OPINION

Tele-bickering reaches its limits

If the country’s politicians earned social security credits for every hour they spent on television, they should be eligible for retirement benefits at 50, at the most.

I am not aware of this practice taking place in any other country around the world – politicians appearing in shows broadcast by small and major channels, starting at 6 in the morning and going on until 1 or 2 o’clock at night. Sometimes you see these people on television twice or even three times a day.

I fully comprehend the anxiety that comes with needing to be elected and chosen at the ballot box, something which renders certain politicians hostage to various television studios, not to mention the fact that staging arguments with members of Parliament from other parties may be the easy, if not lazy, option.

The public, however, is tired of this kind of spectacle. There is nothing original here; it all seems like a skit played over and over again, where the leading actors turn into caricatures and the bickering into stage mannerisms.

It is very rare, extremely rare, that one hears something new and gleans information through such discussions. Even those politicians who up to a few months ago seemed fresh and incorrupt now seem wooden and terribly predictable.

Besides, the tele-celebrity machine is relentless, capable of alienating even the most composed members of society.

I’m afraid that this sort of tele-cafe devalues politics in general as well. The main left-wing opposition SYRIZA party, for instance, stands to lose from an overrepresentation on all sorts of panels, because in the end it comes across as part of the system.

On the other hand, I have a feeling that Golden Dawn earns points as a purely anti-systemic power when the party’s representatives refrain from appearing on television.

As the old proverb goes, familiarity breeds contempt.

This is not the point, however.

The point is that there are thousands of other subjects to cover – positive stories, problems. There are also professionals who specialize in certain areas and are not just pretending to know it all, people who have completely vanished from our television screens.

This endless blah-blah and never-ending moaning is leaving more and more viewers completely indifferent.

It is no wonder that the so-called dynamic audience is turning away from television and getting its information from other sources, treating this kind of tele-bickering as something of a variety show.