They Call it Television Programming For a Reason


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3006056852_a63a3a2c40Have you ever watched TV or a movie and notice you were becoming immersed in the characters and their stories? Did you notice at times in your life you may have wanted to do what you saw on TV or in a movie? Maybe you wanted your life to play out that way when it comes to a job or a relationship? Don’t get me wrong, it is a pretty common thing that happens as we watch these forms of entertainment as they are designed for us to get engaged with them, but have you ever come to the realization that this could be a very powerful means to shape public opinion and create an ideal social psychology? You might be wondering, what do you mean an “ideal social psychology?” Well think of it this way, if you were in control of many people and you wanted to make sure they would do certain things or be okay with certain things, is it possible you might use forms of entertainment to be sneaky in programming the masses minds to be that way?

TV shows themselves are called programs and the line up for any given station is considered the ‘programming’ they offer. It should be no surprise really that programming is precisely what is happening as we watch the TV shows we watch… even reality TV shows which I can tell you right now are anything but reality. The inspiration for this article came as I have been seeing various bits of TV here and there while I am at my families house or out at others. What I overhear or have been seeing has been very comical in some ways as it is incredibly clear how much this type of stuff can affect the psyche of the viewer.

There are literally countless areas we could cover with a post like this but I wanted to touch on one in particular -the clear obsession around police, FBI and CSI type shows. Ratings in North America for these types of shows are easily hitting well into the 10’s of millions each episode. It seems every month a new type of CSI or cop related show is coming out. In fact, other than simple comedy’s, it seems to be the most saturated genre out there, yet it remains very successful. But why? What is the obsession around all of these shows and the constant barraging of police and FBI glorification? The answer is quite simple when you take a step back.

As of right now in our world, actions are being done by government, military, police, and secret service agencies that are flat out disturbing. While not a ton of this hits the public eye is a very massive way, it is leaking through like never before thanks to the internet. The public opinion surrounding police, government and military has been dropping quite a bit as all of these actions and people are beginning to lose trust. What better way to repair their image than by constantly ‘bigging’ them up as heroes in everyone’s favorite television shows?

If you have caught some of these shows you know exactly what I am talking about. There is always some impossible case that usually has to do with pulling on the heartstrings of the average person. Whether it be a child kidnapping or really touchy murder, the end of the episode always has some officer or character being glorified for there work and determination. Which can be fine, but we never see the side of police work that is more common. I hate to say it but much of the police duties of today have very little to do with keeping the peace and much more to do with disturbing it. It has become something where everyone is an enemy, everyone is a problem and something always needs to be done to stop people, slow them down, ticket them or detain them. In fact, anyone who is trying to say something contrary to mainstream government opinion is likely to see themselves in handcuffs or being beaten. On TV however, this is never the case. We see time and time again the same ‘bad people’ being taken down by the ‘good cops’ and agencies.

Again, I don’t want to point this out to suggest that no police work or FBI related work is positive, because there are some helpful things happening out there. I am just trying to point out an obvious trend here that is doing a great job of programming humanity in order to repair many tarnished images of these various government related groups. The next time you are watching one of these shows, if you watch TV, observe the types of emotions they purposely put into these shows. Watch closely at how they really do a good job to shape public opinion and even go as far as to make people fear the true power of the police in being able to figure out ANYTHING.

Of course these are not the only types of shows that are doing a great job of programming us. You can watch most comedies, drama’s and reality TV shows and get the same stuff. They tell us how to act in relationships  how to be friends with one another, who to hate, who to judge, how to trust your government. Most shows even play on the ‘terrorist’ factor quite a bit if you watch closely. This leads me to something I want to encourage any TV watchers to do.

The Challenge

The next time you are watching a TV show, pay attention to how often and how intensely the push to keep the viewer in ego programming is used. With the right observation, you will notice that almost the entire show is a mindless distraction geared towards telling you how to be and how to react -all from programming of course. Very little is opening you up to looking at things in a new way, a more open and expanded way of thinking where we aren’t being driven by things like fear, judgment, emotions, anger and chasing ‘the dream.’ The bonus challenge? Try cutting TV out of your life completely for 1 week. See what happens, you might be pleasantly surprised.


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CE provides a space for free thinkers to explore and discuss new, alternative information and ideas. The goal? Question everything, think differently, spread love and live a joy filled life.

  1. Gene

    Interesting article,thanks. It would be interesting if you did an article on why lawyers and doctors have a “practice”?

  2. It’s refreshing to read an article like this that gets right to the truth and where the author can see through what’s really going on. Add to TV, movies, theater, music, magazines, newspapers, healthcare, science, education, what we eat/supermarkets/restaurants, corporate America etc. We’re getting programmed/conditioned from ALL sides.

  3. Robert

    I think a related word is more suited to encapsulate this programming, conditioning.

    Great article, brilliant website. Thanks Joe, keep up the good work!

    • Conditioning is a word I use often to describe what’s been happening to people, generation after generation, right from birth.

  4. it’s not some conspiracy, just telling people crap they want to here, in a paper or on the TV is what gets bums [pun intended] in seats esp if you can pick on someone else at the same time and it’s emotionally driven (not logically driven)
    All sane people don’t watch TV now-a-days anyhow.

  5. Bit Twiddler

    Wake up and smell the incense, but don’t get incensed. Things aren’t changing … the INTERNET has allowed the ‘programmers’ to get into your minds, souls and wallets in more nefarious ways than TV ever imagined. The TV guys preached to a broad mass of unnamed ‘demographics’ that they hoped would represent their ‘target audience’. The internet spammers and scammers can refine those targets and the message to directly hit a small group or even one individual, and do it much more cheaply than TV. Web ‘users’ swallow small doses of ‘content’ that they define themselves through personal preferences. ‘Likes’, ‘Shares’ and ‘Comments’. Public submitted videos and blogs redefine the content ‘menu’ as often as each ‘click’. Teenage hackers have grown up to become marketers, spammers and mainstream web site developers, embedding worms, viruses and trojans into ‘payloads’ dropped onto your PC ‘to enhance your experience’. ‘Tracking Cookies’ and profilers watch your every click and keystroke. Content access requires your agreement to share your eMail contacts, personal info and that of your friends, allow sending eMail by 3rd parties ‘on your behalf’ and posting messages online ‘in your name’. AND everyone of us clicks merrily along, with even LESS control than you had with your TV. And the internet propagandists (conspirasists) can do it without fear of losing their jobs or their heads as their TV and radio counterparts do over a slip of the tongue today, or even decades ago. Society is lost … click away and enjoy the ride. What’s good about it? … It’s the American way. Every day, new opportunities are created to ‘add value’ to services and products. Layer upon layer is added between you and the content that was free yesterday. And the only price is YOUR privacy. At least with TV, you still had that … until cable.

  6. Awakened

    Loved the post, though I did find it ironic that hulu plus was advertising right underneath it, ha. For myself, I can’t stand watching television programming any longer, for a few reasons. First, every time I turn that bloody thing on, the commercials make me feel like blowing my brains out over their brainwashing b*llsh*t. Second, the less I watch, the more I can’t handle the blatantly obvious distracting stupidity of the majority of programs. Third, when I observe society all I see is the relection of stupidity coming from those programs and commercials combined with actions and materialistics. It also doesn’t help that I grew up with my mother sucked in to the alternate reality of television shows due to her creating that as her escape from reality in her own childhood. I would like to imagine, along with every one else, a world with out the distraction of television along with everything else thrown at us to bring our attention else where. The ultimate magicians trick, with the slight of hand.

  7. Joe

    Nice analysis. You can see this sort of thing happening even in “classic” tv shows except that the message being promoted is often different. For example, spend any time watching that staple of 60s TV, “Andy Griffith” and you’ll find episodes that send messages like “be fearful of poor people”, “poor people are always out to get you”, and “rural folk are so backwards and why don’t you move to the city?” Of course, one of the more obvious messages clearly aimed rural police departments at a time when they often lax in their procedures was “you don’t wanna be considered like a sheriff of a small-town hillbilly lock up”. “Gomer Pyle” taught us to “pyle” on the insults of those who weren’t as fortunate in their creation as the rest of us and to be less accepting overall perhaps. “Beverly Hillbillies” taught us to “prefer all things new and reject all things old-fashioned”. “Green Acres” announced the “insanity of moving to the country.” …

  8. M Holl

    Ever since I realized the a sitcom’s line “not that there’s anything wrong with that” was starting to affect my opinions

  9. Terence

    LOL. You people are buying this article’s argument hook, line, and sinker almost proportionally to how it criticizes people who fall for everything they see in the media. Apropos!!!

  10. Pat

    Whenever you watch a movie, at the very beginning there is always a warning stating that the film company is not responsible for the views, etc. in the movie. This warning is there for a reason as they know that most production companies put metaprogramming into their films. It can be subtle digital manipulation of backgrounds (such as the phallic symbols drawn in the Little Mermaid) or scrambled voice or backwards voice that is hidden within the music or sound effect tracks. Why do you think voices in movies are recorded so faint to get you to crank up the volume?

    Metaprogramming of this sort is extremely difficult to find and impossible to prove especially in a court of law because of the kid-suicide Judas Priest lawsuit precedence. Regardless, it is certain that your subconscious understands it otherwise billions of dollars would not be spent on this form of mind control propaganda.

  11. Mesquite

    I agree entirely and have not had TV service most of my adult life. ( I am 60) I have been saying the same thing in reguards to prolonged exposure to graphic violence, on TV, in Movies and in Video “games”.

  12. Terence

    The British cultural theorist Stuart Hall discredited the idea of any strict power of “programming” via the media in his essay “Encoding/Decoding” back in the early 1980s. In short, he shows how such such interpretations of the power of media fail to take into consideration how people are able to respond to what is encoded in the program. Just because the producers may have had a specific intent or agenda doesn’t automatically mean we, the viewer, must absorb it. There are range of potential responses within the viewer.

  13. T Kelly

    I’ve noticed this also when it comes to television and other sources of “Programing”. And ‘programing is the appropriate word to use because society wants to ‘program’ us all to do and accept things we wouldn’t normally accept. It reminds me of this TV show I had just started to watch, at the time but don’t watch anymore, but I genuinely liked the show. And it was another “Cop” show too! But it wasn’t until while speaking to a friend about it I was informed that a certain celebrity played the role as a Lesbian on the show. I was just thrown away by this because what was the ‘Purpose’ of this? There was absolutely no reason for her to be a ‘Lesbian cop’ on the show except to put into the minds of people to view Homosexuality as ‘Normal’ and ‘Acceptable’ in society! Now their are Homosexuality in many TV shows , sitcoms, reality shows and the like. Now what do we have, EVERYONE feels it’s OK to come out of the closet and feel FREE! Back in the day this kind of practice was frowned upon, but now there is no such thing as a ‘Closet’, that door has been having it’s hinges taken off bit by bit over the years and it is no more! And it’s like that with many other things, if the mainstream feels it’s ok to do this or that they feed the minds of the masses to accept it by putting whatever it is on TV! I call TV that old “One Eye DEVIL”! And look, you can take all this crap with you where ever you go with these ‘iPods’, Notebooks and the like, even on your cell phone you can continue to get ‘PROGRAMED’!

  14. All you people say throw out your T.V.’s, But that’s just societies control from a different direction. Controlling your own choices would be (Not throwing out your T.V.’s) choosing programming thats Educational like PBS or Nat’l Geo or use the Brain GOD gave you and treat T.V. like it was intended (ENTERTAINMENT) NOT REALITY!!! LOVE AND SMILES

  15. marilyn

    The reason for the junk on TV is the people want it, as well as alcohol, drugs, overeating, porn, cheap sex or too much sex. The reason they want it is that they are in pain. The reason they are in pain is emotions that have never been faced, examined and dealt with. As long as we sedate ourselves with all this junk we will continue to be in pain and continue to sedate as we sit and watch our lives go to hell. We can die like this or we can decide to do something about it. There are answers. The Presence Process is one way. There are others. Ask and you will receive.

  16. Zach

    when will the responsibility be on the viewers? Stop blaming CBS for airing CSI. It’s their prerogative to air shows that they think will attract the general viewer. How about we blame our anti-intellectual culture for making stations like History, Food Network, PBS, A&E, Discovery, Animal Planet, etc seem so niche.

  17. unclegilly

    I turned off Television some 7 years ago, no watching at all . It has left me precious time to pursue my musical interests, Read more…. much more, exrecise ,spend time with my loved ones and think. I guess my points invalidate your rant joseph corbin. Now, why don’t you go and bond with your kids over the evening news, and leave living to the rest of us.

  18. HererTruth

    Hope Chris Dorner’s complaints against LAPD becomes public. Anyone of color/disabled has been harrassed by LAPD. There are gangs within LAPD, reported in LA Times, commiting heinous crimes against “We, the people” that are not disclosed. Crimes, such as LAPD shooting two Hispanic women, delivering newspapers in a BLUE, not gray truck..With LAPD, suspect is guilty until proven inocent.

  19. Meditation and deeply quieted states are also much easier to reach once the “idiot” box has been abandoned. I quit watching TV completely, even newspapers and sadly many place on the internet to are infected with this programming. Conversation, interaction, and thus society as a whole, obviously with your fellow beings, is horribly tainted and controlled. The matrix is real………… :-) My problem now is that I have outcast myself by waking up….so be prepared for the consequences of your actions. We must still function within our societies. Once awakened……going back to sheep is not an option.

  20. LTaylor

    I noticed when I was in the UK a year or so ago that the technique to keep the masses happy and ignorant is to to immerse them in so much humour and so much cleverly written and interesting TV programming, that they are generally pretty much oblivious to what’s going on behind the scenes that is detrimental to them. Of course, the average Brit has a very different way of looking at the world than the average American to start with; he or she tends to be stoic, resigned to his or her fate, and able to turn anything into a good laugh (at themselves, most often), rahter than being instantly litigious, deciding to be offended by absolutely nothing of any consequence whatsoever, angry, and far too often, plain mindless and trigger happy.

  21. bob

    So true. I have been saying this for many years. I first noticed it in the late 80’s, slowly creeping in, changing society. I worked with police and trooper training and have seen so many mixed emotions from officers as they desperately cling to the image of their child hood heroes. Reality and respect for personal freedom can easily be overlooked. Advertising also tells us what to think, wear, eat and what meds to take and even how to act but when I air any “Christian” opinions people are quick to get offended, thinking that their TV world where they live is the only reality.

  22. maria s

    the best thing my parents have ever done to me was take away my TV 11 yrs ago because i was getting bad grades in school as a result of watching too much idiocracised useless propaganda. now everytime someone has a tv on i cant help but tune into it and just question the sanity of the network/creator of the show because of how ridiculously stupid it is. also, most of tv these days are filled with commercials, which honestly make me want to throw something at tv and go on a violent rampage because of their stupidity. moral of the story: turn off ur tv and go read a book, maybe u’ll learn something useful.

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