There's a really good, long, interesting oral history interview with Douglas Martin, conducted in 2002 by Sharon Bonney, available in transcript at the Bancroft Library website. (There are also audio and video clips. This might be limited access, I'm not sure.) One section that particularly caught my eye was about his three years in an Omaha hospital after contracting polio at age 5; television was new then, and a great distraction for a ward full of children in iron lungs. But the Army-McCarthy hearings were running on the only channel for much of the day! Martin remembers that planting a seed:
It just really gave me a sense of, there's a whole big wide world out there going on, and you know this political world and all this stuff. It was interesting. Didn't have that much to do with it at that point except take it all in. But later I guess, it might have been part of the reason I was interested in politics, and getting involved in Washington, and kind of having knowledge. There was so much information and detail about the system, and how it worked and how it didn't work, in those days. Some of the best and some of the worst in people in politics came out. It was fascinating, and I guess I got interested, I saw it to be a place where you could make a difference. I kind of filed it away in the back of my mind. I kind of remember that as possibly motivating, as some basis for later interest in trying to bring about social change, something more positive. (here)I don't watch TV if I can help it when I'm in the hospital. When my kid is hospitalized, it's usually in a shared room, and there's little choice. I remember being in a quad isolation room with him during the 1998 Clinton impeachment hearings; the mother across the room was shouting at the commentators a lot. Think I also saw an Olympics opening festivities in a PICU once? I know another mother whose son was born in July 1969--so she and the other women giving birth that week were among the Americans who did not see the Neil Armstrong moon landing live.
What have you seen--or not seen--on TV during hospital stays?