There probably isn’t a greater living practitioner of the genre short story than Ray Bradbury.
Bradbury has decided to make news about the writing of his iconographic work and what he really meant. Fahrenheit 451 is not, he says firmly, a story about government censorship. Nor was it a response to Senator Joseph McCarthy, whose investigations had already instilled fear and stifled the creativity of thousands.
?Television gives you the dates of Napoleon, but not who he was,? Bradbury says, summarizing TV?s content with a single word that he spits out as an epithet: ?factoids.? He says this while sitting in a room dominated by a gigantic flat-panel television broadcasting the Fox News Channel, muted, factoids crawling across the bottom of the screen.
His fear in 1953 that television would kill books has, he says, been partially confirmed by television?s effect on substance in the news.
Does one type of media ever actually “kill” another?