For television— bless its heart—is not congenial to messages of naked hate. For one thing, you never know who is watching, so it is best not to be wildly offensive. For another, haters with reddened faces and demonic gestures merely look foolish on television, as Marshall McLuhan observed years ago and Senator Joseph McCarthy learned to his dismay. Television favors moods of conciliation and is at its best when substance of any kind is muted. (One must make an exception here for those instances when preachers, like Swaggart, turn to the subject of the Devil and secular humanism. Then they are quite ncompromising in the ferocity of their assaults, partly, one may assume, because neither the Devil nor secular humanists are included in the Nielsen Ratings. Neither are they inclined to watch. ) There are at present thirty-five television stations owned and operated by religious organizations, but every television station features religious programming or one sort or another. To prepare myself for writing this chapter, I watched forty-two hours of television’s version of religion, mostly the shows of Robert Schuller, Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swaggart, Jerry Falwell, Jim Bakker and Pat Robertson.
The current system is based on a few principles, rather than an extensive list of specific rules. While the handbook still gives examples of how to cite sources, it is organized according to the process of documentation, rather than by the sources themselves. This process teaches writers a flexible method that is universally applicable. Once you are familiar with the method, you can use it to document any type of source, for any type of paper, in any field.
Television: Past and Present | Essay Writing Blog
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