There's at least one dimension to the Harvard story that I – and the mainstream media – missed the other day. The douchebag angle! Just take a gander at these smug bozos on the links, at the Cadillac Invitational Tournament, a fundraiser for the Judge Baker Center, the cowardly group that tried to stop the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood for speaking out against corporations. (Here's my post on this incident from Thursday, in case you missed it.)
It's not hard to imagine why an organization supported by these appalling people might not want to call out Disney and Viacom for lying to parents and peddling sexism to kids. The list of Baker's donors looks a lot like its board: Boston wealth-management and other finance firms.
Sure, Baker wants to avoid costly lawsuits so it can keep helping severely disabled kids, as the mother of a Baker student pointed out in a comment on Thursday's post. I understand where she's coming from. It's important to provide services for children. But it's equally important to change the toxic culture around them.
Out of the Baker Center's orbit, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which has a new home, will be free to speak out. But the CCFC may struggle without its better-heeled parent group, so if you're wondering what to do, a CCFC spokesman tells me that writing a check would be most helpful.
Matt Damon – yes, that Matt Damon --whose mom, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, a scholar whose work on kids and media informs this blog (check out her excellent recent book Taking Back Childhood) -- is a donor to CCFC, and I'm sure he'll continue to support the group. But celebrities – no matter how cute, left-wing and famous -- can't do it alone.
People should also contact Disney and let the higher-ups know how crappy it is to pressure a group that helps disabled kids! And that it is unacceptable to try to silence advocates from telling the truth about its bogus products.