Kid Nation (CBS)

Kid Nation is the latest attempt at reality programming. The premise is that we throw a bunch of kids into a Western town, and we let them setup their own society. All right, so far so good, but I had a few questions when I heard about this related to the children's welfare, and the more I hear, the less I like it.

My first thought was when were they doing this, and were the kids missing school. Apparently, rather than waiting for the summer, these children missed 6 weeks of school in the spring! What about their right to an education? Also, these children worked 14 hour days to be able to provide for themselves. The parents all signed a waiver, but some got upset when their kids arrived home with burns from the cooking they were doing under difficult circumstances. And the reward for all of this? A lousy five grand!

This reminds me of the exploitation of children around the turn of the century in the factories. Hours were long, working conditions poor, and significant injuries were far too frequent. If we all thought that this type of exploitation of younger folks was over, and only in our nation's past, guess again. Interestingly, if they had filmed this in Hollywood the laws are stricter, and they would have needed tutors, and limited the hours of work. Unfortunately for these children, they ended up in New Mexico, strategically chosen as known for having lax child protection laws.

It's, once again, a sad day here in the U.S. when a big business, like CBS, can get away with taking advantage of our nation's youngsters, all for some silly show. Needless to say, I won't be watching this in the new Fall lineup. Meanwhile, CBS is getting ready for season two of this atrocity.


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