Researchers Report 100% of Viewers Will Die
(Television City, Hollywood – June 23) Television – for generations a welcome guest in homes the world around, regarded by many as no less than a trusted member of the family – is now revealed to be something more: a transmitter not just of entertainment and information, but of the Grim Reaper.
In a study sure to shock the nation’s television viewers to their very souls, researchers have discovered a deadly link between television viewing and mortality. “The facts are undeniable,” according to lead researcher Theodore Varnis of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “Regardless of your age, sex, race or religion, if you are or ever have been a television viewer, you will die.”
According to the results of the study, based on viewing trends beginning with the advent of television broadcasting in the 1930s up to the present day, an astounding 100% of those who have ever reported watching television either are already dead or will eventually be dead. “The pioneers of television – Farnsworth, DuMont, Sarnoff – all died some time ago, which isn’t too surprising considering the amount of time they spent in front of the tube. “ What did stun researchers, Varnis continued, was the low amount of exposure to television required to produce the fatal results. “It doesn’t matter how much you watch,” Varnis said. “A few minutes a day, or several hours a week. Even if you do nothing but sit in front of your television set all day, the mortality rate is no different than it is for the causal viewer. Which is to say, 100%. So, I guess, watch as much as you want.”
And it doesn’t do any good to cut back on the amount of television you watch, Varnis added. “This is not like smoking, where those who quit can expect to reverse the effects. Our study shows conclusively that TV viewing is fatal – no ifs, ands or buts.”
Varnis went on to dash any hopes for those clinging to some possibility of good news from the report. “We thought there might be some link to the type of programming, so we set up a control group and subjected them to every type of programming imaginable, from Laurence Olivier to Paris Hilton, Bill O’Reilly to Johnny Carson. We gave them comedies, dramas, variety shows, sports, documentaries, movies, news - what have you.” But, Varnis said, years of research from the control group generated but one answer. “No matter what kind of shows we had them watch, the results were the same – death.”
A fellow member of the research team, Hugh Davidson, spoke of the pathetic deaths many members of the control group underwent. “With some people death was the result of illness or the body simply wearing out. Others were the victims of accidents, violent crimes or natural disasters. It just indicates how pervasive this is, that it can infiltrate every aspect of human life with its insidious toxins.”
The only people apparently exempt from this deadly link are those viewers who are currently alive, but Varnis and Davidson discouraged any thoughts of complacency on their part. “While it is true that they may think they’re in perfect health today, they should not let themselves be fooled by this,” Varnis said. Make no mistake – they will die.”
“We don’t think it stops there,” Davidson added. “We’ve also noticed that pets, houseplants, virtually every living thing found in the homes of television viewers also experiences this type of mortality. Can no one rid us of this cold-blodded, heartless killer before it is too late? O tempora! O mores!”
Varnis said that a future study would be aimed at the collateral effects of television on non-watchers, referred to in the scientific community as second-hand viewing. “The question is whether the ecosystem has been contaminated to the point that that it affects even those who shun television. Our goal is to find out just how fatal this second-hand viewing has become.”
“We’re not trying to cause an all-out panic,” Davidson said in conclusion, “but people need to know what is happening to them.” He said that the research team planned to present their findings in a live televised three-hour town hall meeting next week, to be carried via satellite on all broadcast networks.