Bugs Bunny and the Marlboro Man
How often do you watch television and not see violence, smoking, and drinking? Not very often. Everyday you watch television, and everyday you see one of these acts. You are not the only one who sees this, your children do, too. Every time you turn on the television to watch the news, a cartoon, a movie, or your favorite television series, you see something that is wrong with the world. Even if the shows you are watching don't show the bad things in the world, the commercials do.
Commercials take up about a quarter of the airtime on television. In a half-hour show there are about five to ten minutes of commercials. Most of these commercials, especially during sports events, contain smoking or drinking. You see a camel wearing sunglasses and a leather jacket, or the Marlboro Man on his horse, and you think, 'Hey they're pretty cool,' so decide to start smoking.
How many times have you heard, 'Here's that frog commercial,' and went running to the television to see what they were doing now? You might start thinking that they are cool, so go and try their product, which is just the thing the advertisement is trying to do.
Popular TV series also play a role as bad influences. Many shows have the main character smoking or drinking. Take Rosanne, for instance; the opening scene shows her sitting around a table playing poker, while her husband smokes a cigar and drinks a beer. In Married With Children, another show, Al sits around the house reading pornographic material, and while working he ogles the women shopping in his store. Both of these portray a family that does not care about each other. The kids run wild, while the parents argue. Many shows contain...