“Give the people what they want,” the old show-biz slogan goes. And the folks who enjoyed Steve Doocy’s first book, The Mr. & Mrs. Happy Handbook, will be glad to learn that that’s just what they’ll get in his second book, Tales from the Dad Side: Misadventures in Fatherhood -- amusing anecdotes that vividly portray the ups and downs of parenthood.
If you’ve ever seen Steve at work as one of the co-anchors of FOX News Channel’s top-rated morning show, “Fox & Friends,” you won’t be surprised to learn that the Dad Side is one of the funniest new books around. Steve’s quick timing and light touch helped him win an Emmy, and that same gift for comic storytelling makes it likely that the Dad Side, like Mr. & Mrs. Happy, will be a New York Times bestseller.
But don’t assume that Steve’s focus on the humorous side of parenting means you’re in for another bumbling father figure. That crude stereotype is a feature of far too many TV shows and movies today, and I’m glad to report that Steve has no interest in perpetuating it. In fact, years ago he was offered a role as a dad in a TV sitcom (which he doesn’t name) that he turned down specifically because it showed the father as nothing more than a punchline.
My long-time readers know what how much this cultural trend bothers me. During an appearance last year on “The O’Reilly Factor,” I made the following observation: “All you have to do is turn on the TV for 30 minutes and tell me how men and dads are portrayed -- as ignorant and stupid and lazy. The white, Anglo-Saxon male, the young teenage guy, is probably the most discriminated against kid on the face of the earth right now.”
This brought a huge response -- a flood of mail from viewers who agreed. I had obviously touched a nerve. One man, a self-described “fed-up father of three boys” said he was “delighted to hear someone echo my longstanding observation that fathers these days are almost universally ridiculed by the media. It’s been years since I’ve seen a humorous TV commercial where the joke is on the woman, for example.”