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Newton Minow’s little-known “vastly wasted” speech

Google+ provides a forum for intelligent conversations on wide-ranging topics.

And then there are the other ones.

As a response to this thread, I wrote something that is somewhat appropriate for the readers of the tymshft blog.

Little-known story: after Newton Minow delivered his “vast wasteland” speech to the National Association of Broadcasters in 1961, he went into a bar and, after a few drinks, gave his “vastly wasted” speech. It went something like this:

“But if you think that television is a dumbing down of our population, just you wait until television gets married up with these computers that IBM and other companies are manufacturing. This will give the viewing public the ability to send a bunch of punched cards to their TVs, and then they will request their OWN programming. Instead of watching the pablum that the three networks feed to the masses today, the viewing public will get to demand their OWN danged stuff. And it won’t be pretty. They’ll want to watch television shows about cats playing the piano! And I don’t know if you’ve heard this weird music coming out of Detroit, but when they marry music with pianos, then you’ll have…you’ll have cats playing music on computers! With stupid lyrics like “turn the beat around” and “understand this groove” and “I’m too sexy for my shirt”! And the world will go to hell in a handbasket! And this will happen! … What do you mean I’ve had too much to drink? Mark my words, the 21st century will be terrible! No! Don’t make me leave the bar – I was ready to order another!”

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One thought on “Newton Minow’s little-known “vastly wasted” speech

  1. Very funny! I’ll make sure he sees this.

    Nell Minow (Newton Minow’s daughter)

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