Monday, September 17, 2007

To Catch a Desperate Housewife

On November 6th, 2006 a district attorney from Texas committed suicide in his home as the world watched, myself included. Police were waiting outside his home to arrest him for soliciting sex with a “13 year old boy” (decoy), and NBC camera crews were waiting there alongside authorities to broadcast the shame and humiliation of a man who had made a big mistake.

Odds are the deceased DA knew his face was soon to be hitting the screens of millions of television screens across America; who hasn’t seen or caught wind of NBC’s To Catch a Predator. I sat stunned. Surely I had not just heard the blast that propelled a bullet into a man’s brain! I felt sick.

Before I go any further, let me advise the reader that this post is not a polemic on the ethics of entrapment as it relates to police/military affairs—something deeper disturbs me about this particular prime time incident.

Certainly the carefree regulations imposed by the FCC on the internet create a massive potential for evil as well as good, particularly when it come to sex and pornography. In fact social networking giant, MySpace, just booted off a behemoth 29,000 sexual predators—29,000 profiles I wouldn’t want my kids coming across.

Why the prolific increase in adults seeking sexual fulfillment with minors? Let’s ask America's favorite promiscuous ladies, the characters of ABC's Desperate Housewives. One particular episode featured a very cool and sexy underage teenager (16) seeking emancipation from his mother in order to get his greedy hands on an inheritance. His alcoholic mother meets a sex addict at her AA meeting—they hook up. Mom wins the court battle, son gets no emancipation, no money. He is so mad at mom he finds the perfect way to get back at her. We see his revenge on our screen as mom walks in on half naked, attractive, boyfriend and half naked, attractive son in bed, post coitus--yep, a forty year old just had sex with a 16 year, old.

Do I need to go any further? A late 50’s prosecuting attorney who has been battling his desire to hook up with an underage young man certainly would NOT be dissuaded by this debauched display. American Media, repent for your hypocrisy!

Sure they are two different networks, owned by two different media giants (GE/Disney), but you don’t have to leave ABC to find sexy young high school engaging their budding sexuality on primetime…check out an episode or two of Friday Night Lights, but be careful, odds are you’ll see a tempting young 17 year old vixen advertising her assets.

Yes, sexual predators are a problem; however, a media with an unquenchable thirst for ratings that can only be satisfied by pushing moral boundaries and forcing sexy young teens into adult situations may be at the root of the problem. Was ABC looking to ease its conscience with each episode of To Catch A Predator? I doubt it—just another insatiable story to spike ratings.

3 comments:

Amanda Rickman said...

the media's subject matter is so gross at times...definitely contributing to & feeding on what seems to be a cultural norm anymore.

don't mean to slant everything toward anti-trafficking/prostitution/pornography but it's all very inter-twined. Should it be any surprise that there's an estimated 20,000 women/girls/boys trafficked into the U.S. each year? Primetime tv may portray these things in negative light at times but is SO contradictory when they add it into entertainment as "just the way it is".

RC said...

good thoughts, thanks for sharing them.

this is an important issue, and it's hard to know how to handle it, except to cast your vote by stepping away from the garbage...but also looking for quality that you want to support.

Nate Watson said...

Thanks for commenting...
@Amanda, don't apologize for your personal bias towards bringing awareness to a worldwide moral tragedy...that makes the comment that much more valuable!

@RC, excellent point...an absolute boycott would tell the ratings committees that America is only interested in the negative, since the good nuggets within media are not being watched...a dangerous cycle (media immitate culture/culture immitate media)