The Detrimental Effects of Television
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The Detrimental Effects of Television

This is the first report of a study objectively documenting the negative effects of television.

METHOD: Four identical television sets of a common Japanese brand were connected by cable-splitters so that the same cable was brought in to each set and split to different channels. One set was placed on CBS. Another to NBC. A third television set was programmed for ABC. A fourth for Cable News Network (CNN), and a fifth set to the Weather Channel. These sets were turned on to their respective channels and each placed in a black plastic garbage bag and tightly sealed. Then another black garbage bag was placed in double-wrapping and tightly sealed.

The television sets were left on for ten days in January 1992 with the double wrapped bags. After ten days, the bags were opened and the contents explored.

(A sixth television set was identically sealed as the others and connected to a cable but left off as control).


CBS Upon opening, the bag containing the CBS-programmed set additionally had a front page of a New York Times covered with what was discovered to be the droppings of the Great Northern Spotted Owl.

NBC In the NBC bag besides the television set was a Coke bottle with public hairs in and on it.

ABC Upon opening the bag containing the ABC-programmed set, it additionally had an old fashioned chamber pot overflowing with nite-soil.

CNN The bag containing the CNN-programmed set additionally contained a tiny male condom and a large female condom, both used and soiled

WEATHER CHANNEL The bag containing the Weather channel-programmed television set had an intense whiskey smell coming from it. When opened, a crumpled-up picture of Peter Arnett was found.

OFF SET Amazingly, this television set was no longer the Japanese model as originally sealed, but inexplicably had turned into an American made Zenith brand. Evolution is wonderful.

COMMENT: A foul smell came from four of the bags which in effect necessitated premature termination of the experiment. A strong smell of whiskey was noted to be coming from the bag containing the television set programmed to the Weather Channel.


1. While the impact of the brand of television sets is unclear, the detrimental effects of Japan on the world are well documented (as in the books Some Survived by Manny Lawton and American Caesar by William Manchester) it cannot be proven that the Japanese nature of the products were related to the findings. The brand of television sets will remain an uncontrolled variable for the foreseeable future.

2. The contents of the television programming was what are thought to be the basis for the items discovered in the bags.

3. Leaving a television set on will be four out of five times offensive to the nose.

4. Eye watering while watching television may have some protective value.

5. For their safety, children under 8 years of age should never watch television.

6. Press-media syndrome (PMS) is postulated to be a manifestation of the detrimental effects of television. The study of movies is suggested as also related to PMS.

7. The press-media syndrome (PMS) is only partly confirmed to be of major public health detriment at least in so far as television is concerned.

8. Television sets should never be left on unattended.

9. The final conclusion is that keeping television sets off will remove Japanese influences.


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