Nickelodeon's Slime for Kids

Many parents have, at some point, watched various celebrities coated in a layer of Nickelodeon Television’s famous green slime.  How innocent and amusing to watch Mike Meyers or Justin Timberlake covered in ooze.

But it was another type of slime that hit the Nickelodeon screen during a segment of Nick News, hosted by Linda Ellerbee.  Presented as a news program for kids, the recent episode “Rebels with a Cause”, featured, among others, two anti-war teens.

In pitch-perfect leftist speak, Ellerbee introduces the show with talk of "taking on the establishment."  It takes only a nanosecond to recognize that Ellerbee does not mean just any establishment, certainly not her own leftist establishment of Hollywood and the Mainstream Media.  No, Linda and her rebels mean “the man”.  And by man, they mean George W. Bush. 

Meet rebel Mikka, a 14-year-old member of the political organization The World Can’t Wait.  We join this little moppet as he prepares to attend a rally just as he is donning a fetching orange jumpsuit and a black hood he has sewn for the occasion. The camera pans to a close-up of his dramatic dress-up as he pulls the black hood over his face.

“I am going to a protest so that people are forced to confront the fact that people are being tortured by American soldiers” he tells us with genuine earnestness.   He is joined at a rally outside the local mall by other teens and tweeners.  While parading in matching costumes, they chant through a bullhorn, "We are not ok with people being tortured by American troops!" 

Soon the group enters the mall, that evil bastion of capitalism, and security tells the little darlings to move along.  Mikka shouts, “Are these corporations more important than human lives?”

Linda coos over the video in her soothing Kathleen Turner voice, “And so Mikka believes, as is his right, a change in government is needed.”  Gee Linda, is that reporting or prayer?

Remember back in the good old days when the scary images you had to soothe out of your little one’s head came as the result of Bambi’s mother on the wrong end of a shotgun?

What is a young person to believe of American Troops when they hear Mikka’s words and Linda’s lack of context?  A child left to his or her own devices might think that American Troops troll our streets looking for people to torture…and that next torture victim might be YOU Timmy! Yes, you….eating your Fruit Loops in your Spiderman pajamas!

Mikka goes on, “You may ask why it is so important that the people unite to impeach Bush.  Torture is just one concern of The World Can’t Wait. Our overall goal is to drive Bush out of power.  Our democracy is at stake because a lot of the things the things Bush administration is doing are violating the constitution.”
Linda provides no balance or context for her young audience to weigh the information.  She tells us, in a relieved and comforting tone, that Bush, a Republican, only has two more years in office and that the Congress was recently won by Democrats.  Phew kids!  Help is on the way!  The Democrats will save us from those evil, torturing, Constitution trampling Republicans!

Ellerbee offers so little in the way of investigative journalism, it is staggering.  The World Can’t Wait is presented as little more than a happy sign carrying club that gives kids a voice.  Neither she, nor Mikka, mentions the origins of the organization in 2005 leading to Charles Clark Kissinger, a longtime leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party. 

A peek at the WCW website, certainly something internet savvy kids did after watching Ellerbee’s breathless and glowing piece, is astonishing in its shear ugliness and propaganda.  WCW promises "to send Bush, Cheney and the rest of those fascists packing…. After that, there are people in ‘World Can’t Wait’ who are working for everything from reforming the Democratic party, to building a 3rd party, to revolution.” 
An easily searchable speech from a November 2, 2005 WCW rally can also be found.  A speaker tells the crowd, "Revolution is in the air! We need to commit to a revolution now!
And we stand for revolution…..We have the understanding, we have the strategy and we have the leadership, the chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, Bob Avakian, to get us there, and we invite everyone to engage with us on this. As our paper, Revolution, so aptly puts it: Conservative, my ass! These people are Nazis!”

Thank goodness he threw Conservatives are Nazis out there!  It isn’t really a lefty rally without throwing the word N-word around.

Ellerbee gets through the entire piece, with the soft tone of a concerned adult, without once addressing the War on Terror or the discomforting positions that the WCW holds in the red shadow of the RCP.

The program closes with another rebel who runs an anti-war website.  Posting more than 90 videos on her site, none comes close to the photo montage of dead Iraqis with the song “Jesus Love Me” in the background.  Again, no context from Ellerbee or the propagandist with training wheels.  There is no mention of how these people actually died.  We are left to assume that, once again, it is exclusively at the hands of our troops and President. 

Does Ellerbee suggest that, perhaps, some of the deaths came at the hands of terrorist IEDs and homicide bombers?  Nope.  Instead, children eating their Wheaties in the early morning or surfing the Nick website, where the segment can be viewed 24/7, are fed images of dead people and the evil American soldiers who killed them. 

I imagine young viewers take from these two stories exactly what Ellerbee and her rebels want them too….America is a big, mean killing machine fronted by evil Bush and his torturing troops.

And the green slime of Nickelodeon oozes forth and claims more victims.