It's important to watch FoxNews once in a while, to be reminded what kind of goofiness is being foisted on the public in the guise of news. Take, for example, Neil Cavuto's recent fit about someone slipping thoughtful messages into children's movies.
Cavuto and Fox movie reviewer Holly McClure are apoplectic because Happy Feet, the most popular movie in America for the last two weeks, takes aim at the issue of overfishing, which Cavuto calls a “far left message” that suggests “humans and big business are to blame.” He concluded:
“My biggest thing was — you can make a political statement all you want — adult movie and all. I just think it’s a little tacky, and … big-time objectionable when you start foisting it on kids who don’t know any better.”
I haven't seen the movie yet. My kids are old enough to have insisted on the rather harsher lessons buried in Casino Royale. But as messages go, this seems pretty mild. I mean, overfishing IS bad, isn't it?
I also get the sense that McClure and Cavuto don't get out much (which is understandable given the reported attention span of Cavuto's kids). What about the anti-development sentiments of Over the Hedge? What about the subtle vegetarian pitch in Babe and Charlotte's Web, or the anti-hunting hysteria in Bambi? You have elitism in Lion King, anti-elitism in The Incredibles, feminism in Mulan. Then you have that long, preachy anti-lying lecture, Pinocchio.Clearly, Hollywood has been out to colonize our children's brains for generations.
The great thing about kids' movies, though, is that you usually see them with your kids. That means that Neil Cavuto can tell his own children that Fox News believes overfishing is an important part of the American way of life, performed by noble corporations that have made us all wealthy and that pay Daddy's salary. The rest of us can enjoy the laughs and maybe just let our kids reach their own conclusions. After all, unlike Fox News announcers, kids are smarter than they look.