Did you guys know I'm a Nielsen household? Well, I am. I've been asked three times to keep a diary of my TV watching. I'll be putting my latest diaries in the mail tomorrow. Y'all should be scared if people really pay attention to what we report collectively as the TV viewing of the American public.
That aside, today (which was not part of my reporting period) was an interesting day for television. Two programs in particular had quite an impact on me. First was Oprah Winfrey, whose topic today was "How Clean Is Your House." Featured was a woman whose house was so filthy she had not allowed anyone inside for two years. Her pets had turned her house into a toilet, and she had not washed dishes probably during that whole time. Her floor was carpeted with nearly new clothes -- it was simply easier for her to buy new ones than to do her laundry. I won't even describe the scenes that made me wretch.
I'll do a separate post later about why this program was so important. I think, personally, that Oprah hit the nail on the head when she said to the woman that she needs ongoing psychological help to deal with the issues that got her to that point. But I also think that pronouncement was not particularly newsworthy to the woman and definitely was not a helpful comment. There are avenues of help available, which I'll discuss in the next post on the topic.
The other program that blew me away was on ABC -- a Prime Time special with Peter Jennings interviewing President Clinton at the opening of the Clinton Library in Arkansas. What an interview! My favorite part was when Clinton laid blame squarely at Jennings' and ABC's feet for their coverage of Ken Starr's garbage regarding the White Water investigation.
ER (the program, not the blogger) is on NBC right now. I have always loved this show but I'm starting to feel like it's run its course. During the commercials I'll be doing intense spurts of housekeeping. I feel like WATCHING television, not BEING ON it. And I can feel the Oprah producers peering through my windows, just in case...