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CBS and TWC: Part III – The Semi-Finale: What Would Colbert Say

Huffington Post Blog by Lynn Isenberg

August 14, 2013

I had just posted my 2nd contribution to Huffington Post about The Great CBS-TWC War with its potential for a National CordLetting Festival. That’s right, cordletting, as in “cut the cord.” I had joined the ranks of the many people who, I recently discovered, had dropped it years ago plus many more who chose to opt out of being held hostage by cutting their subscriptions altogether in the last week.

Then I saw a newspaper article reporting that cable TV’s programming bundle model was here to stay according to one entertainment industry executive. Okay, I get the “lucrativity” (is that a word? Can it be one, now?) of the bundle paradigm. After all, there really wouldn’t be big enough profits if everyone got to pick and choose their networks a la carte.

What really incensed me was the next comment… the delusional one that read, “People will give up food and a roof over their head before they give up TV.” Um, excuse me, but if you don’t have a roof over your head I’m assuming you don’t have currency for food, either, so how on earth does one afford monthly subscription television if there’s no outlet for it? Did I miss something? Do the homeless tents in Fresno come with cable TV and bundled programming? Did Nikola Tesla’s ghost unravel the secret hot spots in the ground for electrical connectivity to cable TV? Do the homeless joyfully watch cable television for sustenance? If so, where? [INSERT: Photo of homeless watching TV under a bridge, in the middle of the woods, at sports bars].

Is “Mr. Antoinette” unaware that a lot of people have “cut the cord?” Plenty of young people go elsewhere for content, or, as part of the Maker Movement, they are making their own content, creating their own YouTube Channels and joining organizations like Pivot TV. Perhaps “they” are putting something in the TV shows to turn the nation into addicts so we can’t get “unhooked.”

Oh, gosh, maybe I have it all wrong and it IS television that feeds and nourishes us all. I guess commercials are like appetizers, small bite-size meals without a lot of nutrition, just a little something to hold us over. And some of the meatier programming like 60 Minutes carries sustenance equal to organic lean meat and Wild Alaskan Salmon. I suppose you could put the morning news hours in the tossed salad arena, though CBS This Morning would be comprised of organic ingredients. Talk Shows collectively would be antipasto. You could tune into sports programming for a protein shake while some cooking and travel shows, for the most part, would fit the gourmet bill. A good drama series might make up a balanced meal of vegetables and protein, while horror flicks and most reality TV would account for junk food, and animated cartoons will take care of any whiny kids’ empty bellies in lieu of real cereal, which is processed anyway, so perhaps TV really is the healthier choice.

In paying homage to Stephen Colbert’s commentary regarding the “Regan Re-Naming Bill,” maybe the very word “television” is no longer fitting… the same way rivers and airports get re-named, and Congress spends our money determining how many more waterways will get renamed with Regan’s name. Well, perhaps television itself deserves a new name, like “Tele-raunt” or “Reganvision” or if you consider it the cake of our lives then perhaps we could call it “Antoinette.”

I wonder if a show about cable and network executives in a modern day version of Trading Places is something I’d reconsider keeping cable TV for, after all, it might make a nice dessert. But then again, I’m sure it would show up on Hulu. As far as “lucrativity” goes, if the people at the top of cable companies and networks are so out of touch to make believe that food and shelter fall behind television in the hierarchy of life’s necessities, then I think I’m in my right mind to make up word-derivatives. Furthermore, if food and shelter really do fall behind cable television subscriptions in life’s necessities, then shouldn’t it be our constitutional right to have it… for free?

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