Good Morning America isn’t the first news program that has had to apologize for a factual story and replace it with some implausible copy, but last week proved that they might be the silliest. During Lara Spencer’s segment on this season’s hot new toy, Elf on the Shelf, she inadvertently let it slip that although it is not supposed to be touched by children after they “adopt him” (because giving him a Christian name infuses him with magical powers that are taken away if he is played with), he doesn’t actually go to the North Pole and visit Santa Claus. Rather, her film crew showed parents moving the doll, and in one instance, Spencer actually picked up the toy herself.
Of course, this is the biggest scandal since the Killian Documents, as far as The New York Post is concerned.
“GMA Kills Christmas Magic After Elf on the Shelf Segment” read the skybox on the top of the Post’s page this morning, which pointed to several Facebook wall rants that angry, illiterate adults posted on GMA’s page. Stuff like ““THANKS A LOT U MORONS!!!!,” and “My kid ran upstairs this morning saying the elf on the shelf isn’t real and that parents hide it in the middle of the night!!! I’M PISSED!”
Which, fair enough, but maybe you shouldn’t let your kids watch the news first thing in the morning if you’re still not comfortable with bursting the bubble on Santa? What about when they accidentally catch George Stephanopoulos and Brian Ross reporting on the Colorado movie shootings or develop a phobia of Bouncy Castles or Sea World? Would you call the show “U MORONS!!” for reporting on the news? Something tells us you’ll have a lot more explaining to do, and maybe just sit around with your kid if you plan to watch programs that involve journalism as well as pie-baking tips?
(And this is a minor quibble, but there are definitely more entertaining shows to plop your toddler in front of in the mornings…okay, maybe not Sesame Street right now, but how about some Nick Jr.?)
In any case, the next day Ms. Spencer went back on air and apologized for the misunderstanding, explaining that since she hadn’t named her Elf during the first segment, it hadn’t been given its magical powers yet and could therefore be manhandled with abandon.
Next year, we assume GMA will just stick to their regularly scheduled programming of reporting on “Hunky Santa.”