my Snark

Pop Culture . . . whatever

Paul Peterson on the “Ocomom Special”

The Fox Special “Unseen Footage”

“The California Department of Labor levied four citations and fines to RadarOnLine for the single night of March 17th 2009 when the first two octuplets came home with Nadya, their faces covered to protect the exclusive provisions of a contract entered into guaranteeing exclusivity to RadarOnLine. The first two babies were then subjected to video taping well after the two narrow hourly windows permitted under California Law. RadarOnLine, operating in a “pay for play” environment and not as a legitimate member of a Free Press, had not obtained the required “Permit to Employ Minors” and the Labor Department correctly ruled that the premature infants were, in fact, contracted employees in every sense of the word.

Eleven years ago my wife and I literally wrote and passed the law that governs the use of Premature Infants in the world of entertainment in California. My wife, Rana Platz-Petersen, is both a Registered Nurse and the Business Representative of Studio First Aid, Local 767, IATSE, the union which supplies all medical personnel, including Baby Nurses, in the eleven western States on signatory productions. Briefly, premature infants are not permitted to be employed until they are Full Term, at Full Birth Weight, plus fifteen days, and released for employment by a licensed pediatrician by a signed certification, and the infants are then eligible to apply for a Work Permit.

Furthermore, to protect these especially fragile new-borns, the Law requires one Registered Nurse and one state-credentialed welfare worker for every three babies up to the age of six weeks, and one studio teacher/welfare worker and one registered nurse for every ten infants from six weeks to six months old. These rules are readily available to anyone concerned about the welfare of infants exposed to the entertainment industry in California on the Department of Labor’s website.

On January 1st 2000 the much misunderstood Coogan Law, which only exists in California, was amended through the efforts of dozens of former kid stars who belong to the foundation my wife and I created in 1990, A Minor Consideration with the full cooperation of the theatrical unions and the largest producer’s association, the AMPTP. The new Coogan Law was expanded to cover all minors in Entertainment, changed the antiquated rules that permitted parents to literally own the income of their children, so that minors could actually own the fruits of their own labor, and a percentage of their separate income would be set-aside in a Coogan Account and available to these children on their 18th birthday.

It was with full awareness of the rules governing the California work place that I watched last night’s telecast of the “Unseen Footage” on the Fox Network. I was appalled by the chaotic atmosphere captured by the ever-present RadarOnLine film crew. A commercial enterprise is underway in the Suleman household in direct violation of the California child labor laws involving all fourteen children. The images and sounds of last night’s broadcast will never go away. Never. Worse, even more such images are forthcoming.

Even more chilling for me is the awareness that other children working in states outside California are being subjected to similar exposure that will, I promise you, have life-long consequences. Most of the children employed in so-called reality shows do not have California’s protections, which last night we observed in the breech, and it is a national disgrace that children employed in entertainment are exempt from federal child labor laws and have been since 1938 with the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

I am ashamed by the Industry that raised me. I am ashamed of the national media that is now trafficking in the images of children who are incapable of providing Informed Consent and do not have the power to disobey.

My wife and I have played by the rules, even passing meaningful legislation at great personal and professional cost. Today is a day of reckoning. Surely someone on Capitol Hill or living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue watched last night’s broadcast. I am pleading with you to fix this, for if you cannot protect the most visible children in the world from what we saw last night then everything else you have to say from Health Care to the National Debt is meaningless because your silence means that the promise of childhood in America is dead.”

Paul Petersen,
Founder and President,
A Minor Consideration


August 22, 2009 Posted by | A Minor Consideration, Gosselin, Gossip, Greed, Paul Peterson, Politics, Reality TV | , , , , , | Comments Off on Paul Peterson on the “Ocomom Special”

According To Jim — Drugs are funny!!!

Did you even know that “According to Jim” is still on the air? Last nights episode prompted me to write. Does anybody remember the old “Dick Van Dyke” episode when Rob took some of Laura’s pain killers? He acted crazy, it was funny and gave the message that you do NOT take other peoples prescribed medicine. This was 40 + years ago. People weren’t knowingly addicted to pain pills, oxy, Valium, codeine and all the other wonderful inventions that make them feel no pain. (or feelings, guilt, responsibility etc.).

This newest episode was about Jim hurting his back and being on pain pills. He was so funny and nice on pain pills. Andy loves him. The kids confess their crimes and all is okay. He’s pleasant and funny and a pleasure to be around.

Then the meds wear off and Jim becomes total dick. So, what does Andy do? He wrestles (yeah, right) with the idea of drugging him. Nice scene with him “making up his mind” if he should drug his BIL so he stops being an ass. After all, Jim is mad that Andy spent a company credit card to get a car to take out a hooker!

After one more huge yell, Andy drugs Jim’s drink and he is cheerful and pleasant again. Everybody happy.

Then the drugs wear off. Cheryl figures out what is going on (Andy can’t keep a secret) and she realizes she wants Jim drugged for her Cake Party that she’s having (even though she knows Jim hates parties and is always very rude to the guests.)

However, Cheryl, having such a big conscious and really caring about her loving husband, doesn’t want to give Jim pain pills for no reason. If he’s not in pain it’s “wrong.”

“Let’s make him in pain again so it won’t be wrong!!” says loving wife, Cheryl. She gets a cake box and puts a cinder block in it and tells Andy to have Jim (because if she tried to trick him it would be wrong) take it to the garage. Once Jim lifts it, he will hurt his back again and need the pain pills. Isn’t this fun!

Jim picks up the box and the cinder block falls out. He gets Andy to confess everything that’s going on and then Jim takes all the pain pills and flushes them in the sink. He replaces them with tic-tacs and it’s time for the party!!!

The rest is predictable as hell. He acts wasted. He falls in a cake. He admits he as faking. “How dare¬† you!!” He forgives her. Kiss and make up.

Hours later I was watching “Chelsea Lately” and I laughed at a drug joke. They were discussing the story about Lindsey Lohan not being able to pay for a manicure. Ross Matthews said. “I’ve lent Lindsey money and I will never do it again!” Someone asked, “How much, ” and he said, “how much does a bag of blow cost?”

Why is this joke funny to me but “According to Jim” offends me?

“Chelsea Lately!” is on at 11:00 at night and is geared for adults.

“According to Jim” is on at 8:00 during prime-time and is a “family show” with kids in the cast and children as viewers.

Dick Van Dyke is an alcoholic. Jim Belushi’s brother died of a drug overdose.¬† Why is this funny? Have TV sitcom writers not evolved in over for 40 years enough to realize that glorifying drug use is detrimental to society? Don’t they realize that teens are raiding their parents and grandparents medicine cabinets searching for “pain meds” or anything that might alter their state-of-consciousness for free? Watching Jim Belushi having fun while being drugged has got to make some kid think, “didn’t my mom have pain pills when she hurt herself last year? Those pills are still there. They won’t even notice.”

Disney-owned ABC and Jim Belushi should be ashamed. I’m sorry I watched it.

July 11, 2009 Posted by | Drugs, Jim Belushi | , | Comments Off on According To Jim — Drugs are funny!!!