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Psychiatrists Accuse Ben Silverman of Stealing Babies

ben silverman and babies

Photo-illustration: Everett Bogue; Photos: Getty Images, iStockphoto

Ben Silverman stops at nothing in his tireless quest to make sure America is entertained in these hot summer months, a time when ordinarily all we would have to distract us would be beautiful weather, the natural splendor of our nation's parks, family vacations, Wii hula hoop, and big-budget Hollywood movies. Yet Silverman's laudable commitment to TV-based social experimentation has come under fire from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, which is criticizing NBC's new hit, Baby Borrowers. "A child's sense of security should not be gambled with," said AACAP President Robert Hendren, noting that extended separations from parents can lead to babies and toddlers feeling distress or anxiety. The Academy recommends that the show be modified: "A more constructive approach would have had the teenagers shadow a family of a toddler or baby, keeping parents close."

First of all: That show would be so boring. This just goes to show why child and adolescent psychiatrists are rarely put in charge of our nation's critical TV-programming duties, which are better left in the hands of geniuses like Ben Silverman. Second of all: It's three days. "After prolonged separation, a child can feel distrust for his or her primary caregiver," the Academy warns, but we've been away from our children longer than that and it hasn't shaken our daughter's firm conviction that we are the perfect person to put the same goddamn pair of sparkly pink shoes on her every day. Being away from us for three days does not kill our children or even cause them any real distress or anxiety — or at least no more distress than our daughter feels when we ask her to wear a different pair of shoes and she falls on the floor as if shot, screaming in agony.

So, Ben Silverman: Stay your courageous course. Maintain your private stock of fresh, healthy babies, preparing them for shipment to the set of Baby Borrowers or whatever NBC show needs an infusion of cuteness. In fact, we don't know why all NBC programs don't feature babies; after all, some of those tots are a little chunky, and a few weeks on The Biggest Loser could burn off a little of that baby fat.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Calls NBC to Pull Baby Borrowers [AACAP.org]