Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Journalist Criticizes a Journalist

In November, child actor Angus Jones—one of the stars of the hit sitcom Two and a Half men—publicly criticized the show that has made him a multi-millionaire. In effect, he condemned the vulgar tone of the program.

Anyone who has seen this program knows that the kid is only confirming what they already have seen and heard themselves. The plots are about sex, the characters are sex-driven, and the dialogue is not so much sexual innuendo as it is crude and openly sexual remarks that one could hear in any junior high school yard. Yes, 13-year-olds laugh like hell at this stuff.

But the success of this long-running sitcom is testament to the depths to which our culture now stoops when looking for 22 minutes-worth of mindless entertainment. I confess that I watched this program the first two years of its existence, but soon grew tired of the ever-increasing focus on the bedroom and the bathroom—the two rooms about which Two and a Half Men seems to be concerned.

In a December 1, 2012 column in the Philadelphia Inquirer, their television columnist found fault with Angus Jones, saying that he sabotaged his career by this “bizarre” rambling of his. Of course the columnist also noted that the 19-year old is “newly evangelized.”

Well, well…I think we’re finally getting to the meat of the criticism. How critical would the television critic have been if Jones say, spoke out against the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to bear arms, or passed negative judgment on the pro-life movement, or defended atheism as sober way of life? Personally, I think Jones would have been painted as a hero for speaking his young mind.

But the moment you announce that Christianity is the impetus behind your stand, you’ve committed one of the news media’s seven deadly sins: Thou shalt not try to profess your belief in God—at least not if you make your living in the entertainment industry. Morals be damned.

The columnist even went so far as to say that if the young actor was truly appalled at the bawdy nature of the show, shouldn’t he give away his hefty salary to the more needy, since this would be the truly Christian thing to do?

Just as the columnist gives his salary to the needy, I suppose.

I see the incident as much more straight forward. Jones has simply grown up during the show’s tenure. He started as a 10-year-old, and is now 19. So why shouldn’t he be a bit more selective, more learned, more mature?

Maybe the lewd remarks he laughed at when he was 10, now seem juvenile and unworthy of an adult audience as he enters his 20th year of life. Yeah; I think the kid is growing up. And as a grown up, I think he can do what he wants with his salary.

He can even donate some of it to the training of journalists. Even if it’s just one course. I would vote for Objectivity 101—a course sadly lacking in many schools of journalism.


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