Poems of the Week

An Apostrophe to Newton Minow

by Dan Campion

“Why is so much of television so bad? … I would like to see television improved.”
—FCC Chairman Newton Minow, in famous 1961 speech

“Shows like ‘Barry’ and ‘Russian Doll’ are trying to re-instill basic lessons in human decency that might have gotten misplaced somewhere.”
—The New York Times, 2019

Where did I place my dignity?
I’ve dropped it, like a key.
No need to search on hand and knee;
I’ll find it on TV!

Now, where’s lost generosity?
Where can that virtue be?
But (short a vow of poverty)
I’ll find it on TV!

Where’s modesty? Where’s chastity?
That great whale, Decency?
O, Newton Minow, pray for me!
I’ll find them on TV!