Barney the Dinosaur turned out to be a registered sex offender (well, the third dude who dressed up in the purple costume). Speaking of purple, there’s Tinky Winky the Teletubby, whose triangular antenna supposedly symbolizes gay pride. Not to mention the psychedelic qualities of both that show and the funky Yo Gabba Gabba. Then there’s Hannah Montana, whose wardrobe could dress a streetwalker. What are parents to do about kids’ television programming?
Never fear, Glenn Beck has come to the rescue.
That’s right, talk show host Beck has started a children’s show on his web channel GBTV. The program, titled Liberty Treehouse, is geared toward children aged eight to 14.
Beck won’t actually host the show, which is probably wise, given that this is the guy who compared the slain Norwegian teenagers to Hitler youth and mocked President Obama’s 13-year-old daughter (he apologized for the latter, but not the former). However, Liberty Treehouse will precede his 5 p.m. webcast and will offer history, daily news, and yes, politics, for kids. And the former Fox News guy oversees all programming.
I’m sure my kids will be dying to check it out. After all, ICarly comes on at the same time, and they’d rather learn about straw polls than guffaw at silly teen jokes. Liberty Treehouse will clearly be more fun than playing Tea Party Zombies Must Die (an online video game that features a Glenn Beckish zombie character). Not that I promote video game violence, but preparing for the zombie apocalypse supersedes that.
So last summer, Beck started his own streaming media channel whose slogan is “The Truth Lives Here.” And I thought The Truth lived in Topeka. The Wall Street Journal reported that more than a quarter million people subscribed to GBTV within a couple of months.
Other than the history and political focus and some clips from old cartoons, such as Popeye, I couldn’t find out much about the new children’s show (Popeye, of course, primarily being the story of how a runty sailor beats up on overweight lechers who chase around his girl — but only via the power of spinach — healthy!).
Raj Nair, the Liberty Treehouse host, has Twittered a little about the show and started a Facebook page featuring the show’s logo of a blue tree with lightening strikes around it. It kind of looks like a sports team logo. A few parents responded positively on Facebook to the first show (Oct. 3), though two out of four of them mentioned the great toy commercials. Hmmmmm.
I considered paying the $9.95 just to watch the show a time or two, because I do like the idea of more history for kids. But whose history? Beck has been accused by historians of spewing historical inaccuracies. Among other things, he’s said that there was no need for the U.S. to join in WWI or II. That’s not what I learned in U.S. History class, but my professor had only spent about 30 years studying the wars. Beck parted ways with Fox after he angered lots of people by making a number of comments described as racist and anti-Semitic. Oh, and he’s discounted humanity’s contribution to climate change. So, clearly, he’s someone who should be teaching children.
Although the show started last week, I have yet to hear from anyone who has seen it. If you have ponied up your $9.95 this month, let me know what you think about Liberty Treehouse.