Primetime Politics: The Truth about Conservative Lies, Corporate Control, and Television Culture / Edition 1

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The average American watches over 25 hours of television each week. Ninety-nine percent of U.S. households have at least one TV set, and 66% own three or more. Over the course of a year, Americans will watch 250 billion hours of television, but what, actually, are they watching? In this insightful new book, media critic Philip Green explores the true nature of television and the effect this TV addiction has on American democracy. He argues that mainstream shows are little more than extended commercials, dominated by advertising interests and designed to be as habit-forming as possible. Programming is controlled by conglomerates afraid of losing market share or upsetting advertisers, leading to television news, dramas, and sitcoms that uphold conservative values at the expense of controversial opinions. The result is a system that stifles debate, isolates viewers, and favors right-wing agendas. To make the system serve a true democracy, Green proposes ending the private monopoly of public airspace and making the television market a true free market. With its hard-hitting critiques and innovative solutions, Primetime Politics is essential reading for everyone who asks "What's on the tube tonight?"

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Editorial Reviews

Robert W. McChesney
Philip Green's Primetime Politics is an original and brilliant analysis of the politics of contemporary U.S. television. Green not only dissects the medium with surgical precision, highlighting the deep flaws for democracy, but he also points us toward a better future. I recommend this book without qualification.
Stanley Aronowitz
Green has written a courageous, and controversial study of mainstream media. In it he argues that commercialization, rather than a corporate conspiracy, is the main culprit that accounts for the mediocrity of television fiction, and the thinness and boredom that pervades tv news. It is gracefully written and is sure to spark a debate on all sides of the political spectrum.
Danny Schechter
Philip Green brings the tools of detailed political analysis and philosophy to the task of understanding how American television undermines our democracy. It is anchored in a framework that goes much deeper than one-dimensional media criticism, delving into our culture, our institutions, and the ideologies we absorb without always being aware of how they influence what we think and how we act. Primetime Politics is ambitious. It is masterful. It is important.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742521070
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Series: Polemics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 7.38 (w) x 7.78 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip Green is Sophia Smith Professor of Government, Emeritus at Smith College. He is the author and editor of numerous books including Equality and Democracy, Cracks in the Pedestal: Ideology and Gender in Hollywood, and Retrieving Democracy: In Search of Civil Equality.

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Table of Contents

1 The system : monopoly and alienation 1
2 Ideology and propaganda 21
3 Distractions : the lie about liberals 47
4 The real world of television 77
5 Distractions : "sex" and "violence" 129
6 Matters of taste 157
7 Conclusion : abolishing the system 181
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