Television: Video Venom

Are TV addicts healthy?

Does heavy television viewing pose a hazard to psychic health? That was the theme of Being There, the 1979 movie starring Peter Sellers as a man whose perceptions of reality were totally derived from the sex, violence and vacuity he saw on the tube. Social scientists have said that TV may have a role in inciting criminal behavior and have found near-constant viewers to be alienated types who find the world a scary place.

Now comes a defense of TV addicts. In a new study, Paul Hirsch, 34, a sociologist at...

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