NETWORK – ADAPTED FROM ‘TELEVISION IS NOT THE TRUTH’
SPEECH BY HOWARD BEALE
So, a rich little man with white hair died. What does that got to do with the price of rice, right? And why is that woe to us?
Because you people and 62 million other Americans are listening to me right now.
Because less than 3 percent of you people read books.
Because less than 15 percent of you read newspapers.
Because the only truth you know is what you get over this tube.
Right now, there is a whole, an entire generation that never knew anything that didn't come out of this tube.
This tube can make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers.
This tube is the most awesome goddamn force in the whole godless world.
And woe is us if it ever falls into the hands of the wrong people.
Who knows what shit will be pedalled for truth on this network?
So, you listen to me. Listen to me!
Television is not the truth. Television's a goddamn amusement park. Television is a circus, a carnival, a traveling troupe of acrobats.
We're in the boredom-killing business.
So if you want the Truth, go to God.
Go to your gurus.
Go to yourselves!
Because that's the only place you're ever gonna find any real truth.
But, man, you're never gonna get any truth from us. We'll tell you anything you wanna hear.
We’ll tell any shit you want to hear!
We deal in illusions, man.
None of it is true!
But you people sit there, day after day, night after night -- all ages, colours, creeds.
We're all you know!
You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here!
You're beginning to think that the tube is reality and that your own lives are unreal.
You do whatever the tube tells you --
You dress like the tube.
You eat like the tube.
You raise your children like the tube.
You even think like the tube.
This is mass madness, you maniacs!
In God's name, you people are the real thing.
We are the illusion!
So turn off your television sets.
Turn them off now!
Turn them off right now!
Turn them off and leave them off.
Turn them off right in the middle of this sentence I'm speaking to you now.
Turn them off.