(Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)
Hollywood elites are more interested in curtailing commercials of soda pop in prime time television than getting a grip on rampant profanity and over-sexed programming during children’s viewing hours, says a prominent media watchdog leader.
Media Research Center president L. Brent Bozell III said it amazes him how some find “sin” in sugary drinks, but no “sin in televised profanity and sexual gymnastics.”
Bozell expressed his concern in a CNS post he wrote, prompted by a recent column by former entertainment executive Laurie David in The Huffington Post, "Thanksgiving Conversation Starter: Is It Time to Ban Soda Ads on Prime Time Television?"
“The Hollywood elite's concern for the children stops at the water's edge of physical fitness,” he states. “They simply do not touch the subject of moral fitness.”
In her post, David describes the cute, “warm holiday memories” of the famous Coca-Cola adds using polar bears in which the “little ones are rewarded with an ice-cold coke for a job well done.” Then she writes, "Knowing what I know now about the effects of sugary drinks on children, the image of kids chugging down a Coke (or in this case polar bear cubs) evokes the same feelings I'd get if they were taking a deep drag on cigarettes."
Bozell explains that David, as he calls her, “the ex-wife of sleazy HBO comedy star Larry David,” is intent on proposing a soda-ad ban on TV.
David states, "Corporations are no longer allowed to advertise cigarettes on TV due to the potential impact it could have on our kids. Can you imagine! It is now time to institute a similar TV advertising ban on soda. We are in the midst of a health epidemic. Someone has to start caring."
Bozell responded, “That's rich coming from anyone in Hollywood. The Huffington Post is not careful about publishing ‘facts’ generated by Hollywood activists, so many of which are simply not true.”
The media expert points out that while David and others in Hollywood are worried about impressionable young children becoming addicted to soda pop through persuasive ads geared towards kids, they are not concerned about the impression children receive from increasingly raunchy TV shows.
“So using that monkey-see, monkey-do logic, it must also be argued that young children are defenseless against the avalanche of televised sewage in between the commercials,” Bozell concludes.
He then asks, “When two teenage female characters on ‘Glee’ engage in a lesbian make-out session or sing ‘I Kissed A Girl,’ how is that processed any differently by a ‘psychologically defenseless’ 8-year-old child? Is any rational person willing to deny that raunchy teen sex scenes, bloody violence or profanity are more objectionable and more difficult for a child to process than animated polar bears sipping out of Coke bottles?”
While David proposes the government setup an “Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children," Bozell points out that putting restrictions on commercials unless food manufacturers meet strict nutritional requirements is ludicrous.
A food industry group says that such an agency would amount to censorship and “prohibit the advertising of 88 of the 100 most commonly consumed foods – including carrot juice, 2-percent milk, peanut butter, wheat bread, scrambled eggs, canned corn and canned tuna,” according to Bozell.
Food industry officials state they would self-regulate under its Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative and devote a majority of its marketing toward a "better-for-you foods" campaign.
“Let's hope they are more sincere and effective than Hollywood with its commitment to create ‘better-for-you television’ for families to watch,” Bozell concludes.