CBS Rolls Out a Tough
Look at Skating Sneakers
‘The Early Show’ glides around parental
responsibility in look at Heelys.
By Ken Shepherd
Business & Media Institute
March 3, 2006
Â Â Â Â
PARENTS BEWARE: If your kids wear roller skates, they may fall and
hurt themselves, and you might not be able to sue! That was
essentially the alarmist news flash “CBS Early Show” correspondent
Mika Brzezinski gave with viewers of the March 3 program.
Brzezinski began by sharing with co-host Hannah Storm that she was
inspired to do her story on Heelys – a brand of sneakers for
children with a removable roller skate wheel in the heel – because
her children have been begging her for a while to buy them some.
After noting that schools and malls often ban children from wearing
them out of safety concerns, Brzezinski showed a doctor predicting
an alarming rise in childhood injuries. “If sales are booming, we
will see more injuries in our emergency departments,” Dr. Steven
Krug, a pediatrician, warned the CBS reporter, adding “The injury
that we fear the most are head injuries.”
Brzezinski then jumped at the chance to toss in the requisite
clueless victim who seemed surprised that children on roller skates
might fall down, Valerie Poston of San Diego, California. “It just
didn't dawn on me they were so dangerous,” said Poston, whose
daughter suffered a concussion from a fall while using Heelys
without a helmet. Many parents like Poston, Brzezinski insisted, are
duped into thinking Heelys are safer than roller skates because they
are sold in shoe stores, not just sporting goods outlets.
At the very end of her report back in studio with Storm, Brzezinski
showed how the sole of every Heely shoe is stickered with a yellow
warning label. “You peel it off, you can’t sue them,” she lamented.
The CBS reporter also complained that she hasn’t “seen one kid” ever
wear a helmet and kneepads when using Heelys, even though her report
featured video of children hired by the company for “Team Heely” to
demonstrate proper safety precautions and skating technique for kids
in malls and sporting goods stores across the country.
While Brzezinski didn’t lobby for government regulation, she relayed
to viewers that Heelys were one purchase her kids couldn’t skate
past her. “I can tell you these shoes are definitely not for one of
my kids and I won't name her.”
Last November the
Business & Media Institute documented how Brzezinski blamed fast food, not a lack of personal
responsibility, for the growing problem of obesity in America.