It's not a good time to be a kid in America and that's the subject of this evening's Talking Points memo.
The Factor is expanding. We'll be reporting for the Fox Broadcast Network a few times over the next year and the first Factor special will be called The Corruption of the American Child.
In researching this, I am listening to all kinds of rap music, watching teen-friendly TV and movies and studying the kid culture.
All I have to say is, it is a jungle out there. And if a child has irresponsible parents that jungle can ruin him or her.
The wicked part of the degeneration of kid entertainment is that it hurts the poor the most. Rappers like Insane Clown Posse and Jay Z are idolized by some children most at risk.
If these kids adopt the anti-social ways of the rappers and absorb the violent video-game culture, their odds of getting a good job and developing stable relationships are slim.
Last night I went back in time and attended a Beach Boys concert. Mike Love is the only original member left. But I was struck by how much fun that music still is. There are no "hos"; no drugs; no guns; no f-words. It's just catchy tunes designed to bring smiles and relieve some stress. Very unlike the dark world of rap.
The rappers, themselves, all have their games down: They say they do have positive messages and that they're just entertainers. These are Jerry Springer-like rationalizations and they just don't cut it when 60 percent of poor 4th graders can't read.
Like it or not, the ticket out of poverty and bad circumstance is education and discipline. Not swearing and obscene tattoos.
In my world, the world of reality, you have to fight your way out of poverty. Taking drugs, hating whitey — or anybody else — and defying conventional power isn't going to do it.
That's what the rappers in general are selling these days. And that's what millions of kids are buying.
And that's the memo.
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