The Emmy-award winning Nick News will take a look at the good and bad sides of public discourse with a special airing November 5 at 8:30 pm on Nickelodeon titled Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: Cheap Shots and Low Blows: How Debate Turns To Hate. The special, which will also feature Chris Matthews, Al Franken and Ann Coulter will include children from around the country talking about what they feel is appropriate in public debate and what isn't, what's fair game in political debates and what is nothing more than a personal attack. While grown ups can easily sift through a lot of the nonsense that makes up public debate, we tend to forget the effect it can have on children without some kind of frame of reference. Given the extremes of Franken and Coulter alone, this could be an interesting special.
In the past the kid-centric news program has covered issues such as intelligent design, Hurricane Katrina, and health issues.
For example, there's the unwritten law of TV shows that states two or more people can discuss illegal activities, quite loudly, while in public and surrounded by strangers, and no one will hear them. If you keep an eye out for it, you'll notice it all the time. Criminals will meet in restaurants and chat about their plans to murder someone as if they're talking about the weather. Detectives will discuss top secret cases while walking along bustling city streets. What's even stranger than discussing these things so loudly and within earshot of everyone else is the idea that they found it necessary to come to a public place to discuss it in the first place. Of course, sometimes a show must do that in order to create a sense of atmosphere, and that's fine, it is just TV after all. Still, I find it amusing to imagine real criminals behaving this way. It would certainly make for easier arrests.
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