One of the greatest devices ever made to benefit mankind.....is the TV remote control. Somewhere on everyone's remote.....is a singular button called "mute", and with this enormous power.....you can silence stupidity, slowwittedness, sexist comments, racist comments, or boneheaded remarks.
There are a few political figures now that I will simply hit 'mute' automatically when I see them come on the air: Jimmy Carter, John McCain, Harry Reid (unless he chatting over how he got punched), Sean Hannity, and Governor Brown of California.
There are a dozen-odd characters who appear on CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News as some "expert" and I've kinda figured out that they are anything but an expert.....so I'm rather quick to hit "mute" on them (Karl Rove is one of them).
Most religious figures will get the 'mute' punch quickly. Franklin Graham is an exception to that punch.
Oddly, sports figures have gotten themselves onto my mute-list. I can't sit and listen to anything that Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, or Alex Rodriguez says or discusses. To be honest....in the two weeks leading up to NCAA bowl March-Madness picks.....I usually hit mute on just about everyone who wants to do analysis on their prediction picks.
If someone starts talking on why you need to stop a casino from getting placed in such-and-such town......that'll get me to a mute situation rather quickly. Having some guy defend a riot in Baltimore as legitimate.....will at least get me to pick up the remote.....as I carefully listen to see if they deserve a mute or not.
If I were to watch a thirty-minute piece of NBC news at night.....there's probably six occasions that I'll hit the mute and wait till they get to the next piece. I don't usually act that way with local news or any part of 'The Five' (from Fox News).
I'd take a guess that I probably punch the mute button around 2,000 occasions in the year, and I'm not sure if that's average or excessive (or maybe even less than the normal guy).
In the middle of a typical TV show.....it'd be odd if I hit the mute while Captain Picard was talking to some visiting alien, or Hoss was helping out some guy on Bonanza, or watching Jeopardy.
Generally, I'd have to rate mute as the second most used button on my remote control.....after channel selection. I used to get the urge to change color backgrounds or flip a situation to black & white, but my wife got flipped out over that practice so I tend to avoid doing that these days. My present German TV has a video/audio capture deal where if I'm really into something.....I can hit one button and it just automatically captures that minute or two of action and I can play it back later.
It would be curious if the TV folks would analyze such things and comment in a public forum that Jimmy Carter gets muted by sixty million Americans when he comes on to chat about something, or that Karl Rove gets an automatic mute by fifty-five million Americans when he appears. But I doubt that they'd want folks to know about such things.
The curious thing here? Up until the 1970s.....we didn't have mute. And we pretty much had no choice about listening to folks. Technology has given us a wonderful tool.....which we never seem to appreciate.