quotations about television
The television, that insidious beast, that Medusa which freezes a billion people to stone every night, staring fixedly, that Siren which called and sang and promised so much and gave, after all, so little.
RAY BRADBURY, attributed, Ray Bradbury: Uncensored!
Television has changed the American child from an irresistible force into an immovable object.
LAURENCE J. PETER, Peter's Quotations: Ideas for Our Time
Television is like the American toaster, you push the button and the same thing pops up every time.
ALFRED HITCHCOCK, attributed, A Companion to Television
Watching television is like taking black spray paint to your third eye.
BILL HICKS, attributed, Words of Wisdom
I hate television. I hate it as much as peanuts. But I can't stop eating peanuts.
ORSON WELLES, New York Herald Tribune, October 12, 1956
Television! Teacher, mother, secret lover.
HOMER SIMPSON, The Simpsons
It is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome.
T. S. ELIOT, New York Post, September 22, 1963
Panning TV in a meaningful way is a way of praising it overall: It's saying its deserving of serious critique, and if you can't pan a medium, you can't critique it.
EMILY NUSSBAUM, "On Loving -- and Panning -- Shows in Television's Renaissance Moment: A Report from the Split Screens Festival", Filmmaker Magazine, June 7, 2017
It's been said plenty of times, but as viewers we must be mindful that television is not reality, and the lines between politics and TV are remarkably fuzzy. Instead of retaining its position as a means of political accessibility, accountability and intimacy -- as it felt in the Kennedy era -- television is rapidly turning politics into sheer entertainment. We must be vigilant that television doesn't literally become the ultimate all-pervasive embodiment of the political strategy of bread and circuses.
SHELINA ZAHRA JANMOHAMED, "Television defines contemporary political debate", The National, May 19, 2017
Can we find nothing good to say about TV? Well, yes, it brings scattered solitaries into a sort of communion. TV allows your isolated American to think that he participates in the life of the entire country. It does not actually place him in a community, but his heart is warmed with the suggestion (on the whole false) that there is a community somewhere in the vicinity and that his atomized consciousness will be drawn back toward the whole.
SAUL BELLOW, "The Distracted Public", It All Adds Up
I haven't had a TV in 10 years, and I really don't miss it. 'Cause it's always so much more fun to be with people than it ever was to be with a television.
CHUCK PALAHNIUK, San Francisco Bay Guardian, October 30, 2002
Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America -- not on the battlefields of Vietnam.
MARSHALL MCLUHAN, Montreal Gazette, May 16, 1975
If the use of leisure time is confined to looking at TV for a few extra hours every day, we will deteriorate as a people.
ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, My Day
The number of households that own a television set is down for the first time since they started the survey. This is America! The only excuse for not having a TV in your home is, you're too fat to fit into Best Buy to get one.
JIMMY KIMMEL, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, December 1, 2011
People only know what they see on TV.
CARMELLO ANTHONY, Esquire, January 2005
I see a great many things now that I couldn't see when I was a young person. And I don't like everything that I see. For instance, I see people spending about fifty hours a week in front of the tv, which means that they have no more family life, they belong to the crowd, so to speak, they belong to the media, and they have no individual perspective, they derive their observations, they get them ready made from somebody who packages them. I don't think that's a very good thing for anybody.
SAUL BELLOW, Q & A at Howard Community College, February 1986
How can you put out a meaningful drama when every fifteen minutes proceedings are interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits with toilet paper? No dramatic art form should be dictated and controlled by men whose training and instincts are cut of an entirely different cloth. The fact remains that these gentlemen sell consumer goods, not an art form.
ROD SERLING, Rod Serling: Submitted for Your Approval
I believe that the major operating ethic in American society right now, the most universal want and need is to be on TV. I've been on TV. I could be on TV all the time if I wanted to. But most people will never get on TV. It has to be a real breakthrough for them. And trouble is, people will do almost anything to get on it. You know, confess to crimes they haven't committed. You don't exist unless you're on TV. Yeah, it's a validation process.
HUNTER S. THOMPSON, The Atlantic Online, August 26, 1997
A narrow and distorted picture of America often emerges from the televised news. A single dramatic piece of the mosaic becomes, in the minds of millions, the entire picture.
SPIRO AGNEW, speech the Midwest Republican Regional Conference in Des Moines, Iowa, November 13, 1969
Imitation is the sincerest form of television.
FRED ALLEN, attributed, Raised on Radio