Junk TV is more toxic than we thought

Researchers are finding that mindless television can undermine democracy

Silvio Berlusconi in Rome in March 2018.
Silvio Berlusconi in Rome in March 2018.ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP

Some TV enriches our lives, some TV debases us. Some television opens minds, makes us think, takes us to places we would never get to visit and brings us face to face with life’s great dilemmas. There is also television that deliberately degrades, deceives, and confuses. And of course, there is TV that simply aims to distract us. Frequently, television that seeks to educate us is unbearably boring, while the shows that try to manipulate us end up polarizing and deceiving us. In contrast, TV that only aims to entertain is politically irrelevant. Or so we thought....

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