"Toxicity of Television" Spurs a Warning

Argentine Cites Shamefulness of Talk Shows and Reality Shows

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BUENOS AIRES, SEPT. 4, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Concern about the environment should extend to television programming, suggests an archbishop.



"There are many people who are concerned about the environment and how the earth we inhabit and the air we breathe are being poisoned, and how all this penetrates our bodies and souls," said Archbishop Héctor Aguer of La Plata, Argentina.

"I think it is urgent to carry out an examination on the toxicity of television and deduce the consequences," he added, in statements published by the Argentine Catholic agency AICA.

"I don't even want to think of the harm and early initiation in the evil things of life that is offered to children day after day," the prelate added.

He said an examination of the media must begin with "those so-called investigative programs, which in reality are bureaus of defamation, agencies where media campaigns are planned, inspired by ideologies or moved by money."

The archbishop also castigated "talk shows" and "reality shows" in which "the most inconceivable, shameful things are exhibited, where sexual deviations are obscenely promoted, without any limits to their lewdness. All this and much more abundantly reaches thousands upon thousands -- millions of people and families, through television."

"The destruction of the people effected through the media, especially by television, is one of the most serious problems that we are going to have to address in the future," the archbishop continued.

"There are many people who spend a lot of money on all this," he added. "There are many enterprises, businessmen, marketing studies that are, precisely, behind all this, with the TV viewers having to do no more than open their eyes and be hypnotized there, in front of that TV set."

Appealing for "discernment," Archbishop Aguer emphasized that "we must use the remote control very well, and know how to choose what we want to see and how to protect our children from that kind of universal toxic which emanates from the television screens."