PJ Media

New Reality Show on "Bad Dads"

A number of readers have emailed me about a a href=”http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i682058b8e22c9d193658582e5e4c7894″destructive new reality show /abeing considered for Fox on “deadbeat dads” (thanks very much). Here is a synopsis of the show: br /br /blockquoteAfter embracing the dark side of reality television with its marriage-busting hit “The Moment of Truth,” Fox’s newest project taps the power of its unscripted division for the forces of good.br /br /The network has ordered a pilot froma href=”http://www.3ballproductions.com/” 3Ball Prods/a. in which an avenger of penniless single mothers hunts down deadbeat dads and forces them to pay child support. br /br /Jim Durham, director of the National Child Support Center, functions as a sort of “Dog the Bounty Hunter” for tracking deadbeats. In the pilot, a financially destitute mom is contrasted with her wealthy ex-husband, who is living the high life. Durham confronts the man at his country club to shake him down in front his friends. It’s ambush reality TV — but for a noble cause. /blockquotebr /br /Most disturbing about this shake down show is the abuse they are heaping on men in the name of “justice”:br /br /blockquotebr /br /”(Durham) calls them on the phone and gives them the chance to do the right thing,” saida href=”http://www.3ballproductions.com/bios.html” executive producer JD Roth /a(“The Biggest Loser,” “Beauty and the Geek”). “Of course, those calls are never met with anything but yelling. Then he goes into their life, finds out what kind of assets they have and makes their lives miserable — foreclose on their house, repossess their car. He will squeeze them until the women get paid…”br /br /Durham’s National Child Support Center is one of several collection agencies that serve as a last resort for neglected single mothers. Some critics say such companies do more harm than good. Child support collectors have been accused of charging steep fees and using ultra-aggressive tactics. Durham bills his clients 34% of whatever he collects. br /br /Roth counters that Durham’s clients typically feel so abandoned by the court system that they’re relieved to get any money at all. Plus, he said Durham is the only collector who extracts interest owed on the outstanding debt, so his clients often receive more money than if the absent dads had simply paid their bills. br /br /As for the aggressive tactics, child support is not considered a debt per se, but an order of the court. Collectors are therefore not subject to following the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which regulates what tactics a collection agency can employ to collect a debt. br /br /”I’m hoping that eventually this show changes how courts see deadbeat dads and how moms have to deal with it,” Roth said.br /br /If greenlighted to series, “Bad Dads” will provide Fox a fresh take on the law enforcement reality show, a genre the network pioneered with such Saturday night staples as “Cops” and “America’s Most Wanted.” br /br /”I’ve seen ‘Cops,’ and I want to watch more than a crack addict with his pants around his ankles running away from a police car,” Roth said. “These guys owe money, and they should pay.” /blockquotebr /br /From what I can gather, this show is just a pilot right now but could blossom into a series. There must be some way to keep this from happening. This show sounds sick, inhumane and frankly, the way that some men are often treated in family court seems unconstitutional in my book. Where is a show to emphasize that unfairness? Instead, we are going to be treated to men being humiliated, harassed, and having their houses foreclosed on. How is that helpful?br /br /If Fox wants to know more about the plight of “deadbeat dads,” they would do well to read Stephen Baskerville’s a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1581825943?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=1581825943″emTaken into Custody./em/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=1581825943″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / In a chapter entitled “Deadbeat Dads or Plundered Pops,” Baskerville explains that the objective data shows that there is little scientific evidence that large numbers of fathers are not paying support. The government bases most of these claims not on hard figures but rather, the Census Bureau simply asked mothers what they were receiving. The non-custodial parent was never surveyed. In addition, the astronomical figures owed are inflated as they are based on hypothetical formulas of what would be owed under circumstances that do not exist. This makes it seem like dads are worse than they are. br /br /And what a href=”http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,59963,00.html”about deadbeat moms?/a Is anyone going after them?br /br /Update: a href=”http://www.glennsacks.com/foxbaddads/”Protest the show here. /a