Quotations about   media

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If television and radio are to be used to entertain all of the people all of the time, then we have come perilously close to discovering the real opiate of the people.

Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) American journalist
Interview, Television Magazine (Jul 1957)
    (Source)

Also cited in various places as being a speech given at Brandeis University (1958), and (incorrectly) upon receiving the Einstein Award (5 May 1957). Sometimes quoted as "used for the entertainment of the people" and "used for the entertainment of all of the people."
Added on 11-Aug-17 | Last updated 13-Aug-17
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This instrument can teach. It can illuminate. Yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise, it is merely wires and lights in a box.

Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) American journalist
Speech, Radio and Television News Directors Association, Chicago (15 Oct 1958)
Added on 15-Apr-17 | Last updated 15-Apr-17
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Life is not made up of dramatic incidents — even the life of a nation. It is made up of slowly evolving events and processes, which newspapers, by a score of different forms of emphasis, can reasonably attempt to explore from day to day. But television news jerks from incident to incident. For the real world of patient and familiar arrangements, it substitutes an unreal world of constant activity, and the effect is already apparent in the way which the world behaves. It is almost impossible, these days, to consider any problem or any event except as a crisis; and, by this very way of looking at it, it in fact becomes a crisis.

Henry Fairlie (1924-1990) British journalist and social critic
“Can You Believe Your Eyes?” Horizon (Spring 1967)
Added on 31-Mar-17 | Last updated 31-Mar-17
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I am weary of reading Newspapers. The Times are so full of Events, the whole Drama of the World is such a Tragedy that I am weary of the Spectacle.

John Adams (1735-1826) American lawyer, Founding Father, statesman, US President (1797-1801)
Letter to Abigail Adams (27 Feb 1793)
Added on 4-Jan-17 | Last updated 4-Jan-17
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A democracy is badly served when newspapers and television focus so intensely on the personal joys and tragedies of famous people. This kind of “news” crowds out more serious issues, and there is an important difference — as the Constitution’s framers well knew, and as many people today appear to have forgotten — between the public interest and what interests the public.

Cass R. Sunstein (b. 1954) American legal scholar
“Reinforce the Walls of Privacy,” New York Times (6 Sep 1997)
Added on 13-Dec-16 | Last updated 13-Dec-16
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If you want to be adored by your peers and have standing ovations wherever you go — live to be over ninety.

George Abbott (1887-1995) American director, producer, dramatist
(Attributed)

Quoted in his obituary in The Times of London (2 Feb 1995)
Added on 18-Aug-16 | Last updated 18-Aug-16
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Reading after a certain age diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking, just as the man, who spends too much time in the theatre, is tempted to be content with living vicariously instead of living his own life.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German-American physicist
(Attributed)

Quoted in George Sylvester Viereck, Glimpses of the Great (1930).
Added on 28-Jul-16 | Last updated 28-Jul-16
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Every time you think television has hit its lowest ebb, a new type program comes along to make you wonder where you thought the ebb was.

Art Buchwald (1925-2007) American humorist, columnist
Have I Ever Lied to You?, ch. 4 “Live and In Color” (1968)
    (Source)
Added on 20-Jun-16 | Last updated 20-Jun-16
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If my books had been any worse, I should not have been invited to Hollywood, and if they had been any better, I should not have come.

Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) American novelist
Atlantic Monthly (12 Dec 1945)
Added on 21-Apr-16 | Last updated 21-Apr-16
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There are persons who honestly do not see the use of books in the home, either for information — have they not radio and even television? — or for decoration — is there not the wallpaper?

Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973) American writer
“In Search of Readers,” in Helen Hull, The Writer’s Book (1950)
Added on 7-Apr-16 | Last updated 7-Apr-16
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Mister Marvin Middle Class is really in a stew
Wond’rin’ what the younger generation’s coming to
And the taste of his martini doesn’t please his bitter tongue
Blame it on the Rolling Stones.
Blame it on the Stones; blame it on the Stones
You’ll feel so much better, knowing you don’t stand alone
Join the accusation; save the bleeding nation
Get it off your shoulders; blame it on the Stones.

Kris Kristofferson (b. 1936) American singer, songwriter, musician, actor
“Blame It on The Stones” (1970) [with Bucky Wilkin]
Added on 2-Feb-16 | Last updated 2-Feb-16
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It’s important to remember that the relationship between different media tends to be complementary. When new media arrive they don’t necessarily replace or eradicate previous types. Though we should perhaps observe a half second silence for the eight-track. — There that’s done. What usually happens is that older media have to shuffle about a bit to make space for the new one and its particular advantages. Radio did not kill books and television did not kill radio or movies — what television did kill was the cinema newsreel.

Douglas Adams (1952-2001) English writer
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Future (2001)
Added on 22-Jun-15 | Last updated 22-Jun-15
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MILNE: No matter how imperfect things are, if you’ve got a free press everything is correctable, and without it everything is concealable.
RUTH: I’m with you on the free press. It’s the newspapers I can’t stand.

Tom Stoppard (b. 1937) Czech-English playwright and screenwriter
Night and Day, Act 1 (1978)
Added on 17-Oct-14 | Last updated 17-Oct-14
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There is no business like show business — except sports business.

William J Baker (contemp.) American historian, academic, writer
Sports in the Western World, ch. 19 (1982)
Added on 28-Apr-14 | Last updated 28-Apr-14
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TV — a clever contraction, derived from the words Terrible Vaudeville. We call it a medium, because nothing’s well done.

Goodman Ace (1899-1982) American humorist [b. Goodman Aiskowitz]
Letter to Groucho Marx

Published in The Groucho Letters.
Added on 22-Jan-14 | Last updated 22-Jan-14
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There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and shame the devil.

Walter Lippmann (1889-1974) American journalist and author
“Journalism and the Higher Law,” Liberty and the News (1920)

See Rabelais.
Added on 6-Apr-11 | Last updated 19-Apr-18
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A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps, both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance. And a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

James Madison (1751-1836) American statesman, political theorist, US President (1809-17)
Letter to W. T. Barry (4 Aug 1822)
Added on 11-Aug-09 | Last updated 21-Apr-17
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The speed of communications is wondrous to behold. It is also true that speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be untrue.

Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) American journalist
Speech, The Family of Man Award, The Protestant Council of New York (Oct 1969)

His last public speech.
Added on 3-Mar-09 | Last updated 15-Apr-17
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Many wearing rapiers are afraid of goosequills.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Hamlet, Act 2, sc. 2 (1600)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 26-May-16
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