Todd Gitlin has a story:
"One of the deepest beliefs in America is having to do with the right to be entertained," [Gitlin] said.
Gitlin illustrated this point by referencing a story that appeared on the front page of The New York Times. It was about a convicted burglar who was sentenced to house arrest instead of prison because he had various heart ailments. To make the sentence harsher on the man, the judge sentenced him to 10 months without any television. The man, who loved television and owned several sets, insisted that this was cruel and unusual punishment and pleaded his case in federal court.
He won the case. The court found that the man had a right to be entertained.
"I think this reveals something deep about our civilization," Gitlin said.