Is Nickelodeon Getting Political?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 26, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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LAURA INGRAHAM, GUEST HOST: In the "Culture War" segment tonight: Nickelodeon gets political now.

First lady Michelle Obama is being honored by the kids' network for her campaign against childhood obesity. I don't remember Laura Bush getting an honor like that from the Nick folks for her eight years of service to the cause of literacy.

And joining us now from Los Angeles, James Hirsen, the author of the book, great book, "Hollywood Nation." James, great to see you.


INGRAHAM: So are we making a big deal? I mean, Nickelodeon, how bad can it be? And I know they did all those pro-Obama things leading up to the election, after the election. But is this really a big deal? The first lady is doing all this great work on obesity. Shouldn't she be honored?

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HIRSEN: No, it's a big deal. Here's why. Because there's millions of parents that trust this No. 1 children's brand. They trust their kids to watch it. And there's one thing where we should protect childhood innocence, it's in children's programming. Yet Nickelodeon, time after time, throws in political indoctrination. They have an agenda. They have proven it — they have proven in very controversial areas like global warming science. Or maybe not science. Like in the area of immigration. And in the area of homosexual parenting. They got Linda Ellerbee on there doing a news program.

INGRAHAM: That was a disaster.

HIRSEN: They are a disaster. They've shown illegal aliens as victims. They've shown homosexual parenting as this...


HIRSEN: ...those don't even belong on there.

INGRAHAM: One of the things I love from a few years ago was when Linda Ellerbee was doing one of her features, and they had actually some kids in Berkeley dressed up as prisoners at Abu Ghraib. I think it was at Abu Ghraib. It was at some military black site or something, some prison. And it was basically that these people are being degraded. This was on Nickelodeon. My daughter likes "Dora the Explorer." But now I feel like I just have to lock up the television and don't let them see any of this stuff because it always tends toward the PC, political. Meanwhile, the kids just want to watch cartoons that are kind of fun. And this is why I like the Bugs Bunny, didn't get into any of this stuff.

HIRSEN: Yes. You know, it makes me think of Pink Floyd: "Leave the kids alone." Can you imagine, Laura? You know, this is called the Kids' Choice Award. What if Nickelodeon had a program to enlist kids for school choice, to encourage school choice?

INGRAHAM: Forget it.

HIRSEN: Imagine the uproar. I mean, the green slime would flow. By the way, the first lady is — she's avoiding the green slime. That's a traditional part of this award. She's 3,000 miles away. But it would be demeaning. But also, the president and the first lady are up for an award for the cutest couple.

INGRAHAM: That was adorable. James, are you saying — no, no, no, wait a second. I'm playing devil's advocate here. Are you saying that MTV-owned Nickelodeon wouldn't bestow the same award on a cute conservative couple? I mean, honestly, let's say a show on gun rights? Come on, the Second Amendment or something like that? Come on. I mean, now this big campaign by Nickelodeon is to enlist kids in a form of community organizing for the environment.

HIRSEN: That's right.

INGRAHAM: So kids are going to turn into these little green-iacs crying about the polar bears.

HIRSEN: Yes. This is part of their program called the Big Green Help. The first Kids' Choice Award went to Leo DiCaprio for his work in promoting the Al Gore worldview. And they have a multiplayer online game, which has like nine levels. It's like World of Warcraft. It teaches global warming.

INGRAHAM: Oh yes, it's all indoctrination.

HIRSEN: It's — it's indoctrination. It doesn't belong in children's programming.

INGRAHAM: And guess what, James? James, it's not — it's also not entertaining, OK? Kids want to be entertained and learn.

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