Prime Time Lie
January 20, 2006 - It can be legitimately argued that "old media” news coverage helps push the liberal agenda by not providing readers equal exposure to stories written by those with a conservative outlook. Although I believe this to be true, their power over what the public sees and hears doesn’t have nearly as much sway as television sitcoms hold over their audiences.
Entertainment writers are paid the big bucks to write amusing dialogue spoken by visually attractive people with star power. This combination wins the attention of the average Joe, too tired from school or work to tax the brain on more than an hour of news and sports. It is easy to become a couch potato between the hours of 7:00 and 10:00 pm.
Giving my grey matter a rest during my boys’ winter break, I had the opportunity to tune into another "World According to Jim” episode called, "Sex Ed Fred". Although I found it funny (I also find "Family Guy” funny), it was disturbing in a way very different than the in your face, I refuse to be politically correct, experience one receives on the "Adult Swim” channel. This is because the Hollywood liberals who wrote and produced this show had exactly the opposite agenda.
I’m referring to the "none too subtle” endorsement of sex
education taught in the public school system. Although the average viewer
is more likely to have been more attuned to the plot, "When Jim and Cheryl
preview a sex education video to be shown to children at Ruby's school, they
discover that the boy in the video is Jim,” I was waiting to see if either
Jim Belushi’s or Courtney Thorne Smith’s characters would suggest that it is
the parents’ prerogative to have their children opt out of the class because
it isn’t the school’s responsibility to determine when a child is ready for
"the talk”. I wondered this because of Jim’s initial reaction to the idea of
their daughter being exposed to the birds and the bees.
At that point in the episode, my sons were both cracking up and commented that I should have seen the films they saw during their Sex Ed classes. I’m not naïve. The likelihood is that they participated in discussion which included an explanation of oral sex and a favorable portrayal of a variety of lifestyles that were not condoned when I was a girl on my first field trip to the Robert Crown Center. Nevertheless, however well they can recite the facts of life, I truly don’t believe either of them posses the sophistication to handle any sort of intimate relationship.
In retrospect, I’m glad my boys aren’t embarrassed by sexual references yet I have a hard time accepting that they have become so desensitized to what in my day was considered "adult subject matter”. It is inconsistent with their particular experience of early adolescence; getting excited over camping gear and barely give girls a passing glance. I sincerely doubt the necessity of them learning about flavored condoms at this particular stage of their existence.
In "Sleepover”, an episode of the sitcom called "Rodney,” Rodney and Trina mistakenly get Jack (their young adolescent son) and his friend drunk during an overnight at their house. From its description, the plot would appear to be about parents making mistakes, but the major concern in this show was about having guns in the house. The boys slept at Rodney’s house because Jack’s mom and dad worried about Jack sleeping in a home with guns. Though his friend’s father informed them his guns were locked up in a safe place and that he was well within his 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms, Rodney and the other parents in the neighborhood couldn’t get beyond the unlikely possibility of their son getting hurt. The gun owners are stereotyped as "hicks”, with a nonfunctional car serving as a "planter” in their yard. After the alcohol incident, Rodney fears the father will use him as target practice when he finds out it was mistakenly served to the boys in what they thought was Pina Colada mixer.
Although I should have found myself outraged at the apparent agenda displayed in these two programs, I didn’t even offer a half hearted protest about the content to my boys. I realize that at a subconscious level, they have been exposed to a barrage of values inconsistent with those I’ve tried to impart to them. Hopefully, their personal choices will reflect the values they learn in their home and not on TV.
|Nancy Salvato is the President of Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan research and educational project whose mission is to promote the education of the American public on the basic elements of relevant political, legal and social issues important to our country... [read more]|
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