CNN enlisted the help of the widely known PBS children’s show “Sesame Street” in an attempt to reach a new and younger audience with information regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
During one of the most muddled years in our lifetime, CNN may have only added to that confusion surrounding the novel coronavirus by hosting a special town hall with the iconic puppets Saturday to teach children about the “ABCs of COVID-19,” according to at least one critic.
Former congressional candidate DeAnna Lorraine didn’t take the network’s intentions at face value, instead seeing something more malicious at play.
She first called out the network in a tweet on Friday ahead of the “Sesame Street” town hall event.
CNN hits a new low every single day. https://t.co/bup75OVmoI
— DeAnna Lorraine ?? (@DeAnna4Congress) April 24, 2020
Lorraine, a Republican who unsuccessfully challenged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the race to represent California’s 12th congressional district, told The Western Journal in an interview that the outlet was taking advantage of kids with the 90-minute event by subtly “inducing more fear.”
“I really don’t think it’s appropriate for kids to be involved and be even more afraid than they really are,” Lorraine said.
“It’s hard to imagine when you’re 3 or 5 or 6 years old, I don’t think you really should have that fear in your head, because that’s a very formative age,” she added. “And having this fear that you can’t touch people or hug people or get close to people when you’re that young, I’m concerned that that’s going to create permanent damage for them.”
— CNN (@CNN) April 25, 2020
Lorraine indicated that the effort from CNN, which has previously been called out for inaccurate COVID-19 coverage, to air something aimed at children was just a ploy to improve its ratings.
“It’s hitting a real new low with CNN trying to desperately get ratings,” Lorraine said.
During the 90-minute special, CNN used “Sesame Street” characters like Abby Cadabby to remind children how sad and scared they could, and possibly should be.
“I know we’re all having a lot of big feelings right now, like well, we may be sad because we can’t go to school, or play with our friends on the playground. Or maybe we’re scared because we’re afraid that someone we love or in our family might get sick. Well, it’s OK to have those big feelings,” she said.
Lorraine told The Western Journal that it should the parents’ responsibility to inform their kids about the dangers of the coronavirus.
“Like what most CNN and propaganda does is, it’s a subtle thing, so they’re attempting to come across [as] friendly and comforting, but in reality, it’s actually inducing more fear, I believe, and more anxiety,” she said.
She added that the outlet is not only adding to the anxiety and fear that children may or may not be feeling already, but it is also introducing difficult topics that she believes some children may not be ready to comprehend.
“These are heavy adult topics to be introduced to young children, and I believe that it should be left up to the parents to be teaching their children these topics if they want to,” Lorraine said.
“It just seems a little bit too heavy and adult to be introducing to kids, and it puts fear into them when they shouldn’t normally be having that. They should be allowed a certain period of innocence.”
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