Tuesday, May 26, 2009

So What Can "American Idol" Teach Our Kids About...Cheating??

Honesty and fair play: two concepts that we constantly try and instill in our children. Try your hardest and be proud when you’ve given your all. If you don’t win the race, it’s alright as long as you did your best. If you can’t win honestly, it’s better to lose than cheat.

As parents, we hope that these are ideas that will sink in with our sons and daughters and help motivate them to do their best regardless of the circumstances – as long as it’s done in a respectful and honest manner.

So what does it mean when a cultural phenomenon like “American Idol” - a show that so many young people look to as an example of how hard work (and a bit of luck) pays off in the end – is suddenly in the news for cheating??

As the New York Times reported just a short time ago, AT&T may have rigged the system somewhat so that more votes were cast for the ultimate winner through a block voting system than were for the runner-up. In fact, according to the Times story, “AT&T…might have influenced the outcome of this year’s competition by providing phones for free text-messaging services and lessons in casting blocks of votes at parties organized by fans of Kris Allen, the Arkansas singer who was the winner of the show last week...There appear to have been no similar efforts to provide free texting services to supporters of Adam Lambert.”

Simon, Randy, Paula and the new judge (you can tell I watch this show a lot) didn’t smash someone’s dream of fame and fortune. It wasn’t even millions of fans voting for Kris over Adam who did it. No, it was a company – a sponsor – who decided (allegedly) to rig the system.

What does this teach our kids about fair play, hard work and honest effort? No matter what you do, someone else can change the rules on you at the last minute?

1 comment:

Kansas Bob said...

I did think it odd that Arkansas registered 38m of the nearly 100m votes.