eMpTy V

Right now, VH-1 is playing selected performance clips from Live 8. MTV will be doing the same later in the day. Call it a day of atonement. The reason this is being done is because MTV received media criticism and over 2,000 complaints from viewers about their coverage of the Live 8 events last Saturday. They focused more on interviews and commentary than on the music. I'm glad people let their voices be heard on this.

Now, perhaps people can persuade MTV to actually become a music channel again. I know, I doubt it too. I don't know why they bother calling the channel "Music Television" anymore, because as far as I'm concerned, it hasn't been that for 10 or 15 years now. Almost every time I tune in anymore (which, I must admit, is not very often), I feel like I'm watching a hipper-than-thou version of TLC (The Learning Channel). MTV should change its name to "Punk'd TV", or "Cribs TV"; anything besides "Music Television". That just seems like false advertising anymore. Shows like TRL are not good enough. MTV even created a second channel, MTV2, that was supposed to be more music-video oriented. But it seems to me that it didn't deliver on that promise. What was the point?

I have heard several theories as to why MTV is not primarily a music video channel anymore. The most believable one is that it is harder to sell commercial airtime during music video timeslots, because they appeal to shorter attention spans than half-hour programs do. (Thanks!). But I at least thought that for something like the Live 8 broadcast, the powers that be at MTV would remember why it is called "Music Television". I thought they would at least have a clue as to why people would tune in to that channel on that day. Apparently, that was too much to ask.

"Video killed the radio star, then it committed suicide"

-- Doug Powell, from his song "Empty Vee"