I don't particularly follow the child-rearing philosophies of my parents, but one thing that I learned from them was that things done in moderation (with parental guidance) can be a decent approach to parenting. When I was growing up, we were allowed to watch certain television shows, allowed to eat sweets in moderation and were highly encouraged to make informed decisions about what we put into our brain and our bodies. All of us turned out pretty good and oddly we are all a bit more intolerant of certain pop culture things (like reality television) than our parents were. I would venture to say that all the commercialism that was thrown at us via television didn't have much of an effect on us at all. But, I believe that the reason for that is that our parents actually spent time with us and instilled certain values that are still important to us today. My guess is that if outside sources (television, other kids, society) become the primary or sole influencer of values in your child, then of course they're going to carry those values with them into adulthood.
That being said, we didn't expose DD to any television until she was over 2.5. She is permitted to watch a few television shows (Wonder Pets, Little Bill and Backyardigans) and surprisingly she is self-regulating even when it comes to those shows. They are commercial-free and she usually turns the TV off herself when they are over. DH and I don't have any guilt about this, because her daily life is full to the brim with other stuff and I think we've found a good balance. We both WOH full-time and she is in a Montessori program full-time. When we come home, the evening is full of other activities and often she'll forget about television as long as she is engaged with something else. Some of DD's cousins watch TV all day. Her other cousins don't watch TV at all. For us, it's about setting down rules rather than outright prohibition or unlimited access. We handle stuff like sweets the same way.
To us, achieving a balance is key. As long as DD understands that there is a time and place for everything, and that we may believe and act in ways that some people don't, then I think we have done pretty well.