Dave Denison

Recent Articles

Don't Mess with Television

The stage is set for Vice President Al Gore. There's a lectern at center stage with the vice presidential seal. Off to the left is an antique television, which Gore will later tell us is a vintage 1946 model. This is in the auditorium of the Herbert C. Hoover Building, which houses the United States Department of Commerce as well as the National Aquarium. Gore's subject today is the future of television. The subtext is what television should do for America, for the political system, and for politicians who wish to address large audiences without having to pay millions of dollars to do it. After all, much has been given to the broadcasting industry: free use of the public airwaves, by which TV networks and stations extract significant private profit. Shouldn't the public get something in return other than mindless entertainment and snippets of news? Every so often in Washington the idea surfaces that television should be used in better ways, that it should play a role, for example, in...