TV is evil


The great Theodore Dalrymple on the evil screen in the corner. I spent many years repairing televisions, and this is one of the reasons why, when broadcasts went digital, we did not follow. There were too many houses I visited were the TV was the first thing switched on in the morning and the last thing switched off at night – and in some households, it was never turned off, but remained, on mute, a flickering presence through the night. Our TV, analogue and out of date, allows us to watch DVDs, but we are not drawn into the passivity of channel hopping and slack-jawed staring at a screen. If further evidence is required, here is the good doctor on the people who make TV programmes.

To my shame, and against my principles, I have occasionally agreed to appear on television, though even less frequently than I have been asked. I have found those who work for TV broadcasting companies to be the most disagreeable people that I have ever encountered. I far preferred the criminals whom I encountered in my work as a prison doctor, who were more honest and upright than TV people.

In my experience, TV people are as lying, insincere, obsequious, unscrupulous, fickle, exploitative, shallow, cynical, untrustworthy, treacherous, dishonest, mercenary, low, and untruthful a group of people as is to be found on the face of this Earth. They make the average Western politician seem like a moral giant. By comparison with them, Mr. Madoff was a model of probity and Iago was Othello’s best friend. I am prepared to admit that there may be—even are—exceptions, as there are exceptions good or bad in every human group, but there is something about the evil little screen that would sully a saint and sanctify a monster.

Turn off, tune out, drop completely.


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