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Digital TV Shift Affects Minorities Most

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John Dunbar, AP, February 15, 2008

Hispanics are nearly twice as likely as whites to be left without television service following the nationwide transition to digital broadcasting next year, according to a new survey.

Beginning in February 2009, full-power broadcast stations will transmit digital-only signals, meaning people who get their television programming over an antenna and do not have a digital set won’t get a picture without a special converter box.

The Nielsen Co. survey released Friday estimates that more than 13 million households in the U.S. receive television programming over the air on non-digital sets, meaning they will need converter boxes. Another 6 million households contain at least one television that fits that description.

Nielsen researchers found that 10.1 percent of all households would have no access to television signals if the transition occurred today. Broken down by race, 8.8 percent of whites would be unready; 11.7 percent of Asians; 12.4 percent of blacks; and 17.3 percent of Hispanics.

{snip}

The Nielsen survey was done as part of its overall television rankings forecast. The data was gathered by Nielsen staff who visited a national sample of roughly 15,000 homes. The survey took about 18 months to complete, according to the company.

{snip}

Rossi said the results also track closely with cable television penetration rates. People who get cable or satellite service won’t be affected by the transition.

The government is accepting requests for coupons to subsidize the cost of converter boxes for those who need them. Each household is eligible for two coupons worth $40 apiece, regardless of whether they have pay-television service or not. To request a coupon, consumers can apply online at https://www.dtv2009.gov or call the 24-hour hotline, 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009).

The coupons expire three months from issue. Boxes are expected to be available in the next week at Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Radio Shack and other retailers. They are expected to range in price from $40 to $70.

Original article

(Posted on February 15, 2008)

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Comments

Saw a recap of great lines from “The Manchurian Candidate”. The zinger for me was, “There are two types of people in this world, those that walk into a room and turn the TV on and those that walk in and turn it off!” Lately I have been turning it off for an hour a night, still sitting in my chair and marvelling at how the thinking clears almost instantly, like running out of a house filled with noxious fumes.

Posted by Tim Mc Hugh at 6:28 PM on February 15


Oh my God! Oh my God! Revelation! If the government is PAYING to make you able to keep watching TV what does THAT tell you? Also, the fact that they are trying to keep a minority audience, makes me wonder twice as hard what their REAL agenda is…

Posted by Tim Mc Hugh at 6:39 PM on February 15


Is there no limit? Now the government is buying people TVs!?!?! I would say that this is the ultimate is Nanny State thinking, but that would be premature.

Posted by idareya at 6:49 PM on February 15


I heard this story on the radio yesterday and thought I must have mis-heard. The government subsidizing people’s television equipment? No way, I thought. However, it appears that the nanny state has sunk to another new low.

I also noticed how minutely the Nielsen tracks racial data on Americans. Someone apparently thought that it’s important that we know how many Hispanics will lose reception with digital-only signals — to the tenth of a percent no less!

For a nation that wants to be race-blind, we sure do seem to want to divide people by race!

Posted by at 7:10 PM on February 15


Did I read this correctly? Subsidized by taxpayers money?

T.V. is a tool to deliver advertising. Corporations must be powerful indeed.

Posted by at 8:06 PM on February 15


Television is a luxury; it’s for people with jobs and money. There’s no constitutional or statutory right to receive television reception. If you can’t afford it, you don’t get it.

Posted by at 9:11 PM on February 15


Is that supposed to pull at my heartstrings or something??
SO WHAT if minorities can’t replace their TV set? I’m white and I can’t either right now. I can only afford basic cable and no movie channels. Most of the minorities I know seem to be able to afford the whole package.

Posted by kitty at 9:57 PM on February 15


I think my brain just crashed.

Can someone explain to me why oh WHY tax money should be used for giving *anyone* free TV’s?!

You can’t eat a TV.
It doesn’t teach you or your kids anything good.
You can’t take shelter in or under it.
It won’t deter burglars.
You can’t use it to get out of poverty in any way, shape, or form.

So why are we even discussing passing out these things to the poor? They. Do. Not. Need. Them.

Posted by Dark-Star at 10:40 PM on February 15


I went to Best Buy with my brother today to help him pick out a TV. We noticed that all the TVs on display ran the same commercial every 10 minutes: an advertisement about the Feb 2009 analog/digital conversion strongly implying that everyone must buy a new TV immediately.

The commercial featured two families setting up and watching their new gigantic plasma TV. The first family was a shabbily-dressed mestizo family sitting in an apartment. The fat parents were proudly watching a video of their two chubby teenage daughters salsa dancing. The second family was a well-dressed black family sitting in the living room of their McMansion; they were watching a video tape of their son and daughter hip-hop dancing.

Then the commercial cut to a large written notice that everyone had better talk to a Best Buy associate RIGHT AWAY to help them “prepare” for the conversion. There were no Asians or Whites at all in the ad.

Very interesting message - no matter how poor or rich they are, all blacks and browns must drop $2000 on a TV right this minute to watch their kids show off for a camcorder! The ad applied the middle-class white stereotype of married parents with two kids to the minorities, but other than that it was surprisingly accurate: big-spending blacks and fat Mexicans wasting their time and money on spoiled teens. It’s like I wrote the commercial! lol

At least my brother and I got a good laugh out of that ad. There was also a commercial in Spanish-only, but I didn’t watch most of it - I turned my head in disgust and left the store.

I can understand why Best Buy panders to mestizos and blacks, though. Many times I’ve driven by dingy apartment buildings full illegals and marveled at how many have huge plasma TV’s visible through the windows. In one building populated by Guatemalans fresh over the boarder there is a second floor unit with a TV so enormous that I’ve actually watched their Mexican soap opera for a few minutes from across a 6 lane hwy. I guess lawn mowing pays more than I thought! And everyone knows how much blacks spend on electronics…

Posted by Jill at 3:17 AM on February 16


All posters on this issue seem wrong to me. Public broadcasting over the “airwaves” has been quietly assassinated by conference-room money-grubbers. Ever heard a debate on this “the end of regular TV” issue? Most don’t even know about it! Many people refuse to pay for cable, including me. “Digital TV” is just more feature-bloat for the consumerists — zero meaningful benefit, huge costs, more bills uselessly for all.

How many of these wonderful “gov’t approved” TVs are made in the USA?

Anyone opposing this power grab, I’m all for ‘em.

Posted by Cousin Charlie from TN at 4:44 AM on February 16


I oppose this sort of thing just on general principle.

But idareya might want to re-read the article: NO one is being bought a new television set. Just a box to convert the signal.

One should realize that the guv-mint will come out ahead on the deal because the money taken in auctioning off the old spectrum will more than cover the cost of the box coupon program. This does not excuse the program, but at least its costs will be covered.

Posted by bear, the (one each) at 5:25 AM on February 16


I think its called socialism, the dem. party is ripe w/socialist and they have goals and agendas, the question is: Do the Republicans have the courage and convition to stand up to them.

Posted by abc at 5:57 AM on February 16


TV is a mind-numbing propaganda machine. It successfully conveys daily the values of materialism, irresponsible sex, mindless diversion, thinking on command, anxiety, PC conformity, divisiveness and illiteracy.
I resent my money being used to help people watch this medium.

Posted by at 8:00 AM on February 16


How about a library card instead ? It would make society’s life more tolerable. ” From the improbable to the impossible ” ; I can dream can’t I ?

Posted by Michigan patriot at 8:41 AM on February 16


Why does the article assume that losing TV is a bad thing?

Posted by at 9:51 AM on February 16


“Lately I have been turning it off for an hour a night, still sitting in my chair and marveling at how the thinking clears almost instantly, like running out of a house filled with noxious fumes.”

Turn it off forever. Break the hold of the Social Controllers. Believe me, you’ll never miss it. If you give up TV, you’ll add hundreds of hours to your life every year and your IQ will automatically increase by 10 or 15 points. Guaranteed. Giving up the glass-eyed demon is one of the easiest and most effective things you can do to reconnect with reality and improve your mental well-being. It’s like coming out of a hallucination. A media-induced hallucination.

Posted by Spengler at 9:51 AM on February 16


If the Government of this once great nation wants you to watch TV it can only mean that out there somewhere someone has invented a special pair of sunglasses (They Live) that lets the wearer see our elected officials and Criminal Illegal Alien Invaders for what they really are…..I must have a pair.

Posted by at 10:50 AM on February 16


Television is a luxury; it’s for people with jobs and money. There’s no constitutional or statutory right to receive television reception. If you can’t afford it, you don’t get it.

That is only a part of truth. Television is a tool of political indoctrination that tells dumb people whom to vote for. Without TV McCain and Obama would have no chances in these promaries.

Now, how would Hispanics and other minorities know whom to vote for if they stopped watching TV? These give aways of analog/digital TV converters is a trick that will save jobs of many “liberal” career politicians in Washington, and make sure that those who control TV maintain their grasp on power in the U.S.

We are being manipulated big times, folks.

Posted by A Reader at 11:47 AM on February 16


“But idareya might want to re-read the article: NO one is being bought a new television set. Just a box to convert the signal.”

I was generalizing in my statement, but point taken. Still, taxpayer money being used to subsidize ANYTHING to do with television is wrong.

“T.V. is a tool to deliver advertising. Corporations must be powerful indeed.”

THIS is the most profound and insightful comment on this issue.

Posted by idareya at 12:15 PM on February 16


(from the article): Each household is eligible for two coupons worth $40 apiece, regardless of whether they have pay-television service or not.

So those of us with cable or satellite TV can get these coupons and use them to buy converter boxes? Hey, there may be a business opportunity here. We can get a whole bunch of those coupons, get a whole bunch of boxes cheap, and re-sell them in the barrios at massive markups!

Posted by Strider at 12:46 PM on February 16


Oh, dear, oh dear…
I am an older white woman. I have not watched television since the 1970s, to any great extent. My husband likes football games, so the tv is on then. I like to hear the school closing announcements on snow days. He can walk down to the bar two blocks away, and I can flip on the radio or the internet.

I won’t be using my economic stimulus check to buy a great big new-fangled tv. Is that part of the deal? Buy shoddy chinese-made tvs with the checks?

Posted by at 2:16 PM on February 16


The right to life, liberty, and reruns of Friends. It’s all right there in the Constituion.

Who was is that was pushing the enactment of whatever law allowed the government to buy people new TVs? I’ll wager it was Wallmart and Best Buy, who will be the ultimate recipient of most of this largesse.

At the very least, I would like anyone accepting one of these vouchers to sign an afidavit, stating that they will never again - not ever - refer to themselves as “poor”. Anyone who has the leisure time to worry about how they’re going to watch Dr. Phil, rather than scrounge up their next meal, is not poor.

Posted by CSinAL at 2:39 PM on February 16


Turn it off forever.

That’s what I did recently. What finally pushed me over the edge was when I saw a piece on the evening news that was basically an advertisement for gun control and the Clinton political machine. I unplugged it, put it away in a closet, and haven’t turned it on since.

Posted by qwerty at 5:43 PM on February 16


Yes, get rid of TV. It is a waste of time for whites. It really makes you aware of how diversity and multiculturalism are media-driven fabrications. TV is dumbed down and brown.

Posted by Civilized Neighbor at 6:53 PM on February 16


I stopped watching years ago and I can think for myself now. The world looks very different when you aren’t brianwashed by TV. Try it, and after withdrawals you will see a better saner world! There are so many worthwhile and intersting activities to fulfill your life. TV deteriorates the mind and body. Vic

Posted by Vickie at 12:59 AM on February 17


This is more evidence of our county turning to a Socialist society where goods are redistributed from those with the ability to those with the need. As the minority immigrant population increases in the USA, so do their needs for basic and other services which they are unable or unwilling to produce due to their inadequacies. Socialism nearly always leads to Communist Dictatorships as described by the CIA World Fact Book:

https://www.cia.gov/redirects/factbookredirect.html

Socialism - a government in which the means of planning, producing, and distributing goods is controlled by a central government that theoretically seeks a more just and equitable distribution of property and labor; in actuality, most socialist governments have ended up being no more than dictatorships over workers by a ruling elite.

Marxism - the political, economic, and social principles espoused by 19th century economist Karl Marx; he viewed the struggle of workers as a progression of historical forces that would proceed from a class struggle of the proletariat (workers) exploited by capitalists (business owners), to a socialist “dictatorship of the proletariat,” to, finally, a classless society - Communism.

~Rande

Posted by Rande at 1:04 AM on February 17


“Yes, get rid of TV. It is a waste of time for whites. It really makes you aware of how diversity and multiculturalism are media-driven fabrications. TV is dumbed down and brown.”

Your absolutely right. I still watch it but only the classic movies and older TV shows. I’d say 90% of movies being released today have some sort of diversity/White bashing message to them no matter how innocuous they might seem.

Posted by at 1:37 AM on February 17


Not to worry…when the idiots in washington get wind of this terrible situation…they will buy each and every black, hispanic (both legal or illegal) a brand spanking new…52 inch digital tv at OUR expense!

Posted by lydia at 12:06 PM on February 17


This is a great illustration of what our nanny state thinks is necessary for the well-being of its “immigrant” consumers as it’s being marketed to Hispanics largely.
Why not a one-way bus ticket back to the border under armed guard with the $80 for each?
The bread and circuses crowd at Big Brother Inc. instead wants to instill all the neeeded propaganda into the “poor” so they don’t forget to hate whites and learn new techniques in all the sex and violence for which TV is noted.
Whites need to turn off TV and if one wants movies, play a DVD!

Posted by snowbound at 1:24 PM on February 17


Does anyone remember voting to switch to digital TV? I for one have a real attitude about being forced to purchase a “box”. And even if someone GAVE it to me it makes me really wonder…who’s going to make money with this switch, and why don’t I have a choice???!!!My kids got me a new antenna for Christmas 2 years ago. It works just fine! How about we fix something that’s really broken instead of spending time and money on something that isn’t!

Posted by Vicki at 6:51 PM on February 17


Not only is it dumbed down and brown. It’s getting to the point of being bizarre. Blacks in Westerns, blacks in movies based on European history, etc. I was watching a movie about Queen Elizabeth the other day and I half expected to see Queen Latifa pop out on the screen as the Queens indispensable closest advisor giving her sagely advice and all around being helpful.

Posted by at 6:54 PM on February 17


“…The GOVERNMENT is accepting requests for coupons to subsidize the cost of converter boxes for those who need them. Each household…”

This is similar to: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

Is TV the opiate of the masses?

Bon

Posted by BonBon at 9:48 PM on February 17


Michigan patriot,

My wife is a librarian and she tells me most of the people who come into the library only want movies anyway, not books.

Tom Iron…

Posted by Tom Iron... at 5:42 AM on February 18


Government funding for TV converters? Bailouts for subprime loans? Internet service for “disadvantaged groups”. What’s next? If they don’t make their car payments is the government going to kick in there too? Do you see where this is going?

Posted by at 2:40 PM on February 18


T.V. is a tool to deliver advertising. Corporations must be powerful indeed.
Posted by at 8:06 PM on February 15

It isn’t the “Corporations” per se. It’s the people running the media, and they run the government, period. Hillary, McCain, Obama and the rest of DC all bow to the all powerful PAC that binds the media gangsters. Don’t want bad press, that can end the fun.

Posted by Los Angeles Resident at 5:41 PM on February 18


Let’s crunch some numbers.

“13 million households in the U.S. receive television programming over the air on non-digital sets, meaning they will need converter boxes. Another 6 million households contain at least one television that fits that description.”

That’s 19 million households.

“Each household is eligible for two coupons worth $40 apiece,”

That’s 19 million times $80 which equals $1.52 billion

And where will most of these converters come from?

Can you say China boys and girls?

Yep, a $1.52 billion foreign aid package for good old China.

Posted by Drifter at 6:39 PM on February 18


I have never owned a television. Why should my taxes be subsidizing somebody else’s lobotomy?

Posted by WR the elder at 9:40 PM on February 18


Why is everyone getting so upset over this? There are two major Spanish-language channels across the USA, three or four channels for gays and lesbians and heaven knows how many languages and cultures with their own channels in Canada alone.
Who really cares if many members of minorities won’t even be able to afford new TVs or upgrades when their sets become obsolete next year?

Not that it will improve the quality of the tripe on the seven main networks: The big Four, CW, MyTV and PBS. If anything, being without a working TV may be a blessing — it will help many rediscover libraries. Or fresh air.

The only people who should be sweating are the shareholders of CBS, Time-Warmer, NewsCorporation, Disney. GE…

Posted by Bob Smith at 12:14 PM on February 19


If you want to truly comprehend just how utterly unsophisticated, emotionally retarded and backwards Hispanics are I suggest you take a gander at local Hispanic TV programming. You literally have to see it to believe it and when you do it will make your flesh crawl at the thought of these totally incompatible people overrunning our nation…

Posted by at 1:30 PM on February 19


Of course who would want to watch all those nifty new shows on Black Entertainment TV (Viacom) or the black anchor people on CNN (Time Warner) or the “blacks on blondes” porn show’s available in any hotel room, on an old TV set…

Posted by at 1:39 PM on February 19


“…8.8 percent of whites would be unready; 11.7 percent of Asians; 12.4 percent of blacks; and 17.3 percent of Hispanics.”

What does this mean? Simple. 2.9% (ll.7-8.8) of Asians, 3.6% of blacks, and 2.9% of Hispanics should get free converters. Then every group will be at the same level as whites.

Posted by sedonaman at 1:40 PM on February 19


I sent this article to my son. Here was his reply:

“Based on anecdotal evidence I collected while delivery pizzas in Long Beach, I find this (article) untrue. The homes with the nicest televisions and expensive DirecTV subscriptions are in the ghetto. I routinely delivered to families with several children living in small apartments, many of which did not lack their share of expensive electronics.”

Posted by sedonaman at 2:47 PM on February 19


In the multicultural imperial empire that marks todays America
it would be nice to know that millions of people could potentially go without television.
The use of alternate resources such as hand held radio will
allow a nation that has become immature to reflect on their personal values while overcoming the constant hypnotic media bombardment desinged to create an infinite state of dullard consumerism.

Posted by 5 O'Clock Whistle at 4:59 PM on February 19


”. What’s next? If they don’t make their car payments is the government going to kick in there too? Do you see where this is going?

Posted by at 2:40 PM on February 18
— — — — — — We’re already there . Over twenty years ago I went with my Pa-inlaw (he owned and ran a junkyard for 40 years) to pick up a Vega whose aluminum block engine had predictably died, from a Mexican and when we got there he had changed his mind….the government was going to get the car back to running for him(his words,”this is a great opportunity”) . In the eighties I worked a route in south Georgia in a community that had been a multi-racial commune in the 60s .Eventually it degenerated into it’s residents dancing naked on the billiard tables at the local watering hole once they were really sauced up .But there were also a lot of black farmers and wage earners whose families obviously had been there for a long time .Salt of the earth types, but I was always subjected to a barrage of skewed logic from them when I worked that route . Like,”I shouldn’t have to pay the same fees for goods, services etc as you do .” Or, ” If you have something I need and I take it, that is not stealing .” At the time I thought such rationalization was a hoot .But time has shown me these were not frustrated working class folks grasping for easy street . No, this was indoctrination plain and simple, probably accomplished at political meetings in their churches. By all means correct me if I’m wrong but I believe we now pay extra charges on our home phones and cell phones to help indigents procure them .Plus, when you pay your power bill you can voluntarily pay more to help them pay for theirs.’

Posted by at 3:31 PM on February 20


Oh, boo, hoo, hoo! The poor criminal invaders won’t be able to watch insipid sitcoms with canned laughter, mind-shattering drivel packaged as “news” or grown men getting payed outrageous sums to play kids’ games. This is terrible! Something has to be done!

If being unable to watch 24-hour broadcasts of the utter banality of modern society was a torment, I wouldn’t have voluntarily stopped watching TV years ago.

Posted by Michael C. Scott at 6:14 PM on February 20


About the only perversions not being broadcast over cable TV today are bestiality and necrophilia. I predict that within three years we will be able to watch such uplifting video swill as, “My Dog My Lover”, “Doris and Her Donkey” and “The Shepherd and His Sheep”, “The Funeral Home Videos”, “Formaldehyde Fanny” and “My Concubine the Corpse…

Posted by at 11:39 AM on February 21



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