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56:01

Defending Television with Michael Arlen.

Michael Arlen is the television critic for The New Yorker. Arlen is also a writer. His latest is "The Camera Age," a collection of essays, and his book "Thirty Seconds" was recently released in paperback. He joins the show to discuss his work, television as a form of visual communication, his opinion on its "dangers,"an the perception of the medium as low brow.

51:26

Tom Shales on What's "On the Air."

Tom Shales is the film critic for NPR and a television critic and t.v. editor at the Washington Post. His column is syndicated in nearly 150 newspapers, including the Philadelphia Daily News. A collection of Shales' t.v. columns from 1974-1982, "On the Air," has just been published.

55:45

An Actor on Theater, Television and Medicine

British actor Jonathan Miller gave up a medical career to pursue acting. His career led him to become a television critic, director, and producer. He eventually returned to medicine, and is a practicing neurologist and medical writer.

27:58

David Marc on T.V.'s Demographics.

David Marc is a television critic for The Village Voice and Atlantic magazine, and also a professor at Brandeis. Marc thinks that it is important to analyze television with more depth than is currently done. His new book , "Demographic Vistas: Television in American Culture," plays on the title of a Walt Whitman essay "Democratic Vistas." Marc views television and its demographic analysis as an "ironic" fulfillment of Whitman's call for an American art that focuses on the "average, democratic, and popular."

03:56

Avoiding Bad Television

TV critic David Bianculli offers his guidelines for identifying programs worth skipping -- even without watching a single episode.

03:56

Avoiding Bad Television

TV critic David Bianculli offers his guidelines for identifying programs worth skipping -- even without watching a single episode.

10:12

David Bianculli: The Interview.

Fresh Air's Television Critic David Bianculli. Bianculli has worked as television critic at several metropolitan papers, including The Akron Beacon Journal, The Fort Lauderdale News and The Philadelphia Inquirer. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone and the Washington Journalism Review. He is currently the television critic for The New York Post.

09:59

Ken Tucker: The Interview.

Rock Critic Ken Tucker. It's another in the continuing series of interviews with Fresh Air's contributors. Ken tells us how a frustrated college poet found himself in crowded clubs listening to punk bands and being paid for it.

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