Remember when Newton Minow was chairman of the FCC and gave a speech on May 9, 1961 to the National Association of Broadcasters. You can find it at http://www.janda.org/b20/News%20articles/vastwastland.htm
Here is an excerpt:
When television is good, nothing--not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers--nothing is better.
But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there without a book, magazine, newspaper, profit and-loss sheet or rating book to distract you--and keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that you will observe a vast wasteland.
You will see a procession of game shows, violence, audience-participation shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western badmen, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence and cartoons. And, endlessly, commercials--many screaming, cajoling and offending. And most of all, boredom. True, you will see a few things you will enjoy. But they will be very, very few. And if you think I exaggerate, try it.
It hasn't improved in the last 43 years, has it?
At about the same time as the speech, one of the Seattle, Washington disk jockeys said that "Vashion Island has broken loose from its moorings and is drifting toward Tacoma." He got a lot of calls from people worried about their friends and relatives on Vashion Island. Then he got a call from a listener in West Seattle who said that it wasn't true. She could look out her window and see that it hadn't moved.
He said, on the air, that he didn't realize he had so many stupid listeners. This got him more phone calls, of course.
He was the same DJ who once said that he was going to have a contest. First prize, a week in Humptulips. Second prize, two weeks in Humptulips. Humptulips is tiny, and about 16 miles north of Hoquiamm both on US101 in Washington state.
He also once said that he didn't think that there was any organized crime in Seattle, and invited anyone who had any evidence that he was wrong to call on the newsroom line, bypassing any call screening, and he would talk to them on the air. He got one call from someone who said that he wouldn't have his job as a bodyguard if there wasn't any organized crime here. But overall, there wasn't much evidence of organized crime.
The next morning, someone else did his show. He spent the three hours talking to the police. Someone had put a rifle bullet through his driver side wing window and out the windshield while he was pulling into the sttation parking lot the next morning.