Geauga County Judge takes on Time Warner over 'thunderstorm' commercial

4:22 AM, Sep 25, 2013   |    comments
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CHARDON -- Geauga County Probate/Juvenile Court Judge Tim Grendell is outraged over a Time Warner Cable TV commercial and has asked Time Warner to pull it off the air.

In a statement released Tuesday, Grendell says he wants to promote parental responsibility, and not parental neglect.

Grendell was a member of the Ohio Senate from 2005 to 2011, and of the Ohio House of Representatives from 2000 until 2004. He was appointed to the court in 2012 by Gov. John Kasich to the seat of the late Judge Charles "Chip" Henry.

Grendell asked Time Warner to pull its commercial in which a father is so involved in watching a televised football game that he suggests his young son go outside to play in a severe thunderstorm.

Grendell asks, "Is watching television more important than protecting the safety of one's child?" He added, "Juvenile and Family Court Judges and social workers strive daily throughout this country to try to instill a sense of parental responsibility in a society rife with impediments to responsible parenting. Time Warner Cable's commercial is an affront to those efforts."

Below is a copy of the letter Grendell sent to Robert D. Marcus, President and CEO of Time Warner:

"Dear Mr. Marcus: As the Geauga County, Ohio Juvenile Judge Court responsible for protecting the best interest of children in my county, I am writing to respectfully request that you stop running the Time Warner Cable television commercial in which a father engrossed in watching a football game on TV tells his young son to go outside and play in a thunderstorm."

"This offensive commercial epitomizes our county's misplaced priority of self-gratification over parental child responsibility. In the commercial, the father and apparently other family members are watching several programs on multiple televisions. This, alone, reflects our society's debilitating addiction to television."

"Worse is the portrayal of the father, who is so self-absorbed by his need to watch a football game that he tells his young son that it is okay to go outside and play in a violent lightening / thunderstorm. Is there no one in your corporate hierarchy who understands the reckless nature of this commercial? Is watching a football game more important than protecting the safety of one's child?"

"Apparently, Time Warner Cable thinks so, especially if it will increase its cable TV revenues. In the commercial, former professional football coach, Bill Cowher comes to the rescue by braving the storm to tell dad not to despair because Time Warner Cable will allow the family to record enough television shows at the same time that dad can postpone his self-gratification long enough to act responsibly and tell his son not to go out into the treacherous storm."

"Thank heavens for Coach Cowher. Frankly, it is difficult to believe that a public role model such as Coach Cowher would be involved in such a misguided commercial. Apparently, money trumps good judgment. Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court judges and local social workers strive daily throughout this county to try to instill a sense of parental responsibility in a society rife with impediments to responsible parenting. Time Warner Cable's outrageous commercial is an affront to those efforts."

"In my opinion, parents do not need four televisions. Parents need to spend more time interacting with their children, especially during their formative years. An advertisement premised on the notion that watching a football game on television is more important than child safety is insane and a gross public disservice. Please stop showing this child neglect promoting commercial."     

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