Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Let's just forget TODAY and move on to tomorrow ... tonight we're taking the kid to the pub
Last month Meredith Vieira asked blogger Melissa Summers, on live television, to explain the difference between a mom and a babysitter when it came to drinking on the job.
She wanted to know why the double standard: If you wouldn't let a babysitter drink while they were watching your children why would you?
... AND the gloves came off.
All over the blogosphere mothers are wielding pitchforks and demanding blood. Many of them asking why the media is so insistent on holding mothers at arms length and dropping them in a pit together to see who survives?
The comment came out of a puff piece about moms who gather together at play dates and simultaneously pop the cork on a bottle of wine. Somehow it turned into a debate, lead by Vieira and flanked by "expert" Dr. Janet Taylor, about whether mothers should drink at all in the presence of their children (unless of course there's a man around, or in the event of a neighborhood/backyard barbecue ... you know, where men might be socializing, too).
The reasoning? Just in case these silly women all get schnockered, a kid falls on his head and requires a trip to the emergency room. Lordy, who would be able to drive? (I suppose no one ever considered an ambulance for that relatively rare scenario, but I digress.)
I've been watching the backlash with some degree of humor.
There are people applauding who admit to being raised by alcoholics, and who have themselves shunned the bottle. And there are mothers who are simply indignant about being compared to a babysitter.
It's was a boneheaded question to ask for sure, even if she can't admit it. (Viera has defended herself by saying she thought -- and still thinks -- it was a fair question.)
But what seems even more humorous to me is that today the show revisited the piece because they got such a HUGE response, presumably from "both sides."
Vieira had toned down her admonishment of the moms slightly, but the rhetoric is still there: Drinking is bad on a playdate; it means MOM COULD BE OUT OF CONTROL and SELF MEDICATING.
What it's also saying is there's only one way to drink: dangerously.
The idea that you could have a playdate for yourself as well as your kids, include an adult beverage and let it go at that is an alien concept, and yet is it?
Do I really think the people at TODAY believe this dreck their spinning onto the airwaves? Not in the least. I don't expect fair or balanced, because fair and balanced would require something other than "SHE says" and, in this case, "She responds." Some semblance of truth should be part of the equasion, too.
I suppose we'll all just have to bide our time and wait for the companion piece about dads having a beer at a ballgame with junior in tow. ... Let see what kind of ratings they get then ... Oh, wait. They're not going to do that story are they?
I for one am changing the channel. I refuse to listen to any more useless infotainment masquerading as journalism.
Posted by toyfoto at 8:01 PM