If I seem pre-occupied by cartoons of late (see this Cold War classic), you may be right. I’ve haven’t really thought about it, but do freely admit my affection for Peanuts and Charles Schulz’s Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy and gang.
Cartoons, though, have been in the news recently and not always for the most noble reasons. First, the Charlie Brown Christmas special was preempted, somewhat controversially, athough ABC later rescheduled. Now we learn that CBS has corrupted the legendary Frosty The Snowman cartoon. It mashed up an online promo (a “mash” is one medium mixed into another) where it uses actual Frosty scenes to front foul-mouthed audio from two of its sitcoms (See FoxNews.com). The result is an indecent Frosty, zapping Christmas innocence out of any children who may happen upon it thinking it’s the real Frosty.
Ironic that this comes from CBS where, at one time, as I discussed earlier this week, it actually cared somewhat about Christmas. But it isn’t a network that has distinguished itself in recent years, what with Dan Rather and its news division’s pretense of objectivity (See Media Research Center). Cartoons, especially this time of year, especially the classic ones, represent the last remnant of Big Media’s family-oriented culture, of a different, slower paced time, when people and families could gather for a common nationwide experience. Especially during the Christmas season, when parents can pass along the times of their youth to their children. CBS’ move was a step to debase that.
Whether it’s news or entertainment, CBS and its fellow Mainstream Media cohorts fall exceedingly short. Although an obscene rendition of Frosty The Snowman isn’t necessarily shocking anymore (unfortunately), most critics do at least find it disturbing. Which still, rightfully, makes it a sad day for CBS, although less sad for any unsuspecting child (or family) who happens upon this trash.