of putting people in prison without charges, when all he has to do is switch parties, rename himself FDR, and start putting people in internment camps without charges. Or he can just say he's channeling FDR.
Or whatever. Anyway, in my opinion, it makes no more sense for Gore to launch an assault on the White House as the best way to get civil liberties than it did for Gore to launch a run for the White House as the best way to get to the White House.
In each case, Gore was barking up the wrong, er, tree.
Gore, calling for repeal of the Patriot Act, also harshly criticized imprisonment of al-Qaeda at Gitmo, demanding the cuddly little Hannibal Lecters be given hearings, judicial review and free subscriptions to Taliban Digest and Terror Sports Illustrated. "If we don't provide this, how can we expect American soldiers captured overseas to be treated with equal respect?" Gore pointedly asked. It's an excellent point since we all know al-Qaeda, except for some suicide bombings here and there, is signatory to the Geneva Conventions. (Gore's remark suggests that half the people in his audience probably wouldn't even be there if he were president. The other half would be wearing Burkas).
Gore, who accuses Bush of imposing 'Big Brother'-style Government, also accuses Bush of waiting too long to impose Big Brother-style Government, chiding Bush for not connecting the 9/11 dots early on and preventing 9/11. Or that Bush's Big Brother-style Government isn't working efficiently enough. For example, there isn't enough domestic spying: "In particular, the critical FBI-CIA coordination, while finally improved at the top, still remains dysfunctional in the trenches," says Gore. Although Bush is an absolute tyrant, who has organized law enforcement, intelligence and investigative agencies in service of tyranny, Bush "has still failed to address the fundamental disorganization and rivalries of our law enforcement, intelligence and investigative agencies," observed Gore. Bush's CIA-FBI-DOJ tyrants need to learn to work together better.
The Clinton-Gore administration, even after repeated attacks by al-Qaeda, did little or nothing to fight al-Qaeda, Bush supporters fire back -- a charge that isn't really fair, for Gore has yet to invent a memory chip for himself.
You know, for a guy who gripes so much about wire-taps and bugging, he sure likes bugging the heck out of America with inane gripes about wire-taps and bugging. And about how terribly oppressed he feels living under Bush.
Aren't you still glad these guys aren't in charge?
My two cents...
Hopefully the empowerment of the print media and its poster publication the NY Slimes will be reduced even more in the future.
One read of Krugman's treason and any thinking person picks up the phone to cancel.
Hence the phrase, E unum pluribus.
So, besides finding the time to grow a beard, Algore has also discovered daytime TV?
Gore is such a dope. Watching TV for four hours causes obesity, but READING A FRIGGIN NEWSPAPER for four hours doesn't? Sounds like the internet and Fox News Channel has taken its toll on the decades of bias from the NYT, Washington Post, LA Times etc.