American TV once threatened to become radical and strange through the proliferation of local stations. But it wouldn’t be allowed to last.
Michael Grasso is senior editor at We Are The Mutants, a web magazine analyzing the pop and underground culture of the Cold War era.
The “union label” ads of the 1970s are a reminder of how labor tried and eventually failed to win a battle for the airwaves.
The “Just Say No” campaign is remembered today for the huge quantity of kitsch media it produced, like McGruff the Crime Dog. But the campaign was based on the psychological warfare techniques of the Cold War.
As the Reagan era kicked into overdrive, Americans abandoned earthy and organic home decor to turn their residences into cold, sleek totems to upper-class aspiration.
The TV series Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous inaugurated an era when the ruling class was there to be envied more than to be abolished.