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ERIC Number: ED405627
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Jan
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
How To Be Stupid: The Teachings of Channel One.
Miller, Mark Crispin
The news on Channel One, with its impression of vague anxiety, looks and sounds like regular television news, only more so. In either case, the news is just "filler"--its real function is not journalistic but commercial, meant to lead into advertisements (ads). Mass advertising tends to assume that its audience will not be studying it carefully, thus, although students may "zone out" during Channel One's commercials, they are still likely to get the point, registering through their peripheral vision, and coming at them repeatedly--as all successful propaganda must. The point is: "Buy the power," but how is that "power" attained. Channel One is required in thousands of U.S. schools, part of the daily curriculum. One lesson seems to be "don't think." Channel One reassures its audience that it is fine not to think--in the ads, youngsters wonder about nothing but how "they" make that cereal so sugary, and beauties talk earnestly about their faces and Noxema face cream. Another lesson is "let us fix it." Ads promote stupidity by representing life as a series of simple problems, each soluble through the application of a commodity or other. Other lessons are "eat now," and "just say yes." Addiction is what they sell on Channel One. To recognize the falseness of propaganda, to learn to read its images, and also to read widely and discerningly enough to understand the differences between a "good" and a "bad" life: such are the aims of school--which is why Channel One should not be there. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A