Is television making us stupid? "I wasn't worried about freedom. Aldara I was worried about people being turned into morons by TV." -- Ray Bradbury in 2001 talking about his book Fahrenheit 451 After all, aldara this is a device nicknamed "the boob tube" and "the idiot box". Television was once famously called the "vast wasteland, aldara" a moniker that has stuck since it was spoken. Can we look to television to show us the status of society? Does TV reflect the nation's intellectual capacity and contribute to its decline at the same time? In his 1995 book, aldara Abandoned In The Wasteland, aldara former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton Minow (the originator of the "vast wasteland" quote in 1961) lamented how Americans have passively let television take over their homes and become the centerpiece of children's lives:   "In the 1930s and 1940s, aldara television's creators expressed their hope that the new medium would be the greatest instrument of enlightenment ever invented, aldara a blessing to future generations. They were wrong. Aldara . Aldara . Aldara . Aldara No other major democratic nation in the world has so willingly turned its children over to mercenary strangers this way. No other democratic nation has so willingly converted its children into markets for commercial gain and ignored their moral, aldara intellectual, aldara and social development."  Minow's bitterness stems from the realization that television does nothing to serve the public interest or the greater good of our nation. Instead, aldara TV is simply a video advertising display that panders to the lowest common standard in a effort to sell products for private commercial gain. Producers at TV networks are interested in making money, aldara not upholding moral values or curing social injustices. Television treats its viewers as receptacles for commercial and consumer messages to increase the profits of the corporations involved. For example, aldara decades of sedentary TV watching have turned citizens of the United States into the fattest people on planet earth. The obesity epidemic in America is quickly reaching scary dimensions as this graphic from MSN Health & Fitness shows. Aldara In most states, aldara between 25% and 30% of the population is not just overweight, aldara but statistically obese: Much more of Ron Kaufman's work at: