THE FIVE

Reality TV Creating Mean Girls?

Study: Shows like 'Real Housewives' may lead to bullying

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," October 18, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: So is reality TV turning our female youth into something uncouth?

A new study by the Girl Scout Research Institute -- which is where they invented the tag along by the by -- has found that shows like "Real Housewives" may lead to bullying among girls. Take a look:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) finger in my face. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in your face, too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. OK.

UNIDENTIFEID FEAMLE: Don't (EXPLETIVE DELETED) threaten me.

(YELLING)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Leave her alone! Leave her alone!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop it! Stop it!

(EXPLETIVE DELETED)

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: It's crazy.

GUTFELD: America.

Anyway, the institute surveyed 1,000 girls and found that reality TV behavior like hair-pulling, wine glass throwing and heaping blame on everyone else but yourself encourages the very same in real life.

Programs that reward narcissistic behavior creates pint-size divas who see the world nothing more than a camera only focused on them. Is it no wonder there are scads of online bullies and mob fights in McDonalds?

With parents checked out on drugs or absent altogether, the only role model left is that stretch-faced, thick-lipped collagen junkie who stumbles through living room, chugging chardonnay and swearing like a meth head trucker.

So, while talk show hosts bend over backwards to fake concern over bullying, their own networks perpetuate the behavior, because conflicts attract eyeballs and eyeballs make money.

When I was a kid, the family we looked up to was The Waltons. They were dirt poor. They lived with goats, a milk cow. Well, actually, maybe it wasn't that different from "Jersey Shore." I think the cow spent less time on all fours.

And if you don't believe me, I'll throw a drink in your face.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: So, yours was The Waltons, mine was the Ingalls. Yes, I rushed home every day to watch "Little House on the Prairie."

BOLLING: Can I call B.S. on this?

GUTFELD: Sure, go ahead.

BOLLING: There is no way you watched "The Waltons" growing up.

GUTFELD: I watched "The Waltons" and it confused me because I didn't know what era it was. They had a cow and a car.

(LAUGHTER)

PERINO: Well, my uncle has a car and a cow now and it's 2011.

GUTFELD: See, he probably lives on a farm. He doesn't have a cow in his apartment.

BOLLING: Can I point something out else? I think the study should go beyond just women. I watch my son watch "Jersey Shore" -- and they mimicking all this stuff all the time.

PERINO: What kind of a father are you?

BOLLING: They love the show.

JUAN WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: It's true. And, you know, on vacation, when I get to see what the kids are watching, they're watching this stuff and they think it's fun and they think it's real and get in the soap opera aspect of it.

But I think it is so crass. It's such low behavior. The idea that, you know, something like "The Real Housewives" is a hit show, I don't know --

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: Oh, it's disgusting. Gosh, how could anybody watch that show.

GUTFELD: You watch it constantly. Here is the thing, though --

WILLIAMS: Wait, you love it? You love it?

TANTAROS: I've never seen it. And according to the Girl Scout study that says these young girls are saying you have to lie to get what you want, I'm just lying. So, maybe it has influenced me.

GUTFELD: But here's the thing -- the difference between "Jersey Shore" and "Housewives" is about 20 years in age. That's what scares me is that these are women who are perpetuating this bullying behavior when they should know better. And it's purely because the cameras are focused on them. And they are teaching kids that the more you act up, the more famous you get.

TANTAROS: Because if you don't bring drama each season, you get kicked off. So, they know that each season they have to be more dramatic than the last.

WILLIAMS: But it's just like these "Real Housewives of Washington," where I live. This woman who then snuck into the White House --

PERINO: Salahi.

WILLIAMS: Yes. And now, she's run off with the drummer.

GUTFELD: From Journey.

WILLIAMS: But, you know, it's just --

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: REO Speedwagon.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: What happens to TV as inspiring, like uplifting?

PERINO: I was in D.C. and my friend was launching her clothing company called Apifeni.

GUTFELD: Nice plug.

(LAUGHTER)

PERINO: A friend of mine, a Democrat, we have been friends for years.

So I go to this party. And I'm standing next to this woman and I'm talking to her for quite a long time, she was lovely. I realize after a little bit one of my staffers walked by and she said, "By the way, that's 'The Real Housewives of D.C.'" I said, "Who?" I had no idea what she was talking about. I forgot that the "Real Housewives of D.C." was even on and I think I kind of offended her, which I may have done again.

TANTAROS: Who cares?

GUTFELD: They are awful people.

BOLLING: You go to dinner with the group and the wives say I hate that show. It's horrible. But they say see when so-and-so did this? Then they all know, and they all go, you know, we should be the housewives. Inspires reality star.

GUTFELD: There's a study of Midwestern teens -- these are my favorite kind of studies -- and they say swearing -- swearing on television leads to aggressive behavior in teens. It's almost like a gateway drug.

WILLIAMS: Well, it's modeling, don't you think? I got to tell you, I really am concerned about the way that young black people are presented on TV, because either you're a rapper or you're a gangster or you are one of these people who tells those awful jokes with the "N" word constantly because they can't seem to be funny without that word. And I think -- so this is what a young black man looks like to white people?

PERINO: We talked about the Waltons and the Ingalls, but Huxtables.

WILLIAMS: I am the --

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: Whoa. I am the sole voice -- I know how it feels like to be Bob. But defending reality television, there are some good shows out there, "The Biggest Loser" and one bright spot on MTV was "Made" where they actually took the geek and made them feel like the most important person in the school.

GUTFELD: You do watch a lot of reality TV.

TANTAROS: My mom yells at me all the time. She says, can't you watch something a little more edifying? And I say, you know I study all this heady stuff all day long. The Wall Street Journal, studies, sometimes I just want a little Novocain for the brain.

And I want to feel better at myself. I look at these women -- look, I don't have those problems. I'm not a Botox, Chardonay swilling creep.

WILLIAMS: That's the theory of the National Enquirer, which is celebrities might have all these money and fame but their lives are totally losers, screwed up.

GUTFELD: Yes.

WILLIAMS: They can't control their marriages, their families.

PERINO: And then when you call the pope a Nazi.

GUTFELD: There you go. You connected all the dots.

Speaking of television, you know that McDonald's is launching an in-house channel? It's the greatest story.

BOLLING: Smartest marketing tool I have ever heard of. You are watching TV and you bring a bag of chips, whatever you are eating. You're watching, you're not realizing how much you are eating. Well, you're eating, but you eat more than you would eat if you were just sitting there eating.

GUTFELD: I once ate my dog.

WILLIAMS: What?

GUTFELD: Nothing.

BOLLING: How brilliant is that. Eat more, watch TV.

WILLIAMS: Wait, wait, what's on the channel?

BOLLING: It doesn't matter what is on it.

TANTAROS: Like local sports, human interest stories. And I think McDonald's has come under the gun by this administration for having healthier food. So, they're trying to make a family restaurant settings.

PERINO: They could just play and syndicate "The Biggest Loser" at McDonald's.

GUTFELD: But you know who is behind it -- or involved -- is Mark Burnett who did "Survivor" and "The Apprentice" and "The Sing Off." So, there's somebody who is fairly powerful.

WILLIAMS: Wait until Michelle Obama hears about this. Because you know it has to have subliminal messages in there. Just as Eric was suggesting to eat more.

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: And McDonald's is the one creating all the jobs.

WILLIAMS: Oh, that's right.

TANTAROS: The Obama keeps beating up on them.

PERINO: They got a health care waiver.

WILLIAMS: Yes, really? You know what? I'm always struck, though, and the supermarket that they have the subliminal stuff in there to make you buy something, make you go to where fatty foods are and away from the milk and away from the fresh fruit. I don't how to joke. That's the truth.

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