The Today Show versus Melissa Summers

Filed under: Just For Moms, Health & Safety: Babies, Playground Bureau, Alcohol & Drugs, Media, Gadgets, That's Entertainment

As you probably know, Melissa Summers appeared on the Today show the other day to talk about mothers who do not see motherhood as requiring complete abstinence. Unfortunately, the show was not so much a discussion as it was a trial. It seemed quite clear that the host and the very polished doctor were there to make Melissa out to be some kind of drunkard who wobbled about falling down on the playground while her kids grew up neglected and dysfunctional.

Of course, it's not like that. Yes, there are some women who have such a problem, but the occasional drink does not a problem make. Have I had a glass of wine or beer in front of my kids? Certainly. Heck, every year, we spend a week in Calistoga with all of Rachel's siblings and stepsiblings and their kids and her folks, and believe you me, the alcohol flows freely there. In fact, one couple has a cooler with two compartments and the kids know that one side is for them and the other is for grown-ups.

Now, I don't know Melissa personally, but I'd be willing to bet that she doesn't get drunk when her kids are around, if at all. If one were to go on what the Today show implied, not only is she continually wasted, she probably does crystal meth as well. The doctor kept going on about healthy choices, but last I heard, wine was a healthy choice. Again, there is a huge difference between getting sloshed and having a drink or two.

The problem here, I think, is that this sort of program simply does not have time to deal with complex issues. Everything has to be black and white, good and evil, right and wrong, so they can say "that's good, that's bad, boom, boom, commercial break." There's no room in four minutes and change for anything in between. Either you're a teetotaler or you're a lush, and of course a good lush sells more advertising than a dozen teetotalers any day.

There is a term for this, of course, going back more than a hundred years. It's called yellow journalism.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.