The Public Interest

All that trash

Diana West

Summer 2004

ALMOST 20 years ago, Allan Bloom pointed out in The Closing of the American Mind that few of us would make room on the living-room sofa for a guest who discussed or enacted the sexual raunch, incessant violence and just plain, dumb nastiness that are regularly featured in television programs. For all its noxiousness, of course, TV was and is routinely invited into living rooms across America. While criticism of pop culture’s more pernicious aspects has in the meantime gained strength, so too, has pop culture’s toxicity, with cable television, the pop music industry, the Internet, and video games expanding the reach—and depths—of the media cesspool exponentially. 

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