People used to refer to television as the "boob-tube." At first, TV watching was not something a lot of people wanted to admit. "Oh, I don't watch much TV," they'd lie. So, who were the boobs, the people who watched TV, or the people who were on TV? While the folks in the television business were beginning the process of lowering standards of good taste, they were at least getting paid for contaminating American culture. Novelists Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, and Gore Vidal were the first novelists who helped their book sales by becoming television personalities. It apparently didn't bother these writers that they made public fools of themselves, and made it difficult for novelists who were unwilling or unable to become media whores.