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Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight.
Using quasi-prostitutes to sell sneakers. That's the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.
The Pony company, which is run by a Hollywood talent agency called The Firm, has hired some porn stars who appear in their shoe commercials, if you can believe it.
The big ad campaign, set to begin in March and will feature our pal Jenna Jameson among others. The company hoping that hard core sex will lead to the purchase of sneakers.
Now like the Ludacris controversy, we don't much care if adults watch porn or listen to thug rap, but we do care about American companies mainstreaming fringe behavior so that impressionable and unsupervised children will think it is normal and acceptable.
If I'm a 13-year-old boy and see some sexy porn actress pushing sneakers somewhere, I'd go to the Internet to check this woman out.
The Pony story is interesting on a number of levels. Its parent company manages the Dixie Chicks, Backstreet Boys and Pamela Anderson, among others. Much of Pony's product is made in China, and its Web site features bizarre stories.
One Web item urges sympathy for a skateboarder named Christian Holsoy, who's in jail for carrying a pound and a half of crystal meth into Honolulu. Crystal meth, as you may know, is one of the most dangerous drugs on the planet.
Now we tried to get the executives from Pony and The Firm to explain themselves, but they're hiding in the barn. There is no question, however, the company is trying to legitimize quasi-prostitution and sees fit to reward that kind of behavior with lucrative endorsement.
So once again, my buying choices have shrunk. I'm not going to buy anything Pony makes. Because I want to send them a message, that I resent their attempt to mainstream destructive behavior.
Pony's target audience is teenagers and young adults. And call me crazy, but I don't think porn stars are great role models for American kids.
As Talking Points has mentioned, America is rapidly becoming a country where no judgments are made about any kind of behavior. And while some adults can contextualize porn and rap, children cannot.
I am sick and tired of seeing companies pushing bad behavior and justifying it as some kind of cultural freedom.
In the end the consumer drives the marketplace. And the corporations that carry Pony products must make a decision. Right now you can Pony stuff in Sears, Modell's and Footlocker, among others.
Once again, I am not calling for any boycott but I am not riding the Pony or even buying in any store that carries the line. I've drawn my line. Enough's enough. And that's The Memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...
Saddam Hussein told Dan Rather that he wants to debate President Bush on TV. Chances are that will not happen, but, as an alternative, allow me to suggest me. I'll debate you, Saddam. And since you already have a no-fly zone, you'll have no trouble understanding the no-spin zone. It's the same thing. Violate the rules, get shot down. Looking forward to hearing from you.
And this offer is serious, not ridiculous.
--You can watch Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points Memo and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill O'Reilly currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The O'Reilly Factor (weekdays 8PM/ET), the most watched cable news show for the past 13 years. He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York.