Verhoef's research into the public debates on cinema, portable radio and the television quiz point to three principal conclusions. First, Dutch responses to each medium were exceptionally uniform. The press and other contemporaries constructed images of America, Americans, and of a Dutch identity irrespective of their ideological background; a shared, national discourse existed, which transcended societal differences resulting from pillarization.
Money-driven and moderate
Secondly, even though anti-Americanism was voiced less frequently and intensely after the Second World War, stereotypes of 'the' Americans as a money-driven, superficial, and naive people persisted. These clearly demarcated ideas of America helped the Dutch to construct an image of themselves as modest, moderate, convivial (gezellige) people. Until the 1960s, that is. Around then, these characteristics gave way to 'American' features such as hedonism and uncontrolled materialism. The press presented these changes as evidence of a changing society and Dutch mentality.
Thirdly, the Dutch had difficulty coming to terms with modernization, a process that each medium epitomized as well as spurred. The press fiercely denounced and resisted American influences and facets of modernization. The introduction and growing popularity of each medium caused a rupture: it led to changing values and a new mentality. As such it posed a threat to Dutch national identity. Hence, in all three eras, contemporaries—above all the press—propagated controlled modernization. Verhoef shows that current debates on Dutch national character have a long history, and the same goes for contemporary fears that are voiced when novel media, for example the iPad, are launched.