The Pernicious Influence of MTV

(Fuddy-duddy Alert: The following “post” is highly likely to make us seem about as hip as a broadcast of “Polish Line Dancing with Bill Moyers.” If you’re a real cool cat, you may just want to skip on down to the next one.)

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” despise MTV, a television network that seems dead-set on coarsening our culture and furtively promoting a left-liberal agenda. Allowing your child to take in the noxious palaver on MTV may not turn out to be a disaster, but it certainly won’t help your parental efforts. Unless, perhaps, your parental efforts resemble those of, say, Alec Baldwin.

Now, in offering this opinion, we are not casting aspersions at the “music videos” MTV offers its viewers. Truth be told, we’re not big rock music fans, and so we consider the videos MTV displays to be beneath contempt. But, as even the most casual viewer of MTV recognizes, the network seldom plays music videos anymore, preferring to offer programs aimed at children and young adults.

And this programming often borders on the noxious. We’re sure that we’re not the first to lament the popularity of “Jackass,” which provides a congeries of dangerous, degrading stunts performed for the twisted viewer’s pleasure. The show–for those few of you blissfully unaware of it–routinely displays footage of its “stars” undergoing painful ordeals, which are meant to amuse.

Frankly, dear reader, those devoted to the program must be well nigh pathological. Who else delights in, say, a fellow human being enduring savage paper cuts, brutal hockey checks, and kindred forms of abuse? One of the “stars” on “Jackass” is famous for stapling his scrotum to his leg: Does anyone see good results stemming from displaying this feat to middle-schoolers?

Thanks to the deleterious popularity of “Jackass,” moreover, MTV has undertaken to produce a slew of shows based on the display of low-level torture for pleasure. And then this network has the gall to present solemn news reports on American malefactions in the War on Terror? Come on, MTV executives: Decry Gitmo all you want, but your odious programming routinely dulls our sensitivities to human pain.

We should not forget, moreover, the half-hearted lefty sensibilities MTV routinely demonstrates. In between broadcasts of horrid skateboarding accidents, the network sobers up and presents sanctimonious little discussions of current events. These invariably have an anti-conservative edge. Watching MTV shortly after 9/11, for instance, would have given you the impression that a massive pogrom against Muslim Americans was imminent.

And let’s not leave out one of MTV’s flagship programs, “The Real World.” As an example of youthful fatuity, television may not get any better than this. But one should observe the program’s dubious notions of growth: Throughout its seasons, cast members are applauded for their increased maturity if their views alter in a liberal direction. The embrace of homosexuality is deemed growth, but becoming a more devout Christian is not.

For all the above reasons, we feel safe in concluding that MTV is a harmful influence. Call us squares, but we’d keep our children away from that garbage.

(Note: The crack young staff normally “weblog” over at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” where they are currently accepting submissions for their Fourth Annual Horrible College-Student Poetry Competition.)

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