What needs to change about American media?
Robert Thurman is Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, President of Tibet House US, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization, and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies. The New York Times recently hailed him as "the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism."
The first American to have been ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk and a personal friend of the Dalai Lama for over 40 years, Professor Thurman is a passionate advocate and spokesperson for the truth regarding the current Tibet-China situation and the human rights violations suffered by the Tibetan people under Chinese rule. His commitment to finding a peaceful, win-win solution for Tibet and China inspired him to write his latest book, Why the Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as the Solution for China, Tibet and the World, published in June of 2008.
Professor Thurman also translates important Tibetan and Sanskrit philosophical writings and lectures and writes on Buddhism, particularly Tibetan Buddhism; on Asian history, particularly the history of the monastic institution in the Asian civilization; and on critical philosophy, with a focus on the dialogue between the material and inner sciences of the world's religious traditions.
Question: What needs to change about American media?
Robert Thurman: We do have the net, and we do have some cable things, few, but they don’t reach the masses of the people, and they create a minority that’s aware and freaked out and you know the majority seems to sleep. But that’s because the majority is now under the guy – under the – under the – what I call the current American media, novelized media, which I call Guvel’s wet dream, (Peter laughs) you know totally adovistic, you know, like in everybody’s house ten, twelve hours a day, you know, the guvel only has little news reels, clips in some theaters for some people, but these people are in the house all day long and everybody’s huge TV set, constantly after them, with like nervous and anxiety, you know serving them drugs, I mean it’s – it’s unbearable, actually. And that – the most important thing would be to change that, and to recover the media belonging to the people. That would be the most important thing.
Recorded on: 6/1/07
Thurman talks about what needs to change in media and its affect on the political process.
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