MTV was launched as the world's first 24-hour, all music video channel. Over the years the network has been credited with launching the careers of Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Boy George, and many others. Michael Jackson's career might have been a lot different without the channel that created a direct feed from his brain to the TV screen.
Cher and Madge hold the dubious distinction of having had their videos banned on MTV, then moved to after 11pm, due to their over sexual imagery.
Since those early days, MTV introduced the Reality TV genre with original shows like The Real Word and Road Rules, but has since devolved into a parody of itself by bringing the world the Jersey Shore and making stars out of people who can't be trusted not to wander into traffic with no pants on during an all night episode of binge drinking.
The network now boasts worldwide broadcasting that includes several incarnations of VH1 and the all-gay Logo Channel.
When MTV debuted on this day, three decades ago, the first music video was "Video Killed the Radio Star", by The Buggles. Maybe it's time for an update, with something like, "Reality TV Killed The Video Network". The only network more boring than MTV these days is CSPAN, but not by much.
AARP Pride Information and Resources for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender People, Families and Allies - AARP