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Sunday Television Not Safe for Children Anymore

Susan P. Jacobse

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My childhood memories are filled with big family dinners at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Baby Boomers remember how we waited for Thanksgiving night when the "The Wizard of Oz" was shown on TV. We remember where we were the first time the Beatles appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show." I remember running outside to gaze at the moon when the astronauts landed on it.

Sunday nights were special because they were family nights. We settled down in front of the one black and white TV we owned to enjoy an evening of good family fare. We watched "Wagon Train," "Lassie," "Candid Camera," or "Bonanza" -- all decent shows and certainly child-safe. Our favorite was Walt Disney's "Wonderful World of Color."

Half an eternity later, my freshly bathed daughter snuggles up next to me, her piano lessons finished, waiting to enjoy a great night of family viewing on Sunday evening. We love to watch ABC's "Extreme Makeover, Home Edition," which is probably the most decent program on TV today.

Home designers and volunteers from the trades team up with Sears to renovate a home for a needy family. The team guts the house and rebuilds it to suit the needs and special circumstances of these worthy families. The family goes on a once in a life time vacation while the renovation takes place. When they return they are receive not only a new home, but a new life.

ABC however, could not go the extra mile. Instead of making the entire evening a family night, they bombard the viewer with promotions for their new steamy sex opera "Desperate Housewives" during the second half of our favorite show.

"Housewives" is a mix of "Twin Peaks" and "Sex in the City." Suicide, adultery with minors, and just plain old fornication are some of the highlights in these promos. Would Walt Disney approve of the company that bears his name plugging a show better titled Sluts in the Suburbs? Does ABC care about kids?

The good news is that Lowes, Kelloggs, and Tyson Foods backed out of sponsoring "Desperate Housewives" due to pressure from pro-family groups, mostly the American Family Association. The AFA rallied thousands of concerned Americans who inundated e-mail servers and phone lines of companies that sponsor this trash television.

Robert Bork warned in "Slouching Towards Gomorrah:

We are well along the road to the moral chaos that is the end of radical individualism and the tyranny that is the goal of radical egalitarianism. Modern liberalism has corrupted our culture across the board...As we approach its desolate and sordid precincts, the pessimism of the intellect tells us that Gomorrah is our probable destination. What is left to us is a determination not to accept that fate and the courage to resist it -- the optimism of the will.

I don't want ABC pumping garbage into my home when I am watching a child-safe program. I will stop buying products from the sponsors of trash TV until they clean up their act. I am fighting this decline.

Is Walt Disney turning somersaults in his grave? He should be. "Desperate Housewives" desecrates his memory and stains the Disney Corporation. Disney's world is not so wonderful anymore.

Presbytera Susan Jacobse is writer and a stay at home mom.

Posted: 11/5/04

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