I would say that Tv commercials do as much damage to that as drugs do. Let's get rid of them....:-)
in my comments box and it made me wonder. Are there any studies supporting that TV is as dangerous as people think it is? I've had this argument with LinguistFriend a few times recently as well and the issue is making me curious.
I get that it can be a contributing factor to obesity, but I guess I'm looking for something a little more direct.
To me, it seems evident that illegal drugs are easily traced to a whole range of societal ills, while television and television commercials are imperfect ways to spend one's time but to me pretty obviously not as damaging. Crystal Meth kills people, thighmaster ads do not.
I know TV violence gets a pretty bad rap, but the studies are inconclusive, as far as I've heard. My mom said once that she saw a sstudy where they let kids watch the Power Rangers and then go out on the playground. They immediately started kicking. Not kicking each other, kicking the air. On continued observation, there was a lot of air kicking, but this never actually translated into kicking each other. This is very consistent with how I remember behaving as a child.
My suspicion is that Joel is right that people are quite selective of thier vices. I don't know that I've met anyone who claims television screwed up their minds and continues to smoke up, but I'm pretty confident they exist.
But for the rest of us, if you had to choose between letting your kid watch Desperate Housewives and letting your kid smoke up, would it really be a hard choice?