What is your favorite TV show and why?

And what lessons for climate and clean energy communications do you think we can draw from the success of that TV show?

Feel free to name more than one show, by the way.  And don’t all say “The Daily Show.”

You might  do a little research on your show and find out what the ratings are.  You may be surprised how few viewers it takes these days to make a successful show.  For instance, by January 2008, Jon Stewart had “1.45 to 1.6 million viewers nightly, a high figure for cable television.”   The Daily Show beat both Leno and Letterman in “the coveted 18-49 demographic for the month of October” 2010 with “1.3 million viewers in the demo, whereas the other two averaged 1.2 million viewers.”

One reason for posing these questions is that I’m interested in the viewing habits of climate hawks.

Note:  I’ve no doubt that some CP readers don’t watch much TV.  I  always recommend people watch some TV,  not just because there is probably more high-quality TV on now than there  has been for a very long time (along with a lot more low-quality TV, of course),  but also because if you want to know how to influence the American public, you have to start with their favorite medium.

I watch a lot of TV, myself.  I’m quite keen on Glee, which demonstrates, if nothing else, that there is an audience for very hard-core snark, as if we didn’t already know that.

113 Responses to What is your favorite TV show and why?

  1. Scrooge says:

    Well for what its worth Family Guy is probably my favorite. Following that my guess would be NOVA. I still like Seinfeld reruns. If I had to pick one channel it would be PBS.

  2. timmy says:

    The Boondocks on cartoon network is definatly my favorite. One of the only shows on television that adresses radical politics in any way.

  3. Scrooge says:

    Oh I guess I forgot to say why I liked those shows. I like to laugh. And as far as PBS they are the only channel left that actually digs into the news and stories anymore. Being a progressive I think that education and knowledge leads to better decisions and progress. And just as the name implies conservatives are afraid of change so they have to have their war on education.

  4. Tim says:

    We (my wife and I) have officially cut off the cable. With lots of networks to watch we found we prefer to rent TV series we want to see on Netflix and watch them one season at a time. Probably we’ll soon switch to streaming everything.

    HBO series are, as a group, our favorites:

    The Wire (my all time #1, my wife liked it – probably not her top choice though)
    The Sopranos
    In Treatment
    Six Feet Under (but lost interest before the series ran its course)
    Dexter (Showtime and it’s too macabre to watch too many shows in sucession)
    True Blood (not sure I can maintain interest)
    Big Love
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    Couldn’t get into Flight with the Conchords
    Sex and the City – more of a guilty pleasure

    For lighter network shows:
    Big Bang Theory (silly fun, but surprisingly apt physics references)
    Lie to Me (yeah, the premise is quite a stretch)
    The Simpsons
    How I Met Your Mother

    So, we watch a fair amount of TV, we just rarely see any ads!

  5. Tim says:

    Oh – and I do love TDS!

  6. Tim says:

    …and South Park.

  7. Anne says:

    “Lie to Me” starring Tim Roth is my favorite, but it’s obscure- Seasons I and II are available on Netflix. I like it because Cal Lightman and the rest of the Lightman Group are able to decipher a lie from the truth simply by looking at “micro” expressions on the human face. A set of interesting plots holds the focus on the keen ability of the team to act as a sophisticated BS meter, a refreshing idea in a world where we constantly feel as if we are being lied to. Second favorites are “24,” “Criminal Minds,” “NCIS” and “NCIS – LA,” and, when my standards are lower, “White Collar Crime.” Oh — and — The Colbert Report is the highlight of my day, much as we all love Jon. A comment on news shows — check out Rick Piltz’s latest editorial comment on his blog at Climate Science Watch, echoing that of Hilary Clinton, on the overall quality of Al Jazeera English as a news channel, in contrast to the fluffier US news programs.

  8. Bill Maddox says:

    I disconnected TV two years ago. What a release!! Our household has become something that perhaps an enlightened 19th century household might have experienced. All technology is not evolutionary. Reading, playing and listening to serious music, conversation, interaction with the kids, cooking…….

  9. Steven Leibo says:

    Per fiction I prefer Startrek and NCIS but most of my viewing is news shows and documentaries and more and more often streaming through my t.v. rather than from cable. I have though been thinking a lot lately of a fictional show I would like to see, a mini-series on an American family trying to make it in the climate and energy challenged world of say 2050. In fact I think it would be a great idea if a channel like “Current TV” took on such a project. When ABC news tried that with “Earth 2100” it was very effective but I believe even more could be done with this idea.

  10. madcitysmitty says:

    Network, House.
    PBS, NOVA.
    Cable, Rachel Maddow

  11. Mark says:

    Actually, for work reasons I don’t get to sit down and watch much TV, but my wife is a political junkie, so while preparing and eating dinner and cleaning up afterward, the TV is tuned to MSNBC. For reasons of timing that is usually the 6-8 PM slot. I like Cenk Uygur and Rachel Maddow on MSNBC because of their fact-based approach to news. I am really tired of all the talking heads (“MSNBC political consultant”, etc) who have personal opinions, but little factual background to contribute, or the commentators at Fox who just make up stuff. There is very little on TV, either in news or documentaries, about climate change, but folks such as Uygur or Maddow might be interested in doing pieces if given the appropriate info. Given their interest in debunking, fact-checked corrections to wrong stuff might be of interest to them.

    Netflix is a great source of documentaries that would otherwise be difficult to watch, such as ‘Gasland’.

  12. BBHY says:

    Sons of Anarchy, Colbert, Maddow. Lately I’ve had to turn the TV off until it learns to stop giving me Charlie Sheen updates every five minutes. And I only watch prerecorded, because otherwise I lose interest at the first commercial break and go do something else.

  13. joyce says:

    Travel shows, and funny old British sitcoms that PBS runs–like “As Time Goes By,” “Good Neighbors” and “Red Dwarf.” And newer British series like “Doc Martin.”
    Also, enjoy the old “Inspector Morse” mysteries, as well as the “Wallander” series.
    Funny, though, the older I get the harder it is to understand the Brits…
    And I know you don’t want to hear it, but we DO watch Jon Stewart & Steven Colbert. In fact, I’ve stopped watching mainstream news–just get that from the internet & newspapers–but watch Jon & Steven just to see what bizzaro stories they pick up on.

  14. Mike Roddy says:

    Real Time with Bill Maher, one of the few shows where thinking is permitted. There are no limits or rules, and truth often gets thrashed out. It’s interesting to see politicians put on the spot- though the dirty work is left to the other guests more than to Maher.

    Maddow is OK sometimes, but she’s been getting too carried away with her pet social issues lately. And she misses the most important issue of all: global warming.

  15. Dickensian American says:

    My favorite, eagerly awaiting season 2: Treme. It’s a naturalistic ensemble drama that takes place in NOLA set against the failure of the levees. You do the math.

    It’s from the same writers and producers of The Wire with many of the same talented actors from The Wire in a range of new roles.

  16. John says:

    I like to watch The Big Bang Theory (for comedy), NCIS, Castle and the Mentalist (who done it). I have DISH network and they provide (FSTV) Free Speech TV. The 2 shows I watch are Democracy Now (DN) and Grit TV. Last night DN had an interview with Tim DeChristopher talking about his trial. They also talked to the movie maker of the documentary about horizontal fracking. GRIT TV is usually more about the news of the day with detailed interviews with reporters and activist.

  17. zerofour says:

    “X-Files”!best!show!ever!& “Fringe”!these thoroughly researched & creatively written produced & developed shows reveal 2 all of us how the reality of our natural world can be distorted & altered thru conspiracies from global public,private,military,& security intelligence sectors.the first global nuclear strike:there’s our climate change!

  18. Adam R. says:

    Maher? No; his anti-vaccine woo tendencies disqualify him.

    Maddow? Yes; she gets science right more consistently than any other commentator on TV.

  19. Anneliese says:

    I live about 85 miles south of Albuquerque, near Socorro, NM, in the Rio Grande Valley. We have no local TV or radio stations. That said, I have no TV because I discovered in the early 1990s that TV is a serious migraine trigger. Not sure why. My computer monitor does not seem to be a trigger, thanks be.

    Were I to choose a favorite program based on my very limited knowledge it would be “Mythbusters” which seems to encourage critical thinking.

  20. Russell says:

    The ManPigBear episode of South Park serves to reinforce Mythbusters excellent sense of the sardonic.

  21. 350 Now says:

    Tim @4: I agree Netflix is quite the deal. I’d even go so far as calling it the intelligent person’s tv… for obvious reasons…There are scores of films that actually are worth the investment of your time.

    In fact, it would be nice if CP had a running list of posted suggestions of those.

    Two I recently found, Dirt: The Movie (instant TV) and The Eleventh Hour (DiCaprio/DVD) have the potential to reach the hearts and minds of many who have turned away from scientific news. Imho, they are particularly important for young folks as they are brilliantly filmed – fast moving, well-designed, have lots of layers and textures of differing expert viewpoints from around the globe, powerful music scores, etc.

    The best $15 I’ve spent lately is Earth: The Audio book by Jon Stewart and the crew of The Daily Show. It is like 3 hrs of the best of the best of the show’s clever, insightful zingers. At times, I have to turn it off and just think about the mental meat just served. There are several free audio blurbs online to tease you. But if you like his humor, go ahead and spring for it in iTunes. You likely won’t regret it and the LOLs will be good for you.

  22. Lou Grinzo says:

    Any of Bravo’s “Housewives” series. Can’t get enough of them.

    Calm down! I’m kidding!!!

    I probably have pretty much the same science geek/policy wonk viewing habits as most people here — lots of news and documentaries, favorite movies on DVD (my wife’s idea of a “chick flick” is any action movie where at least one large thing blows up before the opening credits), with some bubblegum for the brain (sports — it’s college lacrosse season!, Jeopardy, Top Chef, Project Runway, Southland, almost any of the HBO original series).

  23. Bob Lang says:

    Gave away my TV years ago. One less monthly bill.

    I stream the local news over the net. I also stream major sports events. Watched World Cup Soccer live over the net as well as Olympic Ice Hockey.

  24. Mimikatz says:

    We never watch sitcoms. Or comedy. We DVD Jon Stewart and watch the next evening. I used to like Rachel Maddow but she is too self-absorbed and loves to mock others and ride her hobby horses. She has the intellect to understand science but shies away from climate change, although this is really “the story no one is talking about.”. Now I like Lawrence O’Donnell better.

    For shows I mostly like off-beat ones, like X -Files, Fringe, The Event, Rubicon, and loved Star Trek TNG as the best portrayer of real liberal values. And PBS and old movies.

  25. 350 Now says:

    Many folks poo poo Jon Stewart but these two random clips showcase the depth and breadth of his satire – and in my opinion, genius, when it comes to making a point sans soapbox.

    I for one wish he’d mount a soapbox for the environment. If he aired at least 3 or 4 segments a show about any of a dozen environmental topics, we’d be much closer to engaging John Q. Public in solutions. The beauty in what the show did with Wyatt Cenac interviewing a Mississippi Audubon member is priceless:

    Same thing goes for Stephen Colbert… Just this Thurs. he interviewed Dr Mark Moffett re Nat. Geo. article on pollinators, mentioning, pollinator partnerships and the monarch migration to Mexico….

    Baby steps, yes, but steps none the less…

  26. dorveK says:

    Sponge Bob (before ocean acidification dilutes him)!

  27. Jeffrey Davis says:

    Ever: Arrested Development, The Simpsons, Fawlty Towers, Twin Peaks (1st season only), and State of Play. From my ill-spent youth: Your Show of Shows, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Maverick. (I suspect Your Show of Shows is the only one which would still be entertaining.)

    I found The Wire to be “sentimental nihilism” and The Sopranos to be 30 Something with murder.

  28. Phil says:

    I’m amazed that at least one left wing stereotype is true. We are snobs. Notice how many people say I don’t watch tv. Well I watch tv. Mythbusters, Big Bang Theory, cartoon network (must if you have kids), Pysch. Those are my must sees. Likes are Mentalist, Deadliest Warrior, Top Gear, classic movies on TCM. What can we learn? A sense of humor, keep it entertaining goes a long way in getting your message over. Also people self select their tv shows so if you want to get the message over talk to the uninformed. We’re already convinced. And keep it short.

  29. 350 Now says:

    GLEE rocks.

    The episode was especially poignant for me – speaking to the climate crisis in that we MUST learn to communicate with others, in their “tongue”, in the place where they are. Otherwise all is lost. The show’s writers and producers (which I see as a “West Wing” for teenagers) have an amazing opportunity to effect a positive public good with their situational comedy.

    Although it’s a tired cliche, communicating climate science is a lot like speaking english to a world speaking only spanish or swahili or whatever… Regardless of its consequence, if scientists can’t effectively communicate the inevitable climate chaos, or engage effective communicators to do the same, then we are basically as much to blame as the polluters.

  30. Phil says:

    I forgot to say-fave show is Mythbusters. Science and humor!

  31. Bruce says:

    Simpsons. The best thing Fox does. I don’t get cable service, I get my TV over the air, and the HD quality is great (except on windy days).

  32. Chris says:

    I like Real Time with Bill Maher, who has really made climate change an issue that he is really concerned about, and talks about often on the show. Maybe Joseph you should go on his show?

  33. john atcheson says:

    Seinfled re-runs, diners, drive-ins, and dives, Iron Chef, and Real Time.

    Seinfeld because it’s still the best thing on; DDD ’cause I grew up in Jersey, so I know dives; Iron Chef ’cause I like to cook; and Real Time ’cause I like to laugh before I cry.

    It’s too late for seinfeld to carry any message, although it does anyway, especially if you remember that final show … DDD actually features a lot of sustainably raised and organic food — and even Iron Chef frequently introduces the relationship between food choices and sustainability. And as squishy as that word is, it at least makes people think about their choices.

  34. dp says:

    i only watch live tv for sports, or to be social. i like a lot of the talent competition shows. otherwise i like story, so the whole ‘character-driven’ thing turns me off, the same way microeconomics turns me off. coke-or-pepsi is brain porn. it is not healthy brain food. i believe fiction is a divine instrument that shapes our perception, and i like when it takes me places as surprisingly unexpected as my dreams do.

  35. PBS: Frontline, American Experience, NOVA, Antiques Roadshow, and news
    For entertainment: Top Chef, Iron Chef, Good Eats with Alton Brown (!!), So You Think You Can Dance, and House Hunter’s International.
    I DVR everything I want to watch to avoid commercials.

    Rachel Maddow has lost me, her focus is too narrow and has become repetitive.
    I record Meet the Press and ThisWeek with … and if I like the guests, I’ll watch.

    I’ll give anything with a science flavor a chance, but aside from NOVA, most of it is corny, and often inaccurate.

  36. PS, Netflix is awesome.

  37. Susan Anderson says:

    Maddow but agree her social issues sometimes trump the superb reporting she does on news outside the gay progress focus (not to belittle their issues, sorry)

    NCIS (and a few other police procedurals with rotting corpses – though the gore is getting out of hand – culturally weird we have an appetite for this – like CSIs (Nevada favorite) and Bones
    Law and Order (often covers current issues well, not sure if it was that or CSI that covered well poisoning from fracking, for example)

    Network news at 6:30 is often quite good, and all three networks have actually done good in-depth climate reporting at one time or another. I think I see a refocus on this, when bad weather clusters, as it will a lot more as time goes by.
    (ABC did the amazing Earth 2100 in 2007:
    and I’ve seen interviews on the rarely seen ABC news now with Richard Somerville and other lights.

    PBS, of course, all the in-depth explorations of science and nature, and Waiting for God; Doc Martin is terrific, but my family stayed in Port Isaac yearly for several decades (the sun does *not* shine there all the time as shown) which is where it was filmed, the personalities are just right for Cornish humor.

    While some are irked by Alan Alda’s smug demeanor, he did a nice one on permafrost etc. a few years back that was way ahead of most.

    Jon Stewart for president!

    I spend most of my first five decades without a TV, but think it’s important to know what’s up with our culture. A scan of the morning “news” will show that infotainment has taken over the mass brain.

  38. Joan Savage says:

    Umm, Joe asked, “And what lessons for climate and clean energy communications do you think we can draw from the success of that TV show?”

    The most explicit lessons of that sort that I see are on “This Old House,” which has some cool stuff about energy efficiency, rooftop water heaters and serious insulation.

    But my escapes are often “Antiques Road Show” and “Masterpiece Theater” which frequently hearken to days that were pre-coal and pre-oil, or in the earlier stages of those resource exploitations. The enjoyment of hand-made items is enduring. It is spooky however to see items made of nearly extinct materials like American elm or chestnut, or whale bone.

  39. Susan Anderson says:

    Oh, and a few years back late night had a wonderful show “Regenesis” on medical research that was all the rage in Canada but flopped here. That silly medieval fantasy trumped it. The show was brilliant, covering international epidemics such as the Marburg virus.

    I plan to get it on DVD sometime.

  40. Prokaryotes says:

    Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a daily show with Will Ferrel?

  41. Stuart says:

    Anything nature, particularly if it’s made by the BBC. I also love the Simpsons and Family Guy. Stewart and Colbert are also awesome – gotta have the snark.

    The Simpsons often get the science right, remember the evolution vs. creationism episode?

  42. Monique says:

    We gave up our cable tv also and have a Netflix account and get some of our current favorites via Hulu. Unless otherwise noted, I don’t think any of my favorite television shows outside of NOVA, BBC America and other nature shows, mention environmental issues. It’s too bad we don’t have an environmental/climate change/nature version of MacGyver.

    Top Tier:
    1. Lie to Me
    2. Fringe

    Second Tier:
    1. Bones – I think there might have been 1 episode where they mentioned global warming
    2. NCIS
    3. NCIS LA
    4. Law & Order UK
    5. Hawaii 5-0 just because I love the theme

    I miss Numb3rs and read somewhere it may be cancelled due to slumping ratings.

    From Netflix
    Third Rock from the Sun – there were references to how badly humans treat each other and the Earth
    Doctor Who (David Tennant)
    Wire in the Blood
    MI-5 aka Spooks
    Masterpiece Contemporary
    Masterpiece Mystery
    Masterpiece Classic

  43. These days I don’t watch much TV. In fact, even when it’s on I’m likely to be listening to the sound on headphones (FM transmitter) so that I can do things about the house.

    I just don’t find TV very engaging anymore, but I’ve found a treasure trove of great material on on the web. Peter Sinclair’s “Climate Denial Crock of the Week” — Cheeky, informative, and fun. — “Science and Education for the win!” His ongoing series ‘Why do people laugh at creationists?’ is brutal and hilarious.

    There are loads of great debates and presentations for the sceptically inclined: – ‘A Universe From Nothing’ by Lawrence Krauss, AAI 2009 – Harvard Humanists Stephen Fry 2/22/2011 Chapter 1 — Inspiring Sam Harris: Science can answer moral questions

    [General plug for TED talks goes here.]

    Oh, yeah, a number of B movies have fallen into the public domain, and are now available online…

    One of the best- worst movies ever made: The Giant Gila Monster 1959

  44. Nancy says:

    My husband was a pilot at one time, so we have been watching “Flying Wild Alaska” on the Discovery Channel. It’s a reality show about a family who owns a small airline and the danger of being a bush pilot. On a recent show, they flew over a newly built rock seawall that was meant to protect the village from rising seas. The villagers talked about global warming and how it threatens their lives. The engineering company that built the wall is planning similar walls for other coastal communities. I wonder how long the walls will be effective before the seas force the towns to move inland.

  45. Marion Delgado says:

    Don’t watch TV. If I catch anything, it’s on a computer via DVD or the internets. The only TV show I recall when did watch was a special – the Lorax by Dr. Seuss.

  46. Cindy says:

    The Wire is all time favorite. Current favorites are Southland and Archer.

  47. Robert Murphy says:

    Dexter. Climate connection is this: when you dump too much waste in the ocean, it will eventually come back to haunt you in the end.

  48. 6thextinction says:

    thanks, jos. palmer, for the offerings. i got rid of tv 2 yrs ago, and miss nothing except “this old house” which was good crash time watching. now i listen to music. i’m shocked at all the tv watching by climate progress readers. and no, it’s not left-wing snobbery, phil, nor lack of a sense of humor. proof of that is the exemption of the daily show and colbert report in this survey.

    we’re in dire straights and headed for plenty more of the same. all you smart enviros need to be spending all that tube time battling the ignorance, frivolity, and inaction stoked by the greed of powerful entities. find other amusing people to do it with, and we might have a chance.

  49. Alec Johnson says:

    “Kill your TV.” Years ago in Des Moines I saw this scrawled on the back of a derelict vehicle on Ingersoll Avenue. Every time I passed it I found myself fully agreeing with that wisdom. I haven’t owned a TV in more than five years and have no intention of ever owning one again. I can watch DVDs all I want and most of the really relevant things quickly become YouTube, or equivalent, clips.

    I do, however, enjoy watching some TV series when they come out on DVD. I quite enjoyed the first two seasons of Fringe and likewise “Lie to Me.” I’m eager to watch the third season of both those series.

  50. George Ennis says:

    I’ve no doubt that some CP readers don’t watch much TV. I always recommend people watch some TV, not just because … if you want to know how to influence the American public, you have to start with their favorite medium.”

    I agree completely.

    Until a few years ago I had almost stopped watching television completely but as a result I was completely ignorant of the popular culture and its impact on politics and ultimately public policy. So now with my gag reflex in check I try to watch more TV including American “news”.

    However, I must admit that sometimes I just feel depressed by the whole experience since I am not sure whether TV is reflecting or causing a dumbing down of the ability of the public to engage in critical thinking. It is this lack of critical thinking which is perhaps the greatest impediment to dealing effectively with the climate change issue. Of course the dumbing down process may also be a reflection of the increasing functional illiteracy and retreat into magical thinking and illusion which an increasing percentage of the population has embraced. There is nothing wrong with illusion or entertainment as long as we do not confuse it with reality.

  51. Mark Shapiro says:

    Every climate hawk who subscribes to cable should request a Fox-free package.

    Every teacher, every union family, every progressive, every Democrat should request Fox-free cable.

    Rupert Murdoch’s millionaire minions have gone beyond propagandizing and even beyond lying. We can watch ourselves being called “thugs”, “a virus”, “a disease”, or “the worst of the worst”. Murdoch is vilifying millions of his fellow Americans, hating his fellow humans.

    Boycotts rarely work, but when powerful folks like Murdoch inflict such damage, we are called to resist.

    Thanks for the question, Joe, and thanks for listening.

  52. Leland Palmer says:

    Through the Wormhole, hosted by Morgan Freeman.

    I’ve never seen such clear, lucid explanations of complex subject matter. The graphics are stunning, too.

    I wonder how he feels about global warming?

  53. Leland Palmer says:

    About Morgan Freeman- apparently he’s very concerned about AGW.

    Morgan Freeman has taste for clean energy

    It might make a heck of a TV series: Morgan Freeman and Joe Romm explain climate change.

  54. Sam Clark says:

    When watching TV, remember that you are the product being sold. Perhaps the more important question is, what is your favorite ad.
    When watching TV, reflect on the fact that a study of time use in the US found that certain segments of American society spend more time watching TV and videos than they do at work.
    When watching TV, reflect on the fact that rigorous research has found a dose response pattern for adverse outcomes for every additional hour watched.
    When watching TV, consider how Real life is better than the movies.
    Why is it that none of the above entries have mentioned professional wrestling and stock car racing. The audiences for these two types of programs may hold the key. Get them on board and we have a chance.

  55. Matt says:

    LOST all the way. All of the electricity on the island is powered by geothermal.

  56. GFW says:

    Adding a vote for Mythbusters! (and that’s one that has some lessons for science education).

    No one else mentioned Mad Men or Breaking Bad. Those might be the best things on non-premium TV. No real communication lessons there other than that great writing and acting will draw in an audience – big surprise.

    House is also good, but for a show that’s supposed to be based in true, though far-out, medicine, most of the characters should have lost their licenses by now.

    On premium cable, True Blood, and looking forward to The Borgias. I’d be into Game of Thrones if I got that channel.

    Haven’t watched Sons of Anarchy, but it looks very good. It’s F/Xs successor to The Shield, which was the best thing on before Breaking Bad came along.

    Finally, going back a few years, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly (apparently I’m a Wheadonite) & Highlander.

  57. Alien270 says:


  58. George dePue says:

    Lie to Me’S superb casting and usually venturesome scripts are quite impressive. Nakes me wonder why more tv shows don’t make more of effort. And the Wire for similar reasons is the all-time classic best.

  59. My all time favorites remain the original Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Both portrayed a positive vision of the future where humankind had worked out the issues that led to conflict back home and were out exploring the universe. I think it’s important to have a hopeful vision and not just portray dystopian futures. The Next Generation also had an episode that was explicitly focused on environmental problems:

    In one of his “connections” episodes, James Burke did a terrific piece called “After the Warming”, which portrayed the world of 2050 if we took climate seriously (aside: he based it in part on our book, first published in 1989, republished in 1992 by Wiley as Energy Policy in the Greenhouse–Krause, Florentin, Wilfred Bach, and Jon Koomey. 1989. From Warming Fate to Warming Limit: Benchmarks to a Global Climate Convention. El Cerrito, CA: International Project for Sustainable Energy Paths. ). This episode of Connections was completed in 1989 I believe:

  60. Heraclitus says:

    Outnumbered (has this reached you yet in the US?) is a superb documentary of family life.

  61. Paul says:

    American Pickers is my favorite show. Finding all that great stuff out in someones old barn. Real recycling.

  62. My previous post (now in moderation) omitted the link to download the PDF of the Krause et al. 1989 book. use

  63. Sasparilla says:

    Favorite Shows….

    Frontline – PBS (not a weekly or daily show – I consider this the best show PBS has ever made – go to PBS website then Frontline and watch “Inside the Meltdown” for a taste, fantastic journalism)

    Nature – PBS

    Nova on PBS to an extent – those occasional donations from the Koch Bros have me wary of Nova’s credibility over these last 5 years or so.

    Parenthood (NBC?) with my wife.

    Football when in season although its not a for sure thing (low on the priority list…).

    Netflix – for movies.

    Get my news from the web, can’t handle broadcast news for the most part (News Hour on PBS is my favorite, but I don’t even watch that any more).

    Other than that I don’t watch TV much – eats the time away. We use a TiVo to catch things and watch when we want to.

    I used to watch things like Star Trek (DS9, Voyager, Enterprise) etc. but having children cured me of all that – time is too precious – knowing the fix we’re in as a species takes the luster off watching those shows too for some reason.

  64. catman306 says:

    Wanna RCA analog console TV? Neither do I, but I think it costs $10 to recycle it.
    Yeah, Blow Up Your TV. You’ll be glad you did.

    Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander (1978)

    And a fifth argument is our contemporary internet.

    The internet is far better than network TV ever thought of being. With billions of stations and web pages, you have to be able to find a good one worth watching or reading. If you’re lucky you find a great one like

    I’m old enough to remember a time when everyone didn’t have a TV and watching one was a special treat. Howdy Doody, Farmer Alfalfa, and the Bayonne Bombers. It never got better than that.

  65. Steven says:

    I like The Daily Show and Colbert, Maher, Dylan Ratigan, Modern Family, a lot of PBS, and, ok, I admit it, the kids on American Idol can sing this season and Steven Tyler is a hoot.

  66. Steve Wicke says:

    I have not watched much TV in over ten years. I do like MSNBC, I’ll watch NCIS on occasion, once in awhile I will watch O’Reilly and Hannity (at most 3 minutes) just to get a laugh. Stewart and Colbert are always good. I have never seen any reality show. I think I have seen maybe 3 episodes of Simpsons( I find it insulting). I get my news on the web. I’m tired of mass infotainment. News is not really news anymore. I was born near the beginnings of Television and as time goes on I find it is becoming irrelavant.

  67. Camper says:

    Rachel Maddow, PBS (newshour, Nova, documentaries), Mad Money, Bloomberg (morning show), American Idol, NatGeo (evenings).

  68. My TV viewing habits tend to be either a bit “geeky” or more conventional. I like to watch LinkTV. It keeps me informed about what is going on in the world. I also like watching Current, the Documentary Channel, PBS and History International. I also like to watch certain MSNBC shows: MSNBC Live, Rachel Maddows, and the Ed Schultz Show. I used to watch Planet Green, but these days there just isn’t much “green” programming.

    On the more conventional side, I like watching cop and legal shows. I hate reality shows. The only one I ever watched was Project Runway. I watch Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

  69. I also watch college basketball and the San Francisco Giants.

  70. Anne says:

    Does anybody remember “Max Headroom”???? This is probably a perfect show to demonstrate what a post-do-nothing-about-climate-change society might look like, with the corporations gone completely amok and everyone else barely coping in a Mad Max type desolate landscape, humans just a hair shy of rodents on the prowl for scraps of food. It was a GREAT show but got canceled, probably because of the political pushback. But – bringing it back to show just how dismal our future looks if extrapolated would be brilliant. Here’s a wiki entry, incomplete but has the great image of Max:

  71. J Bowers says:

    Deadwood, The Wire, Human Planet. If Shakespeare were alive today he’d be writing for HBO ;)

    Looking forward to Dr Brian Cox’s new series, Wonders of the Universe, which is the follow up to Wonders of the Solar System

    Here’s his Huw Wheldon Lecture of last year, which I think readers here would like:

    Brian Cox Lecture – Science: A Challenge to TV Orthodoxy

  72. Merrelyn Emery says:

    #50 & #57. Yes George, TV is definitely implicated in the reduced ability of the population for critical thinking. TV has neurophysiological effects. ALL experiments show that TV reduces beta (fast) wave activity and increases delta and theta (slow) wave activity. When reading, listening to the radio or just walking around, people show a predominance of beta waves. When watching TV, people show a predominance of slow waves.

    Fast waves indicate intellectual activity particularly in the left hemisphere which is where most information finally gets processed. Having mainly slow waves indicates that information is not being properly processed. Experiments also confirm that even when people are watching their favourite shows, they cannot recall details and have only a very global appreciation of, or emotional reaction to, the content. This holds when the content was explicitly designed to be educational. The response is primarily to the medium, not the content.

    This makes TV unsuitable for education but a dream for marketers. As the advertizing industry gradually learnt about this medium, they learnt that information in their ads annoyed people and ads have now become information free – e.g. ‘Coke is Life’. Combine that with positive affect or emotion and you have a winner. ‘Good’ ads produce warm feelings of familiarity. This works in the supermarket even when people cannot remember watching the ad.

    Political marketers have learnt the same lessons, e.g. ‘Change you can believe in’, ‘Moving forward’. Because the response is primarily emotional, politicians have become scripted robots who are terrified of anything coming across as negative or complex because complexity disrupts the positive viewing experience.

    As our cultures have become more TV saturated, we have seen increases in not only dumbing down but also superficiality and dissociation. There is also evidence that number of viewing hours by children is correlated with IQ deficit. Childhood viewing should be restricted and your Surgeon General recommends no viewing under the age of 2 years, ME

  73. David B. Benson says:

    I don’t have a telly, never have had.

    Watch as little as is possible.

  74. Stuart says:

    Oh yeah, agree on Through The Wormhole. Excellent show.

  75. Jan says:

    Living in Germany, I used to watch a lot of FoxNews and CNN in the follow-up to 9/11, when I could receive it on cable.

    If I can catch any of it on the internet, I do like The Simpsons, The Daily Show and Real Time with Bill Maher, and I do admit it is probably because these shows tend to deconstruct a lot of what I perceive to be crazy about the US (and thus probably about western culture in general, Germany included). Oh, and they can be pretty funny. (Hope I don’t offend anyone, I think it would be fair to say that many climate progressives are somewhat Lisa-esque, while many deniers are somewhat Bart-ish and Homer-ish, which might endear them more to many people.)

    I don’t watch much TV at all currently, apart from special sports events and the like. Most of my watching is now Phoenix (German public channel) documentaries while I am doing laundry. They often have good theme nights with series of documentaries on certain historical or scientific topics, on certain regions etc.

    I get my news mostly from the internet as well as radio, preferably Deutschlandfunk/Deutschlandradio (again a public station), which is one of the few if not the only, in this country at least, that does extended, in-depth and superb-quality reports and feature pieces on politics, sciences, humanities and arts.

  76. Marc says:

    I am trying to wean myself off TV – down to 5 hours a week. Big Bang Theory is fun though.

  77. dp says:

    apart from the depressing fixation on street crime when street crime is way down and white collar criminals are becoming richer than anyone in history — showing a susceptibility to fearmongering — after that, probably a big lesson to draw from the kinds of shows that people love to watch now is that people want to see results. it seems like there’s a lot less romance on tv and a lot more ‘winning’ and ‘losing.’

    it’s actually kind of disturbing to me how many hours a week a person can watch now (and could watch before the bubble burst) of contestants explaining how it felt to be eliminated from competition. it doesn’t seem like this would appeal to an audience that was brimming with confidence in its own chances. i don’t know.

    but then i don’t think we’re talking about climate right, i think we should be talking much more about the hard money new economy stuff, and how going green is the only way to fight energy price inflation and keep the globocapitalist ponzi schemes from imploding. the ground under the feet of the climate hoax argument is that the BAU total cost of operation is cheaper than the green version. but those people know the BAU is a house of cards; what they don’t know is how to make a dignified nonfussy living in a green economy.

  78. mike roddy says:

    Merrelyn Emery,
    Thanks, interesting stuff. McLuhan privately despaired about the decline in critical thinking, and we’re seeing the results now.

  79. Tor B says:

    All Creatures Great and Small (Netflix – near end of 3rd series – WWII just started for GB), The Daily Show and Colbert Report (internet) – each only a couple/few times a week. We enjoyed Dr. Martin series. I like shows that deal with serious topics in an easy manner. We used to watch British comedy on PBS; I liked Yes, Prime Minister. I’m too disconnected from TV to remember when NOVA is on, so have watched it about three times in 10 years – and am dismayed by its sponsors. When my wife watches network news or sitcoms (if that’s what they’re still called), I generally read climate, Earth and general science or US politics on the internet, or read books – spiritual or light fiction. I also piddle around in my small workshop and pull invasive exotics (and a few invasive domestics like poison ivy, grape and smilax) on my and neighbor’s (we’re an intentional community) land.

  80. Calamity Jean says:

    I love to watch Rachel Maddow because she is so obviously having a good time making the show. I used to watch Star Trek Voyager because that show had the best captain.

  81. Greg says:

    Definitely don’t watch reruns of “Something about Brian”. There weren’t that many episodes but it resulted in the procreation of my two children which is not what the world need more of!

  82. The best shows currently on television:

    Mad Men
    Boardwalk Empire
    Big Love
    Sons of Anarchy
    The Walking Dead
    The Vampire Diaries
    True Blood

  83. Barry says:

    TV is what I do when I don’t want to think about climate anymore.

  84. Hmpf says:

    Haven’t owned a TV for ten years now (I’ve been fairly poor these past ten years, and also don’t have much space, so when the last TV broke I didn’t replace it and used the space for other stuff.)

    I do like some serial television, I think there’s been some wonderful stuff produced in the last decade and a half or so. Personal favourite: Farscape. Not sure I’d want the climate movement to learn a lesson from that, though – as the hero of the show essentially becomes a terrorist to convince everyone else to be sensible and not kill each other…

  85. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Well, Dr Who, of course, Jon Pertwee as the Doctor (God, he’d fix the Denialists the same as he did the Daleks)Dobie Gillis because we all should live like Maynard G. Krebs, and Callan, the best, most gritty scripts ever, in my opinion.

  86. Oakden Wolf says:

    I guess I’m apparently into these medical drama shows with a bit of humor, dark or otherwise, so my two current favorites are House and
    Royal Pains. I like House particularly because I read every Sherlock Holmes story in the canon, and Holmes and House have a lot of similarities. Even in their names. (As an aside, it would be interesting to see Hugh Laurie do a “traditional” Sherlock Holmes role. At least he wouldn’t have to fake the accent!)

    Best sitcom: The Big Bang Theory
    2nd place: The Middle
    3rd place: Cougar Town

    My kids really like “How It’s Made” on the Science Channel.

    And I watch Entourage because of Emmanuelle Chriqui.

    I’m also looking forward to “The Borgias” and “Game of Thrones”, the latter which I just read about today for the first time.

  87. BBHY says:

    I never seem to be into, or even aware of the popular shows. I remember some years ago when a friend asked if I watched “The Sopranos”. Having never heard of it I told him that I’m not really into opera.
    He said “No, it’s about the mob.” “Someone wrote an opera about the mob?” I asked.

  88. catman306 says:

    Merrelyn Emery, Jerry Mander’s 1978 book expands the ideas that are in your short essay. This is NOT new information, except maybe to the American public. TV is ‘way bad’ for people. Advertisers and politicians like it that way as long as people keep buying. TV is largely responsible for creating the monster that is the American way of life. It made many people rich chasing their quarterly earnings but with never a thought for the future.

    That future has become our present.

  89. A face in the clouds says:

    @Anne #66 — Max Headroom, me too. Bet you also remember the old “Night Flight” series from the USA Network back then. That’s what MTV could’ve been — cartoons like “Flipper’s Revenge,” world square dance videos by Malcolm McLaren…….

    Australian football and of course the Dallas Cowboys are fun to watch. Okay, I like Barney and Sponge Bob too, but that’s my daughter’s fault. She made up for it by introducing me to “KaBlam!”

  90. sixohseven says:

    Flight of the Conchords
    Top Chef

  91. Tom Gibbons says:

    Mythbusters because they not only believe in testing ideas but they have such fun doing it!!!!

    I sample the cable news networks in the afternoon (all of them) but I prefer to read for actual information.

    Prime time for TV is my prime time for reading, so I don’t see too much there. But I watch some of them on DVD, tape, or reruns later. I live in the Stone Age and tape things such as Mythbusters on VHS.

    I like the late night entertainment talk shows (Letterman, Leno, Conan, etc). See there? I am not a snob! I just check the guests to see who has the most interesting ones.

    And here is a lesson about climate: These people only tell jokes about subjects people will laugh at, and they are pretty good at gauging that. I think you can usually tell who is going to win a presidential election by who the audience will laugh at. The other guy will win. But you can’t tell until the campaign gets going. They laughed at Clinton all the time, except when he was running against Dole. Then they laughed at Dole and switched back to Clinton after the election. They laughed at “W” a lot but switched to Kerry during the campaign.

    But they seldom tell climate jokes and seldom tell jokes about climate deniers. The audience doesn’t care enough either way to laugh. You can tell that Letterman cares about it because of some of his guests, but he doesn’t joke about it. (OK, there is an occasional “Where is Gore when we need him?” during a cold snap, but that is more of a Gore joke.)

    The lesson, I think is Get a sense of humor and use satire as much as possible.

    “I hear that global warming is self limiting. When the sea level reaches West Virginia and Wyoming, then we will have to stop burning coal and things will get better.”

    OK, if you didn’t like that, make your own jokes up.

  92. Mark at the Rally says:

    Sid the Science Kid! Teaching my young daughter to be curious about the world around her and to explore it through hands-on investigations.

  93. One of my favorite shows is Numb3rs which had a great cast and fascinating stories. One of the protagonists – math-genius Charles Epps – drives a Prius and in some of the episodes renovating the house he and his father live in to make it more energy-efficient comes up.

    Carl Lightman (Lie to me) also drives a Prius, so it does seem that this car is shown to good advantage more and more often on TV-shows (but I may be biased as I own a Prius myself!)

    And I agree with Monique (#42) that an environmental/climate change/nature version of MacGyver would be great (even though many episodes of MacGyver did already contain environmental topics).

  94. Eric Normand says:

    Favorite political talk show: Real Time with Bill Maher. The topics on here can very greatly, but he’s not afraid to dig into climate change and other important topics ignored by MSM

    Second in that category: The Rachel Maddow show. She also covers many political topics that mainstream won’t touch, she’s a great interviewer and not afraid to call out anyone.

    Favorite reality show: Biggest Loser. There is a great message at the core of this reality show – that obese people can lose weight and become healthy through consistent exercise and better eating habits.

    Favorite cop show: The Mentalist – This is a very “smart” show. Not only is it interesting and funny, it paints smart, as cool. (And with the current state of society, we can’t have enough smarts)

    Favorite drama: House – Again, not only interesting and funny, but a smart show.

    Favorite old shows that we watch regularly on DVD:

    Favorite sitcom: All in the Family. There isn’t a TV show on today that could touch this old gem. Such an amazing mixture of drama, humor, and cutting edge social topics of the day

    Favorite drama: Star Trek – full of grand utopian ideals

  95. Next week… favorite books?

  96. Rebecca says:

    Friday Night Lights. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose. (Wish it were so!)

  97. From Peru says:

    My favorite TV show is Star Trek, particularly TNG (The Next Generation). What most like me about the Star Trek universe is the type of society. In the words of Jean-Luc Picard in ST: First Contact:

    “Captain Jean-Luc Picard: The economics of the future is somewhat different. You see, money doesn’t exist in the 24th century.
    Lily Sloane: No money? You mean, you don’t get paid?
    Captain Jean-Luc Picard: We work to better ourselves.”

    That is a really bright future. There are no money and no profits, so no enterprises, only workers that work for the common good of humanity.

    A very bright SOCIALIST future, like Karl Marx said “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”. I really recommend Star Trek to all those McCartysts that see socialism as a totalitarian ideology, using the straw man argument of using examples like the regimes of Stalin and Mao, that were the most anti-socialist regimes ever existed (workers in the USSR lived worse than in most Western capitalist countries. The mith of the “Soviet Union Socialism” is to me the greatest lie ever told to humankind)

    To note, there may be Socialism in Star Trek, but not Communism: there is a State and a gerarchic Military, both incompatible with Communism. The United Federation of Planets it is classless, but not stateless society. A society must be also stateless to be communist.

    But nevertheless, the society described in Star Trek certainly superated the “Carbon Dioxide Barrier” that every intelligent civilization must pass to survive. This “barrier” is the challenge to progress from a carbon-intensive industry to a carbon-free industry, the civilizations that fail to do that perish due to Climate Change. This could explain why we have no yet found intelligent aliens: most of them fail to do the renewable energy revolution.

    It is not clear how they did the transition, but in the episode “Past Tense” of ST: Deep Space Nine an oppressive North American Regime in the middle XXI century is overtrown by a violent popular revolution. The revolutionary issue is not the energy economy, however, but the discrimination of the poor in guettos.

  98. Babble says:

    I watch documentaries, Nova, Good movies (not the vampire and mystical junk) Historical series like The Tudors, Pillars of the Earth and some science fiction like Farscape, Startrek (though that’s finished).
    I also love House, Mad Men, The Daily Show, Masterpiece Theater (all versions), V, Breaking Bad, Weeds and Nurse Jackie.

    I really don’t like most animated shows like the Simpsons but there are plenty of things to enjoy.

  99. darth says:

    All my favs have been mentioned already, but in no particular order:

    Stewart / Colbert
    Big Bang Theory
    The Closer
    Law & Order: UK
    Castle (I try to watch shows with members of the old “Firefly” cast)
    Simpsons / Futurama
    Star Trek:TNG (best of all the series IMHO)
    N3umbers was good but it ended a couple years ago.
    First 48 is the only ‘reality’ show I watch.

    Only watch via DVR – I can’t even tell you when most of these are on or which channel.

  100. lemmonmc says:

    Although I still acknowledge in his own way he does a lot of great things, Jon Stewart lost me with his D.C. rally for ‘nothing.’ Corporate controlled cable news is a dangerous thing to ‘like.’ Sure Anderson Cooper & Rachel Maddow are only nice as long as you can totally forget they work for corporations. Even now both are playing into Libya’s fight for freedom while totally ignoring for the most part Yemen, Bahrain,and others whom the US wants oppressed. And absolutely none are even dared allowed to cover the apartheid oppression of the Palestinians, a Faustian deal every network T.V. anchor must make in taking the job(same rule applies to host and anchors on Fox’s anti-climate change agenda.)

    Amy Goodman is #1 most badass journalist in American news….period.
    News: Democracy Now/INN World Report/The Real News/The BradBlog/Al Jazeera/ and many others.

    ‘The Wire’ not simply just the best TV series ever done, should be required viewing for all public officials.

    ‘The Road’… third entertainment, two thirds homework

    ‘Watchman’….what exactly is morality, precisely how many people can you kill for ‘good’ reasons?

    ‘Avatar’…Dances with wolves meets Fern Gully: most important theme possible in this day and age, like watching a film specifically about my personal spirituality.

    ‘Dark Knight’….again what’s a good guy? In Hollywood ‘Batman defeats the joker’s message by lying to the public. In Cormac McCarthy’s The Road..brutal real life circumstances prove the Joker was right all along.

    Need more realistic movies about climate effects and peak oil aftermaths. I personally have developed a hunger for movies that involve the decline of Empire. Best I’ve seen so far ‘Time of the Wolf.’

    Joe thanks for asking such a question. I can’t explain exactly why,,,but it felt good to do this

  101. Merrelyn Emery says:

    catman306 #88. My original post included #57 to acknowledge your mention of Mander but your number went walkabout.

    George asked a question and I answered it.

    New data about the effects of TV accumulates and it was the subject of my PhD in 1986. It is all confirmatory. Unfortunately in the last few years, there has been little about its effects in the popular press and there should be. Many people park their kids in front of it because they believe its good for them, educational, when its effects are the opposite. I notice that that many includes a few above.

    If people are thinking about how TV can be used to help with the climate change problem, they need to be aware of the unique characteristics of this medium and proceed warily, ME

  102. Anna Haynes says:

    Mentalist, House & Heroes (yes it’s a bit hokey) though I’m many seasons behind on the latter two.

    Alas FlashForward is gone, and the current FF wannabe’s dialogue was too painful to endure.

    Some other (I hope) good suggestions made here though, thanks.

  103. The Daily Show, BookNotes (C-Span 2 BookTV), Rachel Maddow, Fareed Zakaria The Global Public Square, The Good Wife.

  104. Flash says:

    I stopped watching TV after the reruns of Married with Children pittered out. Before that, my favorite TV program of all time was The Rockford Files. I also like South Park and The Simpsons. Nature shows were great, but they made me sad because being a Republican is legal.

  105. Mossy says:

    My husband and I rarely have time to watch any teevee after reading Joe’s blog!

    Since we don’t subscribe to cable, our TV reception is miserable since the transition to digital. (I think that the transition was simply a plot of the cable companies to force people to subscribe!)

    I catch Ellen sometimes when I’m exercising in the morning; she’s one of the few people who can make me laugh and forget CC.

  106. Chris says:

    I’m surprised nobody said Chuck. Also V and Stargate. NOVA and Frontline are always appreciated. I can’t get enough of America’s Test Kitchen. My guilty pleasures would have to be Wipeout and Dancing with the Stars.

  107. Carl Wilson says:

    Al Jazeera English: Live Stream

  108. Ernie says:

    The most recently terminated Battlestar Galatica (BSG), esp. the finale, last 3 episodes, “Daybreak”, where ecological themes run strong. They finally discover a home called “Earth”. (Just saw it again on Netflix.)

    For me, BSG is a commentary on both the marvel of the evolutionary phenomenon called the human race, while holding up a glaringly brutal mirror to it’s ultimately tragic self destructive nature. Hindu themes of the cycle of birth, death, rebirth, making the same mistakes over and over again, “I’ve seen this scene before”, not only as an individual, but as a species over eon time scales. (If we make it, it will be “barely”.)

  109. SolarMom says:

    The Daily Show, The Daily Show, The Daily Show, The Daily Show, The Daily Show, The Daily Show, The Daily Show, The Daily Show, The Daily Show, The Daily Show, The Daily Show, The Daily Show, The Daily Show, The Daily Show, The Daily Show.

    :-) Oh, and Rachel Maddow.

  110. 350 Now says:

    Solar Mom: If only The Daily Show would attempt to live up to its potential! I too am a fan, either late night or online by day…

    I had high hopes for Stewart’s interview around Thanksgiving time with Harrison Ford. Ford had JUST returned from se Asia AND the big energy conference in California and that would have been a perfect segue to discuss his work with Conservation International. Of course the purpose of the visit was to promote his new cutesy movie- which is fine. But instead of substantive talk about his work with NGOs, Stewart wasted 5-7 precious multi-million dollar air minutes talking with him about Happy Meals.

    It’s times like these I wish I could curse in 15 languages. What a missed opportunity to TDS audience – hearing “Indiana Jones” (to them) speak of the CI campaign called “Lost there, felt here.” (See ) Jon Stewart fell mightily from his comedic throne on high in my mind that day. (And yet, his world still turns….)

    I recalled his interview with Rachel Maddow (post DC sanity event) when he stated that it was his purpose as the court jester (paraphrasing here) and that comedians were impotent in effecting change – which was not their intent from the start…. Yes, impotent describes that interview with H. Ford. I shouldn’t be so disappointed – these too are men of clay feet. But the brilliance they display at most times sets the bar mighty high.

  111. SolarMom says:

    350now: In all seriousness, I have been very disappointed in Jon Stewart’s grasp of climate change, energy policy, and really anything environmental (and apparently his staff’s grasp of those issues as well).

    The incisive questioning he can marshall on the economy, health care, etc. has never shown itself on climate, at least as far as I’ve seen.

    Anyway Joe admonished in his post that we not all cite They Daily Show. My reply was just meant to be funny.

  112. Larry Gilman says:

    I don’t watch TV any more at all. It is inherently stupefying and passivating. Tasking TV to spread sanity among the US populace is like hiring an army of hookers to preach sexual abstinence to teenagers.

    That may not be the most hopeful or pro-active (echh) thing to say, since TV is manifestly not going to go away, but I think it’s true.

  113. American_Idle says:

    1) Fox News (“know your enemies and know yourself”, Sun Tzu)
    2) Maddow, Daily Show, Colbert Report (That’s the know yourself part)