Talking Points: First, Do No Harm

Talking Points received a big reaction to our report on Russell Yates and his responsibility in the deaths of his five children.

The mail has been mixed on the question.

Some viewers like Marcy Stillings of Gower, Missouri, called me a cold-hearted guy for saying Mr. Yates bears some guilt in this case.

Others, like Sherry Russell from Fresno, California, thanked me for mentioning that Yates should have better protected his kids.

But there are some indisputable facts in play here.

First, the primary responsibility of all parents is to protect their children from harm. If that harm is coming from a spouse, that does not change the situation. We must protect the kids.

Russell Yates knew his wife was having psychological problems, yet he continued to get her pregnant, even after she attempted suicide. Mr. Yates himself admitted the house was in deplorable condition yet felt he could leave his wife unsupervised with the children.

That is on Mr. Yates.

Second truism: America's kids are being brutalized and sexualized as never before in this country. That's not debatable. It is happening. Yet many Americans are not willing to fight back.

Time after time, we see awful influences on our children, yet we do nothing to protest. Almost everyone agrees that children today are exposed to the most corrupt things imaginable at a very early age, yet there are no marches on Washington or on Hollywood or on your local movie theater. There is simply not enough outrage.

We live in a time where excuses and rationalizations rules, and the Yates case is a good example. Russell Yates participated in the making five babies with a woman who was unstable and dangerous. Yates knew her situation yet relied on doctors and drugs and other people and — well, you get the picture.

This case is a warning for all parents. Do not rely on others when it comes to your children. Society and other people may harm them. Only you can protect them, and it is imperative that we all do that.

And that's the memo.

Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

More magazine has a feature this month called "Men We Love" saluting, "the grooviest men on the planet." Is groovy back?

Anyway, under the banner of journalists we'd love to be investigated by are Jon Stewart, Stone Phillips, Matt Lauer, Tom Brokaw and your humble correspondent. The writers Stephanie Woodward and Audrey Edwards say, "Tough guy O'Reilly doesn't phase us. And the rest are just a bunch of hunky sweethearts."

How did I miss out on that hunky sweetheart deal? Could be ridiculous.

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