how TV creates “shameful consensus”

Bmany viewers will tell you: a horrible aftertaste remains after watching each match of the World Cup, a residue of self-abdication, of intimate renunciation of its most elementary principles. In front of his screen, the football fan finds himself torn between the appetite for the matches with enticing posters and the moral disgust of the framework in which they take place. Suspicions of corruption for the awarding of the competition, non-respect of human rights, death of immigrant workers, absurd ecological disaster (water to grow lawns in the middle of the desert, air-conditioned stadiums), discrimination against LGBT people: there are many non-sporting reasons not to watch this World Cup; and yet, we look at it.

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Even scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday November 26, the France team’s match against Denmark (2-1) was watched by 11.59 million viewers on TF1. I admit it, I too was stuck in front of my screen (whoever has never sinned should throw the first vuvuzela at me). If everyone goes about their little arrangement with morality – I only watch streaming, only the matches of the national team, only with one eye –, that is not enough to silence the guilt. By remembering the “thousands of dead” What, according to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, would have been caused by the construction of these modern-day arenas, one asks oneself: “Is this really a stadium in which these twenty-two gladiators are agitated in shorts, or a swimming pool of blood ? »

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Hence an uncomfortable feeling of participating in the construction of a shameful consensus. One could imagine that it is the World which, by its own characteristics, produces this, but this mechanism consisting in becoming, in front of its screen, the audimatic craftsman of something which one abhors is much older. We can date – admittedly arbitrarily – to 2001 the moment when this new tacit viewing contract emerged. At the time, “Loft Story” (M6) burst onto the screens and shocked many minds: people deprived of their freedom like caged rats were filmed to satisfy our voyeuristic appetites. It’s horrible, we say to ourselves, without being able to help looking, to find out what’s going on in the swimming pool.

Since then, shocking entertainment has become commonplace and, with it, has extended the empire of shameful consensus. There are thus many programs that we watch not because we like them, but because of the strange alchemy that their power of debasement produces in us. Honestly, who wants to endorse a show where the host pours noodles into his columnist’s underpants and calls a deputy a ” shit ” live ? Not many people, we imagine a little naively. However, the audiences of “Do not touch my post! are at the top, even attracting more and more seniors.

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