Some TV viewers rang in the New Year recently by voicing outrage toward CNN for letting reporter Randi Kaye board the 'Cannabus' and interview cannabis consumers in Colorado as they celebrated the onset of 2018 with marijuana. Even though recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado, some viewers were shocked that the network showed people smoking joints and bongs on TV while kids were watching.
Can someone explain why CNN is showing people smoking weed with a bong??!! My kids are watching this for the ball drop and I had to turn it all off! Obviously, they have no idea what to do with the show without Kathy Griffin.— Virginia Meagher (@vameagher) January 1, 2018
But that outrage seems awfully hypocritical when you consider the way alcohol — which is much more dangerous than marijuana — has been portrayed on television over the years. Here are 10 gifs that capture the hypocrisy.
For eleven years, kids watching NBC's 'Must See TV' got an eyeful of casual drinking on 'Cheers.' Since the show was set in a Boston bar, the main cast included bar-flies like Norm Peterson (George Wendt), who normalized unhealthy drinking habits every week. Like in one episode where Sam (Ted Danson) asks, "What would you like, Norm?" And Norm says, "A reason to live. And keep them coming."
And by "them," he meant pints. Case closed.
Joints and bongs are nothing compared to the way Barney Gumble binge-drank on one episode of 'The Simpsons' where he got an IV of Duff Beer. Of course, the unconventional and dangerous drinking method was meant to be satirical, but the joke was probably lost on kids watching the episode of America's longest-running sitcom.
Barney wasn't the only Springfield resident who has an unhealthy obsession with drinking. When the Simpson family patriarch Homer tries to imagine what the perfect day would be like, his mind immediately goes to dancing around a sudsy geyser pouring out of a crashed beer truck.
'How I Met Your Mother'
Characters drink on every episode of 'How I Met Your Mother,' according to IMDb's parental guide for the hit sitcom. But the show was still approved for minors with a TV-14 rating. And since it aired at 8:30 PM, younger children undoubtedly stumbled upon the series and caught the drunken, womanizing escapades of Barney Stinson.
Sitcoms aren't the only thing you see on television sets. They're also a medium for video gamers of all ages to play titles like 'Tapper,' a Nintendo release featuring a beleaguered bartender serving droves of rowdy customers in an interactive commercial for Budweiser.
Super Bowl Ads
Speaking of commercials, beer ads have become an everyday occurrence on television because there are no federal regulations preventing liquor sellers from plugging their products on air in America. Beer commercials have become so ingrained in popular culture that people look forward to the special ads that are filmed and broadcast for the Super Bowl every year.
The connection between sports and alcohol doesn't stop at the 'Bud Bowl.' Cracking champagne bottles on TV has become an annual tradition for World Series winners. And no doubt lots of kids were watching when Fox showed the Houston Astros showering each other in alcohol, which is far more dangerous than marijuana.
Baseball players aren't the only athletes who enjoy dousing each other in liquor after a big win. Nascar drivers do it too — even though it's troubling to see alcohol dripping from people who drive dangerously fast for a living.
If the thought of Nascar drivers drinking keeps you up at night, scroll away from the gif below, which shows Barack Obama sipping a beer that he brewed in the White House during his tenure as president. NBC aired the commander-in-chief sipping his craft beer on live television during a pre-Super Bowl interview in 2015.
New Year's Specials
We hate to break it to you, but New Year's Eve is synonymous with drinking for many, many people around the world. So it's tough to find a live television broadcast of the event that doesn't show someone drinking or reeling from the effects of overdoing it. But that doesn't cause the same amount of furor as the 'Cannibus scandal' because alcohol has been normalized in our society, just as cannabis will be as the legalization movement gains momentum.
In 2018, the number of states that have legalized recreational marijuana could double from 8 to 16, with Vermont, New Jersey and others joining the fold. Meanwhile, Canada will legalize recreational use nationwide by next summer. So to those of you who are onboard with reform, cheers.