Could YOUR children be at risk?
May 31, 2011 9:30 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for video clips of television news stories in the sensationalist youth-at-risk genre. You know the format: "[Dubious-sounding youth trend or other phenomenon] is sweeping the nation. Could your children be at risk? Up next on [triflin-ass station desperate for viewers]!".

The more ridiculous, the better. Devil worship, drug use (especially novel and improbable ways of getting high), rampant teen sex, flimsy rumors of criminals who target or exploit young people in unlikely but attention-getting ways, razor blades in Halloween apples, seemingly innocuous household items which are actually bloodthirsty death traps, isolated incidents reported as evidence of an alarming trend, etc.

I'm specifically looking for stories that suggest that the well-being of children and young people is threatened by the phenomenon in question. Super-extra bonus points if the reporter utters some variation on the phrase "could your children be at risk?".

You usually see these stories on local TV news, of course, but anything is fair game.

posted by ixohoxi to Media & Arts (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't know what your timeframe is, but it might be worth a look for ABCs segment on The Goth Menace just after the Columbine shootings. That was particularly lurid, and might be of use to you since the particulars have been pretty comprehensively refuted (by Dave Cullen, among others)
posted by Wylla at 9:45 AM on May 31, 2011

Well, here is a parody of that sort of thing from Saturday Night Live: are kids getting high on soup?
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:47 AM on May 31, 2011

My favorite video of this type: The dangers of Grog XD!
posted by Skybly at 9:56 AM on May 31, 2011

A "profile" of Anonymous done in 2007 by L.A.'s Fox affiliate is good for a chuckle. See here for background, and I think this is the video, but I'm at work and can't verify it.
posted by Doofus Magoo at 9:59 AM on May 31, 2011

posted by sanka at 10:00 AM on May 31, 2011

I don't have any video links but planking has been in the news in NZ and Australia lately.
posted by nz_kyle at 10:02 AM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Wikipedia article you want is Moral panic.
posted by no relation at 10:23 AM on May 31, 2011

Local story earlier this year..seriously.."An investigation by KTVB found hundreds of young people in the Treasure Valley are spending weekend nights at a popular activity their parents may know nothing about." They're called raves..
posted by wyldeboi at 10:25 AM on May 31, 2011

One of my all time faves: Teens abusing nutmeg.
posted by wyldeboi at 10:29 AM on May 31, 2011

I learned about autoerotic asphyxiation from a very alarmed -- and alarmist -- Oprah in the '80s (back when she was a little more Jerry Springer/Ricky Lake than in her later days). If old episodes are available anywhere, that one would fit your bill nicely.
posted by coolguymichael at 11:56 AM on May 31, 2011

My favorite one, moreso in the 'wow teenagers are stupid' kind of way:

posted by WickedPissah at 12:45 PM on May 31, 2011

iDosing, haunted tunez, digital drugs -- is your teen getting high... on MP3s?! Oklahoma News 9 is on the case.

Meanwhile, Fox News 29 investigates the evils of PSP porn, as parodied by this hilarious Penny Arcade comic.

Cleveland's Carl Monday is also a gold mine for this kind of stuff. Ahem.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:20 PM on May 31, 2011

This segment from Infomania still makes me laugh: Teen Hugging Panic.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:13 PM on May 31, 2011

I went looking for the great comic book panic of the 1950s, but came up with "The 6 Most Insane Moral Panics in American History" instead.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:04 PM on May 31, 2011

The granddaddy of them all: Reefer Madness (originally called Tell Your Children). "The weed marihuana" will make your kids GO INSANE and KILL.

"The next tragedy may be that of your daughter's... or your son's... or YOURS!"
posted by Tom-B at 7:16 PM on May 31, 2011

Moral panic about comic books in the '50s has some great vintage outrage footage (though not a news show), and I'm just now starting to watch a sidelisted video, "Adam Curtis-Paranoia and Moral Panics (2010)."
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:18 PM on May 31, 2011

Digital Drugs, brought to you by Oklahoma News 9.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:24 PM on May 31, 2011

Oh my God, what is this thing called punk (1983)?
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:29 PM on May 31, 2011

Geraldo Rivera did a fantastic show on devil worship in the 80's. It's glorious camp and can be found on Google Videos.
posted by Asymptoot at 12:44 AM on June 1, 2011

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