Pediatricians' Group Finds Fault With Fast-Paced 'SpongeBob'

Nickelodeon (tv network)American Academy of PediatricsTelevision IndustryHealthSpongeBob SquarePants (tv program)ABCChristianity

First it was the far right, which singled out the animated kids' series "SpongeBob SquarePants" for promoting pro-gay and global-warming-awareness agendas.

And Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics will take aim at the 12-year-old Nickelodeon show, reporting a study that concludes the fast-paced show, and others like it, aren't good for children.

According to an individual with knowledge of the AAP's press strategy, the organization's Monday announcement will be picked up by news organizations including ABC and NBC.

Nickelodeon didn't have a comment on the matter, but did release this statement, questioning the seaworthiness of the study: "Having 60 non-diverse kids, who are not part of the show's targeted demo, watch nine minutes of programing is questionable methodology and could not possibly provide the basis for any valid findings that parents could trust."

A key issue for Nickelodeon officials: "SpongeBob" is targeted to kids 6-11, but the study focused on 4-year-olds.

An individual close to the network said the program's broad awareness among parents has been leveraged before to gain noteriety and spur funding.

In 2005, James Dobson, head of the Christian right group Focus on the Family, said the cartoon's tolerance themes were really code for gay-agenda promotion.

And just last month, Fox News personalities Steve Doocy and Gretchen Carlson criticized the series, as well as the U.S. Department of Education, for allegedly promoting global-warming science.

As for its study, officials for the American Academy of Pediatrics were unavailable for comment on Sunday.

"People do studies all the time about the effects of media. This one will stress out parents unnecessarily," said an individual close to Nickelodeon.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Nickelodeon (tv network)American Academy of PediatricsTelevision IndustryHealthSpongeBob SquarePants (tv program)ABCChristianity
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