Re: If Gold rust then what of iron.
" [...] it seems that TV's demise and degradation parallels societies on many levels."
It is a human character trait. The Romans had it down to a fine art with their circuses to keep the plebs happy. Public floggings and executions were popular social occasions for all classes for many centuries in Europe. The Victorians liked their "penny dreadfuls" and tours of Bedlam or foundling homes.
Find an "outsider" group in any society - and it is too easy to render them fair game for anyone with a grievance about their own lives.