By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – These days, when you cover politics for a living, good laughs are hard to come by.

So I want to thank President Trump for the hearty chuckle he gave me with his tweet Wednesday claiming that “I have very little time for watching T.V.”

This made me laugh not just because we know for a fact the man is an avid cable TV news watcher, but also because I’ve heard that line so many times before, without ever believing it.

I grew up in an academic family, and at social events with other academics present, I have often been confronted with people who, learning what I do for a living, somehow feel compelled to claim that they “never watch TV,” or in a few cases, “don’t even own a TV.”

Maybe lately, with all the cord-cutting going on, more people can validly make that claim, although they are still consuming TV content. But the fact is, as of a few years ago, 99 percent of us had at least one TV at home.

These people claiming they “don’t even have one” or, if they do, it is used as a glorified planter, are mostly fibbing.

But why?

For most of the corduroy elbow-patch crowd that used to feed me that line, it’s clearly a matter of class signaling. In some quarters, television has long been derided as the “opiate of the masses” and/or the “boob tube,” apparently to be shunned by the alleged intelligentsia.

That was always pretentious nonsense. You could always find worthwhile things to watch on TV, and there’s never been more quality stuff on than now.

But I’m sure I’ll hear that old saw again soon.

And I’ve got a response all set to go – remind me not to hang out at your house when the game is on.

Comments (2)
  1. Steve Stein says:

    Yesterday I watched no TV. There was no game.

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