You know it’s sweeps week for local TV when they do stories that seem, well, a bit sensational. That’s what WFMY’s story on parents who let their teens have sex at home seemed to me. It also seemed unlikely that this is a trend in the Piedmont or North Carolina…particularly a North Carolina that just voted the way it did.
So, I turned to Google. Here is the beginning of WFMY’s story that aired last night. Patty Skudlarek told her 18-year-old son that if he wants to have sex, she’s not only OK with him having sex in the family home, she actually prefers that he do it there.
Here is the beginning of ABC News’ story that aired last year. Patty Skudlarek strives to be a responsible parent. That’s why she says she told her 18-year-old son that if he wants to have sex, not only is she okay with it, but she’d prefer that he do it in the family home.
Here is the beginning of a Tampa Bay television station’s report last November. TAMPA BAY, Fla. — Patty Skudlarek strives to be a responsible parent. That’s why she says she told her 18-year-old son that if he wants to have sex she’s not only okay with him having sex in the home, she’d prefer it.
WFMY never says that the story is local. But it never says it isn’t. Best I can tell, the parents interviewed in the studio aren’t from here either. (They are the same ones interviewed in the ABC report below.) In fact, at the end of the online story, it shares credit with the Tampa story.
I suppose this kind of racy story gets ratings and the sweeps period is when you want ratings. But, to me, it is just the sort of story that erodes trust in the media. No evidence of this as a trend happening here. No suggestion that the people pictured are not from around here. And a story that gives the impression that society is going to hell with loose morals and bad parenting.