Thursday, May 11, 2006

A is for Apple

In a world where Ann Coulter may be facing prison time (please please please), where monkeys have been found to enjoy a little alcohol after a hard day (nature vs nurture?), and where Oprah Winfrey is being lumped together with Mother Teresa (I don't remember M.T. giving away cars, although she probably would have had as much patience with Cruise-azy), do we really need a 24-hour cable channel targeted directly at babies?

This is, of course, coming hot on the heels of spirited debates as to whether or not DVDs such as the Baby Einstein series are more positive than negative during those first couple of years out of the womb. DirectTV will be carrying BabyFirstTV as of Thursday, and cable providers will be getting it down the road. While proponents of BFTV are pointing out that infants are already watching television, opponents are just as quick to point out that the television set has become a surrogate parent in far too many households as is, and that having a channel devoted to newborns is merely going to intensify this.

Let's face it. We're a nation that has been suckled on the teats of NBC, ABC, and the rest of their cronies. Given that numerous parents are being forced to work extra hours to be able to simply provide for their families, the number of children that are latch-key at best is going to keep increasing. If BFTV can actually achieve it's aim of being educational, and not just tripe like some of the other children's programming of the last decade, then it could actually have a positive impact. We are a visual society, and we learn things by watching. While television may not be the best for teaching infants when compared to quality time with their parents, it may prove to be a decent substitute.

And, with the news stories mentioned above, and the fact that millions still tune in to shows like "Survivor", "America's Next Top Model", and "American Idol", maybe we could all benefit from a little educational programming. Let's just hope that FOXNews Jr. is still a long way off.

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