THIS IS CNN: Lefty Loon Decries “Fascism” of Children’s Cartoons – by Calvin Freiburger
On the off chance you know somebody who still doesn’t understand why CNN is a laughingstock in the eyes of so many Americans, maybe this next story will help clarify things for them.
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On Friday, Elissa Strauss wrote an op-ed on CNN’s website arguing that two popular children’s shows — the classic “Thomas the Tank Engine” and the much more recent “Paw Patrol” — are subtly imprinting fascist ideas on the children of America. Or something.
None of my paraphrasing could possibly do this madness justice, so read a taste of it for yourself below:
“Thomas,” the long-running television franchise about a group of working trains chugging away on the Island of Sodor, has been called a “premodern corporate-totalitarian dystopia” in the New Yorker, imperialist and sinister in Slate, and classist, sexist and anti-environmentalist in the Guardian. And yet people — presumably parents — spend $1 billion on “Thomas” merchandise every year.
“Paw Patrol” is equally polarizing. The show, about a group of rescue dogs led by a boy named Ryder, is a regular source of complaint among parents and of adoration among their kids.
Buzzfeed called the show “terrible” and pointed to instances of gender and social inequality that go unchecked on the show. In the Guardian, Ryder is described as a megalomaniac with an implied “unstoppable God complex.” Nevertheless, “Paw Patrol” is ubiquitous. Branded merchandise featuring Ryder and the gang outsells most other television shows, according to recent data from the Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association. A recent Amazon search for “Paw Patrol” yielded 24,814 results.
Now, it’s been a looooong time since I’ve seen any “Thomas,” and I have to plead unfamiliarity with “Paw Patrol.” But right off the bat, two oddities stand out: first, since when is Buzzfeed, which might as well be the official publication of snot-nosed millennials everywhere, any sort of authority on anything beyond Facebook quizzes that arbitrarily decide which “Harry Potter” character you are? Second, if parents despises “Paw Patrol” that much, then who’s spending so much money on its toys and apparel?
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Fortunately, a couple paragraphs down, Strauss gives us a hint as to what’s really bothering her:
The neat moral order of shows like “Thomas” and “Paw Patrol” gives them a context for these feelings, explained Tovah Klein, director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and author of “How Toddlers Thrive.” Good and bad are clearly articulated states in those shows, she said, and should one misbehave, the repercussions are clear and predictable.
“This is an age group that is constantly dealing with all these negative feelings in themselves. ‘Am I good?’ ‘Am I bad?’ They are trying to figure out what that means,” Klein said.
These shows also help children navigate their paradoxical relationship with power. On one hand, they desperately want some power. Watching the pups in “Paw Patrol” go on a mission or the trains in “Thomas” being useful allows them to feel as though they too have an important role to play.
On the other hand, children take comfort in the idea that someone is in charge.
Oh, so it’s not that these shows are indoctrinating children into actual fascism; it’s that themes of objective morality, actions having consequences, and the mere existence of any sort of authority happen to resonate with children — and liberals can’t tell the difference. That actually explains a lot about the liberal mindset, why lefties are such a problem on college campuses, and why “fascist” is nearly as common in the liberal lexicon as the word “the.”
You know, in its own demented, roundabout way, this might actually be one of the most illuminating works CNN has put out in years.
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