Toxic Television

How our fellow creatives, in this case cartoonists, see those of us who toil in the vineyards of various and sundry media – including not only TV but also cartooning itself.

via Mike Peterson and

Paul Fell comments on an extremely toxic part of the world we’ve built.

I, too, liked it better when you could believe that false, hateful rhetoric was perhaps a misunderstanding, a difference of interpretation.


What I really liked was the world referenced in this 2005 Jeff Danziger cartoon that I’ve run many times, a world in which you could believe that stupid, hateful things were just examples of individual insanity with no greater significance.

It’s no longer subtle, it’s no longer individual, and it’s no longer possible to laugh it off.

It’s also becoming harder to dismiss it as unintentional: This piece from the Spectator talks about Twitter’s targeting of people in order to earn clicks by promoting and profiting from group hostility, comparing it to the Two Minutes of Hate in “1984.”

That’s not much of a stretch. I am one of those people who watch “Law & Order” reruns, and while it is a smart, if formulaic, show, the programs being promoted around it appear to be nothing more than people screaming at each other and normalizing behavior that was once dismissed as things decent people didn’t do.

It is disheartening because, if garbage shows about garbage people didn’t attract an audience, nobody would bother producing them.

But let’s not load it all on Mama June and “Love After Lockup,” because prime time network shows are only superficially more highbrow: Too many of them capitalize on our desire to dip into a world in which horrific, gruesome crime is just around the corner.

It doesn’t matter whether you watch or not: You still have to live in a carefully curated Idiocracy where, when a rambunctious puppy gets out of the house, a passing woman shoots at it and hits her own five-year-old kid in the stomach.

Which happened in a state where 16 bad addresses out of millions and millions of ballots requires voter suppression laws, but 3,353 deaths by firearms in a single year merits a new law making it easier for paranoid nincompoops to wander around packing heat….

Read it all at


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