Marybeth Hicks

Among last week’s troubling headlines: ” ‘Jersey Shore’ scores most-watched season premiere ever: Opener drew 8.8 million total viewers.”

Apparently, last Thursday night, overcome with news of our economic woes, millions of us sank into the sofa to escape to Italy with Snooki, the Situation, D.J. Paulie D and the rest of the gang from down the shore.

I don’t know what is more depressing: the tanked economy or a nation enthralled with the antics of a dozen undereducated, overindulged, terminal adolescents whose only unifying traits are their ethnic heritage and a colossal sense of entitlement.

Perhaps what is most incomprehensible to me is that the entitled attitudes of the “Jersey Shore” characters are expected, and even admired.

Five years ago, a survey of Americans found 83 percent believed our youth felt more entitled than 10 years previously. And that was long before MTV’s “Jersey Shore” elevated “sense of entitlement” to “rock star” status.

In the 12- to 34-year-old demographic, the “Jersey Shore” season opener scored an 8.2 rating, or 6.5 million viewers. If only a fraction of those young people instead watched a video of another 20-something American guy: Michigan State University quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Mr. Cousins‘ remarks at the Big Ten Football media day have been viewed by only 50,000 people via YouTube ( watch?v=tp15N9BbYgY).

Addressing the assembled sports reporters on behalf of his fellow Big Ten football student-athletes, Mr. Cousins spoke eloquently and emphatically about living in “a place of privilege.”

Initially, he articulated the privilege of playing Big Ten college football, of visiting some of the nation’s leading campuses, competing before vast audiences of fans who pay hard-earned dollars to attend games, playing in games that are telecast to millions of viewers, and being covered by journalists and media professionals who chronicle the sport and the student-athletes on and off the field.

Marybeth Hicks

Marybeth Hicks is the author of Don't Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid: Confronting the Left's Assault on Our Families, Faith, and Freedom (Regnery Publishers, 2011).