Protecting the Children

So Zidane “held a high-profile TV interview in which he issued an apology to any children who might have been watching” when he head-butted Materazzi during the World Cup final. (Forbes, and many other sources)

Before he even said it, several opinionists brought up the usual “what about the children?” moan, much as they did over Janet Jackson’s nipple exposure a few years ago.

No one, however, is moaning about protecting the children from news broadcasts, which hourly contain enough real shock and horror to send any child into trauma. Or the actual lives of many children, including many in the United States. Years ago several people were killed in random shootings in a housing project, I think it was in Detroit, including a child walking home from school. Civil administrators interviewed on TV spoke of the need for post-trauma counseling for the schoolchildren whose classmate had been killed. All I could think was: “Wouldn’t it have been more effective to prevent the shootings in the first place and avoid the cause of the trauma?”

So the world entertains itself wondering what Materazzi said to Zidane, and debates whether Zidane was right to react as he did, and wonders how to explain this great mystery to the poor, innocent children who have been exposed to a sports hero behaving badly.

Uh, people, did you even notice? There’s a war on. Or two. Or three. Explain THAT to your children. If you can.

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