TV vs. internet

I didn’t bother to write anything on Neal Gabler’s vacuous piece in NYT’s Sunday Review on how the internet has somehow killed big ideas. Luckily others came up with worthwhile responses. I confess, I’m tired of responding to evidence-free anti-internet screeds (see here, here.) But Kevin Drum’s response had an interesting tidbit:

Honestly, I think I liked this genre better back when people blamed TV for the decline and fall of American youth. I always thought the anti-TV crowd at least had a point: television really did crowd out things like books and magazines, which were better suited to big ideas and complex arguments than the tube. But social networking? As near as I can tell, it’s mostly crowding out in-person gossip and….television. That seems like a much more benign trade.

Were anti-TV advocates as misguided and ill-informed as anti-internet commentators? I tend to agree with Drum that there’s a difference, and hold up the Net’s crowding out of TV as a benefit. But it’s an interesting comparison.