It has also made us susceptible to a new kind of intellectual deficiency. Television images have become remarkably successful at distilling complex issues into the broadest and most knee-jerk dimensions. This is particularly true of political programming, which has perfected the rapid-fire style of discourse that leaves little time for thoughtful analysis.

We are constantly bombarded with images that reduce complex issues of our economy into the most easily identifiable symbols. These images condition us to make immediate visual connections: Republican equals evil and liberal equals what is good for the nation. Television isn't reality. It's reality personified. Black, white, Hispanic, Republican, Democrat — they're all distilled into the most easily digestible image.

And a public that has grown up learning more through images than words just swallows it whole then spits it back at one another in a passive form of  intolerance and condemnation — the sort that leads us to visually sum people up without ever bothering to listen to what they might actually have to say.