Toward a Better 2006 - Broadcasting & Cable

Toward a Better 2006

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The B&C editorial board, if
nothing else, intends to improve the lives of everybody in the media business
and make TV even better than it already is. In that rather selfless spirit, we
raise a glass and offer some things we wish would happen in 2006:

  • Television manufacturers and programmers should begin educating the
    high-tech couch potato. According to a year-end study by Forrester Research, as
    many as 49% of those with high-definition TV sets really don't get it. And,
    if you catch our meaning, they don't get
    it
    . They're not aware of other hook-ups needed (like a set-top).
    Nearly one-quarter of the consumers surveyed believed they were watching
    high-def because graphics at the beginning of certain programs told them they
    were.
  • Could all-news television organizations pull back from the divisive
    rhetoric of news-show shoutfests? Commentary can be impassioned without being
    rude. We're talking about the right and the left. We're sick of the
    artificial hysteria. In these dangerous times, it would be better to calmly
    report and analyze the big issues confronting a very complicated world.
  • Have you noticed the funniest sitcoms these days don't have a
    laugh track? This far into the 21st century, couldn't all TV producers agree
    to cut the canned stuff? Do you think there is someone really laughing at
    Joey? Does the lack of laugh track stop you
    from laughing at Curb Your Enthusiasm? Or
    The Simpsons?
  • Let's allow fading celebrities to flare out in private. Watching
    Danny Bonaduce and Bobby Brown gave us a bad headache.
  • We think Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts should put his
    GQ good looks and good sense to good use by
    opening the Supreme Court up to cameras. The decisions by the high court are so
    important, and television is now so ubiquitous, that not televising court
    proceedings makes their deliberations seem sinister, not reasoned.
  • Congress should pass a federal shield law that protects reporters,
    their sources and the public from overzealous prosecutors. Period.
  • Legislators should work on important things, like the war in Iraq,
    terrorism, the wobbly economy and global warming. This would give them less
    time to micromanage trumped-up indecency complaints.

Finally, there has been a controversy about what greeting people should
use toward each other at this time of the year. It's a ridiculous and
worthless debate, but what isn't debatable is that we wish all of you a great
new year.

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