Burt Prelutsky
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I have always found it odd that whenever the producers of TV, movies and records, are accused of setting a bad example for the kids, they always insist that their product is simply entertainment and that entertainment in no way influences youthful behavior. If they really believed it, they’d have to be even stupider than they are.

It’s not just that they’re every bit as aware as the rest of us that advertisers spend billions of dollars a year advertising their merchandise in the media, but additional fortunes are spent on product placement in motion pictures targeted to young people. They also know that advertisers get into bidding wars for the services of a LeBron James.

But the real proof that these people are lying through their teeth when they tell you that the tube lacks the power to influence kids is to be found on their shelves and their walls. All you have to do is check out the various plaques and scrolls with which they adorn their offices. Let a TV show’s young star be seen buckling up when he gets in his car, and the producer is sure to be honored for promoting safe driving. When years ago, the Fonz was shown to have a library card, librarians all over the country saw the number of young readers spike overnight. The producers received a ton of commendations for promoting literacy.

On the reverse side, when such terrible role models as Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears misbehave, the ripples are felt all across teenage America.

Some years ago, Charles Barkley, then a star in the NBA, said he didn’t sign on to serve as anybody’s good example. Instead, he announced that kids should use their parents as role models. If only it were that simple. Unfortunately, a large number of children don’t have fathers in their lives. But the sad truth is that even when there is a father in the house, kids rarely hold their hard-working dads in the same high regard they do basketball players and rock stars.

All in all, I’m glad I’m not young anymore. I’m even grateful I’m not raising a youngster. That’s because liberals are doing their best to destroy childhood.

I’m not saying it’s their intention, but it’s certainly how things are working out. It’s as if they can’t wait to hurry the sprouts through what should be their innocent years. Trying to turn something as joyful as Christmas into something as barren as the winter solstice is only one sad part of the campaign.

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