ABC 20/20′s “D Is For Dad And Dumb” Segment
2 years, 6 months.
I take so much joy in spotlighting examples of dads being positively portrayed in the media. Not too long ago, I mentioned the Robinsons “Pals” commercial. This week, I promoted the Sears “Not A Superhero” ad, as well.
It’s a rewarding thing after three years of being a daddy blogger, to see examples in the media of those who get it:
Dads don’t appreciate being represented as idiots who need to learn to behave and be better role models for their children.
Sadly, though, there are still media outlets trying to capitalize on the “Al Bundy” version of dad, in what I assume is a desperate (and subliminal) attempt to relate to the females viewers, who traditionally have more buying power than men.
Last night after Mommy and I put you to bed, we vegged out to ABC’s 20/20. At the end of the episode, there was a segment called “D Is For Dad And Dumb.”
Wow, just in time for Father’s Day.
The segment featured dads caught on video, putting their child in harm’s way, or at least embarrassing them for the world to see. Right now, on ABC’s website, you can not only watch the clip, but also read the transcript from it.
In a generic disclaimer, the segment ended with the narrator proclaiming this: “Now we should say not all of the caught-on-tape moments involving dads are negative. Let’s wrap up with this thing up with clip from a father letting it all go. He’s become known as the “dancing dad” on the internet…”.
That’s right. Not all dads do bad things. Because the rest of us are just plain goofy, evidently. Dads either can’t be trusted or we’re simply clowns.
Let me remind you again of the name of the segment: ”D Is For Dad And Dumb.”
Nothing subtle about that. Unsurprisingly, here’s the closing line of the segment:
“So [the] bottom-line message to dads on this father’s day seems to be, don’t be an idiot. Don’t be an idiot, think about what you’re doing…”.
Okay, the question is this: Am I personally offended by 20/20′s “D Is For Dad And Dumb” segment?
The answer is no, because I am a mature man who doesn’t let TV networks have power over me. If I valued their opinion of dads so much it hurt my feelings, then I probably wouldn’t be man enough to wear hot pink pants.
I’m not angry, but I am disappointed. (Classic dad line.)
If I were to mention on Facebook that I oppose gay marriage, which I don’t, I would most likely be called a bigot within 20 seconds. However, it’s acceptable in media for good dads to be lumped in with the worst examples of fathers and no one raises a fuss.
I doubt anyone from ABC is reading this, but here is what I propose: Do a segment on 20/20 about how dads are tired of being portrayed as classic idiots. Show that the modern dad is very involved, caring, and is a proper role model.
Interview me. Let me explain it on national TV how a normal dad feels about the way I am stereotyped. It could be a segment called “D is For Dad and Dignified.”
If not, I’ll stick with the satisfaction of knowing my son and my wife think I’m a good dad; no disclaimers required.
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