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Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Pop Culture: I (Don't) Want My MTV 

MTV appears to have a challenger vying for the 18-to-24 demographic's appeal.

The U Network hits college campuses this fall, offering an alternative to the MTV programming that TUN's creator labels "liberal" and "dumbed-down."
"I think a lot more kids are saying, ‘This is insane … 18- to 24-year-olds don’t need to be talked down to,’" said TUN President Lynne White, whose background is in Republican politics. "What this is going to do is it’s going to get these kids' juices flowing, get their creativity flowing."

Challenging MTV's hold on America's youth seems akin to Air America taking on conservative talk radio. We know how that turned out. Still, I wish TUN well. In the past five years or so I've grown so disenchanted with MTV that I feel guilty watching it at all (and I do so on rare occasion).

It's not so much the liberal bias that bothers me.  My problem with MTV lies more in the superficialality of it all. Sure it's entertainment, but I'd like to think that people my age (oops, I'm three years outside the target market now... oh well) care about more than just hooking up and getting hammered.

MTV creates this illusionary world with non-realistic reality fare and fabricated drama. Just the other day I caught part of their "Room Raiders" show, which sends a guy or girl to inspect the bedrooms of three strangers. The snooper then chooses which person he/she would like to go out with, based solely on the contents.  This particular episode's girl chose her man because his lifeguard gear and socer ball (paraphrasing) means he "probably had a good body." She actually posed that very question to the guy's mom during the inspection. Calling this kind of programming "dumbed-down" understates the nature of MTV by a longshot.

Good luck TUN.


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