Do we need to boycott bad TV?

Not so long ago, we thought that Greek private television had hit rock bottom when, instead of news bulletins, we were bombarded with performances by popular singers and their commercial videos. With mounting concern we realized that this reservoir of vulgarity and populism – created with one aim alone, that of boosting television viewer ratings – was actually far deeper than anyone had imagined. Then we reached the stage of «television cafes,» where reportage was well and truly obliterated in favor of an almost aggressive joviality and semi-pornographic shows that are showcased as investigative journalism. The worst thing is that politicians participate in this tawdry spectacle and allow the presenters of these embarrassing displays to treat them with insulting familiarity. The politicians who sit passively as garbage is aired on television are making a decisive contribution toward undermining the credibility of the political system. For every vote they get, they lose another from a Greek citizen exasperated by evening television. Perhaps the time has finally come for a political party – or a group of concerned citizens or even individual politicians – to boycott these TV debates. It may be a bit late for such a move but there is still a chance that politics could regain its lost credibility.

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