Monday, September 22, 2008

TV past its prime

Lately I'm thinking... about how bad the Emmy's are on television. I know I shouldn't be surprised but I was last night astonished - shocked, even - by the extent of the self-congratulation. These people actually believe that television is currently our most effective medium. (One TV exec said this explicitly in a speech - TV is "the most important medium for bringing people together," he announced - that was perhaps the most uninteresting thing I've ever seen on the tube, and that's saying something.) Gee, in this view the television people are at least five or six years out of date in their thinking. Yet haven't these been the medium-changing years? Their ignorance is their only willful quality.

Tim Carmody adds: "It was also bizarre to watch the Academy on the one hand honor Tommy Smothers for political insouciance and to watch everyone, EVERYONE, not just presenters, skirt anything resembling a direct political comment. We had bizarre claims about how The West Wing "was a nonpartisan exploration of politics," purely formal invocations to vote or speak truth to power, joking denunications of ugliness in political advertising, and oblique references to John Adams as a time when politicians could express complex ideas in full sentences. It was as though if anyone spoke the words Obama or McCain or Bush, the TV shock troops would have descended on the stage and the screen would go black."