In 1980, album oriented rock was high art, radio was king, and music videos were mere novelty items featured on an obscure cable program called Video Concert Hall. There was no better embodiment of these ideals at the time than Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and their breakthrough album “Damn the Torpedoes,” particularly the single “Here Comes My Girl,” which stands out as a great love song as well as a breakout music video from before there was even MTV.
Media wars are nothing new. In the 1880s modern journalism began under the auspices of Joseph Pulitzer. By the 1890s, “ratings wars” between Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst pushed newspaper publishers into increasingly reckless territory. This is where our modern media culture begins. Listen in on this episode of the TV Room as we revisit the heyday of Pulitzer’s New York media empire, when he was able to use his newspapers to confront the excesses of the Gilded Age and help usher in the reforms of the Progressive Era that followed. We then set the table for Pulitzer’s feud with William Randolph Hearst, which would expose the dark side of the power of the press.
In 1800, nothing went faster than a sailing ship or a team of horses, not even communiques. Electronics did not exist and machines were unknown. By 1900, you could talk by phone to different cities, take a subway to go see a movie, and drive a car. Millions of people were on the move, leaving the old world behind and going to where the jobs were, in factories with machines that ran around the clock.
Their grandparents lived and died in a world that hadn’t changed much since Medieval times, and their grandchildren would grow up with rock n roll and television. The modern age begins with them, the people of the Nineteenth Century. They are the subject of this episode of the TV Room.
In this episode of the TV Room podcast, with the shadow of the 2016 Presidential election looming large, we ask and attempt to answer:
What’s up with the Electoral College System anyway, and why do we still use it?
When did “these United States” become “the United States”?
How is this nation different from other nations?
On this episode of the TV ROOM PODCAST: Donald Trump takes the White House…What started with JFK looking more presidential during a televised debate with Richard Nixon in 1960 has led 56 years later to a TV personality shattering the glass screen to become Commander-in-Chief. Is this the moment everybody who described television as a ‘vast wasteland’ was afraid of?
Lyndon Johnson won the 1964 Election in a landslide, and managed to get landmark legislation passed early in his term. Yet, by early 1968, the Vietnam War had become so unpopular that Johnson decided not to run for a second term as President. Four days after he shocked the country by pulling out of the race, Martin Luther King was assassinated. Two months later, Bobby Kennedy was gunned down, and the Democratic Party limped into their Chicago convention, where open rebellion and brutal suppression broke out. It was the Year that Everything Changed.