South Africa: The Other Vast Wasteland

It is afternoon, and the Bantu houseboy is in the living room cleaning the carpet. Someone has left the TV on. The boy looks up at the screen, sees a chorus line of white girls in scanty costumes. Suddenly seized by lust, he runs upstairs and rapes the lady of the house.

The scene is hypothetical, but it has been endlessly conjured up to explain why Africa's most technically advanced nation still lacks mass television. In white-ruled South Africa, the government refuses to permit TV on the ground that it would corrupt both...

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