Saturday, October 13, 2012

Nick Jr's NickMom: A Massive Failure


...A woman explains her divorce by saying, “We were different signs. I’m a Leo. He’s an a**hole
...A mother says, “I know a woman who said, ‘I can’t imagine my life without children.’ Really, bitch? ‘Cuz I can!”
...A teenage girl shows her mother how to use Facebook. While her mother talks on the phone, the girl posts an image of the mother flashing her breasts at a Mardi Gras celebration.  

These are not samples of an edgy night program rated and geared towards adults. No, these are excerpts from Nick Jr's new "NickMom", which was formerly a kids-only channel. Safest on TV, many assumed. 

I dub "NickMom" a. massive. failure. The show and its moms take pride not in nurturing and guiding our children, but in removing ourselves as far from the realm of parenting as emotionally possible. Why is Viacom pushing this down our kids' throats? Why can't this be aired on a different channel altogether? 

It's precious, really. Marketing a martini glass to toddlers. 


To add insult to injury, NickMom has taken residence on Nic Jr's website. What you'll find there is as adult as it gets: 

Can your kids read? Will they be able to soon? Then in the words of NickMom: “SH*T! SH*T! SH*T!”

The October 3rd episode of NickMom Night Out featured various comedians joking about becoming a stripper rather than staying home with kids. And during a promo for Mom Friends Forever, a mother tells her children, “I do not want you to forget where you came from.” Her teenage son replies, “Your vagina?”

Brilliant. 

Look, I'm a mom. I get the "I-can-still-be-cool-even-though-I-have-kids" thing. And I'm about as far removed from perfect as it comes. The only thing organic in my kitchen is a bag of rotten fruit I forgot to feed the kids. Sometimes I find myself wondering just how insane life is actually supposed to be. Am I on candid camera? Did my kids just really do that in public? Aren't they tired YET?? I've been known to refer to my toddlers as sociopaths. (Seriously, toddlers kind of are). 

But I don't talk about that in front of them. I talk about it with my girlfriends, safe from their little ears, whose only concerns should be whether or not they get an extra snuggle at bedtime and if I found their favorite Curious George book. 

Viacom choosing to merge content this radically is a poor choice. Take the show to another channel altogether. At least, at the very minimum, take NickMom off their website. And I'm not the only one who feels this way. Here are some comments pulled from the ParentsTV Facebook Page
  “I put Nick Jr. on for my kids at 7 p.m. while my husband and I did the dishes. My kids were exposed to vagina jokes, penis jokes and female orgasm jokes. One joke I heard had to do with a woman shoving her kids up their grandmother’s vagina. And this channel was created for kids??” 
·         “...Why spend all day airing shows teaching children how great it is to love, share, be kind, and be a family....and then tell kids their parents don't even like them?” 
·         “I just want to thank NickMom for showing my 2½ year-old son a woman stripping with her shirt off. I had changed the channel to what I THOUGHT was safe programming for him. I didn't wait for the channel to come up…only to walk back into the room moments later to the horror that was on TV.”  
·         “My TV is set up to automatically switch to Nick Jr. when my daughter’s favorite shows come on. I walked in and discovered her watching some woman talk about uncircumcised penises.”  
·         “Nick Jr. claims this is 'what moms want.' You know what moms want? They want to watch good, quality, educational programming with their children at times convenient for their families -- which is why I'm paying extra for this channel.” 
·         “We have all heard that ‘children are like sponges.’ Why show our little ‘sponges’ programming that glorifies drinking, vulgarity, racial stereotypes, and rude behavior?”              
In addition to being justifiably outraged that they are paying a premium fee on top of their already-high pay-TV rates in order to get a channel which sells itself as appropriate for children 24 hours a day, many posters pointed out that Nick Jr. apparently has only one network “feed.” Thus, while the raunchy Parental Discretion airs on the East Coast at 10:00 p.m., it begins on the West Coast at 7:00 p.m., disrupting the TV and bedtime patterns many parents have established for their children. And in Hawaii, Parental Discretion’s flood of breast and penis jokes airs on the “safe, educational” Nick Jr. at 4 o’clock in the afternoon.
Naturally, "NickMom" rates all its adult-themed programming TV-PG – except for Parental Discretion, which is rated TV-14. Clever, clever, clever. 

What about you? Think I'm overreacting? 

To contact NickMom about its programming, click here.
  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Good Christian Bitches


No, it’s not a title for an upcoming reality show. It’s a new series on ABC 
 

Unsurprisingly, the media has had very little to say about the title of the show. Realistically, if ABC wants to market misogynistic bigoted stereotypes, they should really aim for more of a universal and copious approach. They could do a whole series of spin-offs, like: "Good Islamic Bitches". (Ooohhhh. Did she really write that??) I did. Too much? Too bad. There are Jewish women to remember, as well as Hindus, Buddhists, Agnostics and Atheists. Mormons and Latter-Day Saints shouldn't be ignored, either.

This is not a political post. This is not a thing about partisanship, left vs. right, or anything related to the side of the aisle upon which you vote. This is a human thing, and (more specifically), woman thing. 


Rush Limbaugh called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a slut. Bad noun, Rush. Bad. Granted, Fluke wants her university to pay for a 'friend's' birth control. Odd request, especially to a Catholic university. But whatever...this is America, and absurdity is the norm. 

Limbaugh calling her a 'slut' was definitely not cool. Yes, he is inflammatory. His uber-conservatism is polarizing, and some of his comments are begging for a giant smack upside the head sensitivity training. But here's my question to you: Where is the media when the not-as-trendy conservative Christian women are bashed? 

Where were they when Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a C*nt? Or when he joked about Rick Santorum's wife using a vibrator?
 
Where were they when Joy Behar called Congresswoman Angle a bitch? 

When Olbermann called Michele Malkin a “big mashed-up piece of meat with lipstick on it”?

When Chris Matthews called Hillary Clinton a “she devil”? (I like Hillary. Matthews really ticked me off with that one.)


And where is the media with Good Christian Bitches? Are Christian conservative women not worthy  of being respected in the same way liberal, non-Christian women are? Are Christian women a lesser species? It seems they are, in the eyes of the media.

I wonder how many people will read this post and believe my husband is an immigrant, my kids are minorities, and some of my dearest friends are liberal gay men and Somalian Muslim women? 

No. Impossible. I'm a good Christian bitch, right?

Contact ABC and its sponsors today to let them know how you feel about this show.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I Just Want My Pants Back

Watch this clip:



Like it? That's fine. You're an adult. But do you like it enough to watch it with a 12 year-old? MTV thinks you should. 


I Just Want My Pants Back is the latest attempt by MTV to parlay a lifestyle of drunken hook-ups into the living room of minors. But in all fairness (I am no prude), if adults want to complain about finding lost clothing because of a poorly-planned indiscretion, have at it. They are adults. They can do whatever (and, er, whomever) they want to.

But here’s where Watchdog Mom gets irritated: MTV is advertising this show to 12 year olds.  Don’t believe me? MTV’s head-honcho himself, the head of programming, David Janollari, is on the record saying the network is targeting kids as young as 12 with the content:

            “The idea is to reach out to the 12-34-year-old demo at a level that relates to them.”

Janollari and the rest at MTV want to intentionally target pre-teens and teens with a TV-14 rating. The episodes introduce a foursome, and a woman asking a man to insert his finger into her rectum during intercourse. 

If you agree this content is inappropriate for children of any age, please take action now by contacting the sponsors, Dr. Pepper, T-Mobile, and Toyota. Ask them if alcohol-fueled sexual foursomes and a woman who wants finger up her a**’ are an accurate reflection of their mission statement.  

Click here now to take action.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Graphic Anti-Abortion Ad During Superbowl XLVI?

Democratic prez hopeful Randall Terry is taking brilliant advantage of this coming Sunday and the millions of people who will be glued to their televisions. His message: Abortion is murder. Much unlike the wildly controversial but quite tasteful and moving Tebow/Focus on the Family commercial which aired last year, Terry is instead opting for shock value. Not that I blame him; the amount of dough he’s dropped to air these commercials leave little time for pontificating.

The ad will show aborted babies. Their teeny bloodied hands and feet are unmistakably human, and it drives home what Terry is trying to tell the public: He thinks abortion is murder, and he wants it stopped.




It’s not his message which gives me pause. On a personal note, and one completely separate from the work I do with the non-partisan Parents Television Council, I am also pro-life. The horrific images shown in his commercial are real, and it happens every minute of every day. But broadcast television is simply not the platform he should be using for his message. Yes, the abortion industry is shrouded in deception and untruths, and I appreciate the factual message Terry wants to send people. However, the method he's using is cursory, at best. Millions of children and families will be watching the Superbowl on Sunday and these images are simply not appropriate. Whether scripted or real, broadcast television must be safe for ALL viewers. Also, the pro-life message will be ignored if people are polarized and demonized.

Terry has purchased ad space in the following markets:

Arkansas: Fort Smith/Rogers
Colorado: Denver, Colorado Springs/Pueblo, Grand Junction
Hawaii: Hilo, Honolulu, Wailuku
Illinois: Quincy
Indiana: Fort Wayne
Maine: Bangor, Portland
Minnesota: Minneapolis
Missouri: Kansas City, Joplin, Ottumwa, St. Joseph, St. Louis, Springfield
Nevada: Elko
North Dakota: Fargo
Ohio: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Lima, Steubenville, Toledo, Youngstown, Zanesville
Oklahoma: Oklahoma City, Tulsa
South Dakota: Sioux Falls
Texas: Amarillo, Wichita Falls
Utah: Salt Lake City
Source: (http://www.jillstanek.com/2012/01/graphic-abortion-ads-to-air-during-super-bowl/)


The FCC just ruled that station managers have the right to refuse ads by political candidates during the Superbowl. That could mean massive cancellations across the board. If you see the ad on Sunday, head over to Watchdog Mom's Facebook page and let people know what you thought.

I'll be watching, leerily, like I always do on Superbowl Sunday. Except this just may be the first live television show where I'll have more faith in Madonna's performance than anyone else's.















Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Kardashian Barbie

Recently, I've been subject to some very late nights (not the good kind, I assure you), a houseful of sick people and a couple of very selfish cats. In light of all things half completed, I've plagiarized my alterblogger-ego. I think I would have anyway; sick kids or not. This topic is pretty eye-opening. Enjoy (and please, share it forward!): 

The Kardashian Barbie Doll

I'm a recovering Barbie-addict. I played with them until I was like 16, and I still would if I didn't have all boys. I'm a little burnt out on trucks, pirates and Spiderman, so anytime we're at someone's house and they have little girls, I'll immediately wonder if they have Barbies. I even have a method:

  • I'll make eye contact with the girl. Whether she's across the room or simply in the seat next to me, eye contact will be made
  • I'll smile sweetly and gesture for her to come closer. 
  • Once she's within my reach, I'll pull her closer and ask--without moving my lips, mind you, in case there's a mean older sister not minding her own business--if she has any Barbies. 
(Huh. I've never actually written it out before; it kind of reads like someone trying to score crack.)

That said, I have to say the prospect of a Kardashian Barbie Doll creeps me out. I don't care if it's the only doll in a sea of excavators and superheros, I won't touch it with a ten-foot pink brush. Sure, Barbie is no stranger to controversy. The Dallas Cowboys Barbie caught a lot of flack:

 
(But comparing a professional cheerleader to a sex tape goddess isn't even a logical argument.)

"Cher in Bob Mackie Barbie"


(Let's be honest: Bob Mackie gets away with stripper garb because he's Bob Mackie)

"Jazz Barbie"

(I've been to a jazz show on Broadway. Yes, they dress like this. And yes, like Barbie, they look like strippers.)

"Tramp Stamp Totally Tattoos Barbie"
Tramp Stamp Barbie
(Much to my husband's dismay, I like tattoos. I even have a few. But there's no way I'd get near a Slag Tag.)

Regardless of how many poor choices the marketing team at Mattel has made, short of a "Playboy Barbie" line coming out, nothing tops the poor message that a Kardashian doll sends. Can you imagine the conversation?

Little Girl: "Mommy, who is Kim Kardashian?"
Mom: "Well, she and her sisters are on TV."
Girl: "Why?"
Mom, chewing lip uncomfortably: "Well, because they're famous."
Girl: "Are they singers?"
Mom: "No."
Girl: "Do they play sports?"
Mom: "Uh, nope."
Girl: "Do they dance?"
Mom: "Technically yes, but not in the way you're thinking."
Girl: "Well, why are they famous?"
Mom points across the street: "Look!  A firetruck!" 

Indeed, Kim's sex tape and the need to carry $10,000 handbags brought them much fame and wealth, but it's not the best message to send young, impressionable girls. Point is, do not buy the Kardashian doll.Send a message to MattelOr call them at             1-800-524-8697      . Let them know they can do better than this.


      

 I mean, come on. Her as a Barbie??? 

 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Equinox Gym Ad Crosses the Line?

Look at this photo:

Flex Appeal

Outside of hiring an under-aged teen for an adult film, anything else come to mind? How about a gym membership?

This ad is for a national print and billboard ad for the swanky Equinox Gym franchise. Admittedly, sex sells in the advertising world. From Bratz Dolls to the completely untalented Kardashians, the crux of most successful advertising campaigns rests on sex. But Terry Richardson, the photographer for this campaign, really takes 'sexy' to a new low. Terry is the twisted talent behind the infamous and pedophilia-pushing Glee photo spread (see my news appearance discussing it here). Give the guy a Google (or Bing/Yahoo/et al, thank you SOPA/PIPA) and prepare your gag reflex.

Contact Equinox.  Call them. Write on their Facebook Page. Let them know that if it's memberships they seek, perhaps a tamer approach might work better. Or even a healthier one. I mean, it's a health club for cripes' sakes, not an underground Ecstasy-fueled nightclub.

Me? I'm going to let them know that an anorexic and coked-up looking underage model doesn't make me think "treadmill". It makes me want to run in the opposite direction, to a gym where people don't look like she does.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Debate with Media Lawyer: Who Won?

In case you missed last week's post covering the suit before the Supreme Court, I discussed it on my local news with a media lawyer. His argument was flimsy, at best, citing some nonsense about networks having no idea what 'indecent' material could be viewed as. We did agree on one point, however: The free market will make sure any over-the-top content aired on broadcast television is not aired. Advertisers don't want to be associated with what the mass public views as offensive, and if consumers aren't happy, no one wins. Let's be clear about one thing: This lawsuit isn't about freedom of expression. It's about money.


 


What say you? Do the federally-funded public airwaves demand the same attention and accountability as any other commodity we invest in? Should advertisers and networks be held to a higher standard than paid cable?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Supreme Court to Rule in Favor of Broadcast Indecency?

Media junkies everywhere are discussing the upcoming ruling by the SCOTUS, which could be devastating for families everywhere (or not, depending on the family). In the FCC vs. Fox TV,  The Federal Communications Commission filed suit against Fox TV for a number of expletives used by not-so-classy celebs. (See story here).

Ironically, I'm on my way out the door now to go tape a segment for our local news. It's regarding an upcoming episode of Modern Family, where a bleeped 'F'-bomb will be dropped multiple times. This very week, our country could see television move to a directions where bleeps could be tossed out the window, along with bans on nudity.

Opponents of the suit say it's unconstitutional for the SCOTUS to decide what can or cannot be said on TV. Advocates say it's unconstitutional for the SCOTUS to not decide what can or cannot be said on TV.

I'll present the facts and let you decide:

The *"Family Hour" was enacted by network heads and members of the FCC as a safeguard for families. Meant specifically to prevent anything indecent being said on public airwaves during a time when families-specifically children-are most likely watching, it has been laughingly and arrogantly ignored for the better part of the 80's until present time.

The real kicker though, is that you pay for it. You may hate shows like American Dad, Family Guy, or Glee, but you have no choice but the fund its content. These are shown on broadcast television, which is about as public as your local post office or library. Which you pay for with tax dollars.

So you tell me: Is it unconstitutional? The SCOTUS, who are federal employees, bankrolled by us, is set to decide what can or cannot be said on public airwaves. The public airwaves are federal, which are also bankrolled by us. I don't know about you, but I happen to think it's amoral for the government to take my money, and tell me to change the channel if I don't like what I paid for.


But that's me.


*The previous post stated The Family Hour was a bill signed by congress. This was incorrect. Corrections have been made.