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Should the Obama kids be allowed to watch the Kardashians?
The First Couple disagree over whether their daughters should "keep up with" the vapid reality TV beauties — prompting a parenting debate
 
'The Kardashians' reality show is, apparently, a mildly divisive issue in the White House TV room.
'The Kardashians' reality show is, apparently, a mildly divisive issue in the White House TV room.
CC BY: The White House

Are Malia and Sasha Obama keeping up with the Kardashians? It depends, apparently, on which parent they ask for permission to watch. In an interview with iVillage, Michelle Obama reveals that the President would prefer that the kids steer clear of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, which follows the famous-for-being-famous family as they traipse, bicker, and party through L.A. The First Lady's own position is more lenient: "I sort of feel like if we're talking about [the show]," then it's suitable viewing. "If they're learning the right lessons" — concluding, for instance, that the Kardashian antics are "crazy" — "then I'm like, okay." Which parent's take on the Kardashian conundrum is right?

The First Lady wins:
Mrs. Obama is taking the right approach here, says Allison Berry at TIME. Most moms would agree that it is impossible to keep children "in a protective bubble, unaware of pop culture," and it is wise of the First Lady to not even try. Instead, her method is the one that all parents should follow for any TV series: Sitting down to discuss what they just watched together.
"President Obama doesn't want to keep up with the Kardashians"

But what exactly are the lessons being learned here? Good on the Obamas for being cautious about what they allow their children to watch, says David Raphael at Gather. "There is just a bunch of raunchy garbage on TV nowadays." But what exactly are the life lessons that Mrs. Obama and her daughters are gleaning from these vapid E! channel beauties. Where to get Botox and how "to be shallow and high maintenance?"
"Why are Kim Kardashian and sisters not liked by the Obamas?"

Mr. President takes this one: It's not surprising that President Obama would prefer his kids not watch the Kardashians, says Jeremy Feist at Popbytes. "They are terrible role models for children." Perhaps "the Kardashians should be used as some sort of litmus test for child bearing." If you think your kid shouldn't tune-in, you pass.
"Barack Obama hates the Kardashians!"

This position could, strangely, help Obama's reelection campaign: In a race that's looking like it's getting closer every day, says Aly Semigran at Entertainment Weekly, there couldn't be a better endorsement than this statement about the President's impeccable pop culture taste: "President Barack Obama likes The Wire, but doesn't like Keeping Up With the Kardashians."
"Would you endorse a President that allows the Kardashians in his household?"

Wait… the President knows who the Kardashians are? As hard as it is "to intellectualize the fact the leader of the free world actually knows who they are," says Nicole Fabian-Weber at The Stir, it is "pretty cool" to have a president this in touch with pop culture. The down side? "Obama could make the Kardashians even more famous (if that's possible)." Remember all of the publicity Snooki got when he referenced her at the White House Correspondents Dinner?
"Michelle Obama welcomes the Kardashians in her home"

 

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