That’s the message of crude TV programs
I’m no fan of Fox TV’s The Family Guy. To me, it’s crude, moronic and not very funny. But I recently found myself watching a rerun that featured a plot involving insurance fraud. The three main characters got caught burning down their friend’s financially troubled pharmacy.
They pleaded with the arresting officer to let them go. “Insurance agencies are all scumbags. They deserve to get hurt,” one character says. After thinking about how his health insurer had screwed him, the cop destroys the evidence and lets the trio go on their merry way. https://youtu.be/V04IFm9_-e8
Cringe factor aside, I realize that this is only a cartoon and few people take the messages seriously. Yet, those messages do have an impact. They plant seeds. And over time, as other similar messages pile on, they reinforce the idea that committing insurance fraud is no big deal.
More than five million people watched this episode of The Family Guy when it first ran — the most popular program on TV that evening. The fraud-fighting community struggles to reach five million people in a year with anti-fraud messages.
I was reminded of this episode today when I saw the tweet below from a young woman who wants to secretly push her car off a cliff. How did these ideas form in her head? How can we discourage such destructive thinking?
For one, public outreach needs to be beefed up bigtime. And secondly, let’s keep our young children from watching such crude and socially irresponsible TV programs like The Family Guy. What shows are your kids watching?