Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Halloween Related Story That Pissed Me Off

I was working on the computer last night when I overheard a local news story (not local to me, I think it was local to Seattle), which seems to be one of those interest stories that is spreading like wild fire.

Apparently this year is going to be the year of raunchy, overly sexualized costumes for preteens... and everyone needs to be afraid.

I can see why this is being covered, mainly because they usually show adults wearing versions of the same costumes so that people can be outraged and offended that kids might be wearing the same thing.

However, there was something that came up which really lit a fire under my ass to write this post... they brought up the idea that a pedophile was going to see a someone's kid in a provocative costume and suddenly just grab them.

In essence, what that particular news department is doing is taking a story which could be summed up in one short phrase: There is a shocking dearth of costumes appropriate for tweens (they are too old for kids costumes, and too young for teen/adult ones). That was enough... that is what the story is really about.

Throwing pedophiles in there is just sensationalism at its worst, something meant to make the story seem a lot more important than it really is. Because, I have yet to read any statistics regarding Halloween and pedophile activity, and I might even be willing to bet statistically it is probably safer than nearly every other day of the year (because you know the police are going to be looking for that and trick or treating is something which is highly scrutinized activity). I guess including it makes good copy though.

And the reason why that little addition made me angry was it was telling parents that going out for Halloween is inherently unsafe (just like those urban legends about razor blades in apples and such did for an earlier generation). So what that station, and likely other stations are doing is they are robbing a generation of kids of the joy of Halloween, and that is just irresponsible. Halloween is about scaring people, but this kind of reporting is not what anyone had in mind.

They should feel ashamed of themselves for giving overprotective parents more things to be worried about over a piece of clothing they are going to wear one day of the year.


SamuraiFrog said...

Stories like that are the reason Halloween has been confined to activities like putting everyone's car in a lot and letting heavily supervised kids go from trunk to trunk and then go back home. Might as well just buy some candy and stay at home and have done.

MC said...

Some people have done that... and from the various status updates on Facebook from last night, it looks like there was very little trick or treating traffic.