December 19, 2007, - 12:40 pm

Jamie-Lynn Spears: Britney’s Sis is Today’s Dana Plato “Role Model” for Girls

By Debbie Schlussel
Time to cross Nickelodeon off your list of acceptable viewing for kids.
It’s not just the left-wing, anti-war, pan-Islamist Linda Ellerbee specials on the cable sister station to MTV. It’s something else.
Remember the good old days of the ’80s, when NBC fired Dana Plato from “Diff’rent Strokes” for getting pregnant out of wedlock?
Now deceased from a drug overdose, Plato was twenty years old at the time she got pregnant by her musician boyfriend. But NBC did not feel it was appropriate for a Plato, who played a prep school teen on the inter-racial sitcom, to continue on the hit prime-time show. Her character, Kimberly Drummond, was wholesome and a role model for young girls.


Britney & Jamie-Lynn Spears

NBC had guts to fire Plato, herself the product of a 16-year-old single mother. Even though that time is now derided by liberals as the “greedy Reagan ’80s,” networks and TV programmers had better values. And so did America as a whole. Even though it’s just a generation ago, boy have we declined.
Today, young girls have Britney Spears’ little sister, Jamie-Lynn Spears, as one of their “role models.” The younger Spears, 16, stars on Nickelodeon’s “Zoe 101.” She announced yesterday to OK! Magazine that she’s pregnant, like Plato, with the kid of her musician boyfriend.
But, in stark contrast to NBC’s Dana Plato firing, Nickelodeon is happy for Spears. And very supportive. In fact, Nickelodeon proudly informs us that Spears’ pregnancy won’t get in the way of her kids show on the network. They already have enough episodes in the can.
Instead of worrying about the example Spears is setting with the young girls who watch her show Nick released this statement:

We respect Jamie Lynn’s decision to take responsibility in this sensitive and personal situation. We know this is a very difficult time for her and her family, and our primary concern right now is for Jamie Lynn’s well-being.

“Take responsibility?” It’s not apparent that Ms. Spears took any kind of responsibility, other than deciding not to get an abortion. Where is Nickelodeon’s sense of “taking responsibility”? Not a single comment urging young girls to wait before having sex. Not a single utterance even of the typical liberal pronouncement about “always practice safe sex.” Zilch about how they hope Nickelodeon’s kid audience will appreciate that this situation is not the kind that they would want to find themselves in. Nothing. Nada.
And that’s exactly the viewpoint of TV execs today, including–and especially–those whose programming targets your children. They do not care about the well-being of your children. But they do care about the continued appearance a/k/a “well-being” of Jamie-Lynn Spears on their cash cow TV show. It will continue to draw high-paying advertisers for toys and dolls and kids’ video games of all kinds. And they can’t afford to lose that by doing the right thing and terminating Spears’ contract. They won’t even risk offending her by telling their young, impressionable audience: Don’t make the mistake she made.
If there is one good thing to come of this, it’s what’s happening to the stage mother of the two dysfunctional Spears girls. Lynne Spears was set to publish a book of advice on mothering. A great title would have been: “Burn This Book.” But the publisher, Thomas Nelson Books, announced–just after the Jamie-Lynn pregnancy announcement–that the book is on hold (but not cancelled). Gee, I wonder why. Thank Heaven for small favors.


Dana Plato: Yesterday’s Jamie-Lynn Spears

Some might argue that Nickelodeon is doing the right thing, that we should have compassion for girls who “made a mistake.” After all, Dana Plato, Jamie-Lynn Spears’ ’80s counterpart, lost everything after she was fired from “Diff’rent Strokes.” She became a drug addict and porn star. After earning $100,000 per week at NBC, she lost custody of her son and was soon robbing video stores and doing jailtime for illegal Vicodin prescriptions. At age 35, she died of a drug overdose in the RV in which she was living, and her young son became motherless.
But plenty of Plato’s contemporary child stars (including her non-fired co-star Todd Bridges) led similar lives of desperation and drugs–not because they were fired for their behavior, but because child stars often don’t learn normal behavior. They are coddled no matter what. In Plato’s case, simply didn’t save any of the big bucks she earned as a star. She snorted and injected them into oblivion.
And NBC’s firing Plato didn’t spawn thousands of other girls who got pregnant out-of-wedlock and in their teens. NBC’s message was implicit: Don’t act like this. It’s unacceptable. And you will get fired and lose everything, if you do it. There will be consequences.
That’s no longer the message. And instead of a high-flying TV star losing everything over bad choices, we are losing America because girls who emulate Jamie-Lynn Spears and her sister make bad choices.
Time to turn off Nickelodeon and “Zoey 101.” And turn on a little family values 101.
If your daughter idolizes Jamie-Lynn Spears, she could end up like Dana Plato.

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26 Responses

spears is one thing,but you think it was good to fire an ADULT for getting pregnant?

patriot10 on December 19, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    That is an excellent analogy and a brilliant and strong point.Dana was 20 years old when she got pregnant,and at the time was LEGALLY considered an adult and not TEENAGER.Jamie Spears ‘ case was totally different ,when she got pregnant ,she was not Considered by the law to be an adult(It would have been better for both of them to have waited on until their respective series came to an end and also until marriage but they did not ,although Dana did get married to her boyfriend before her baby was born)So this article’s comparison of the two teen stars is totally inaccurate,they were for the most part in entirely different situations:(1).Dana at the time of her pregnancy was LEGALLY considered as an adult Jamie Spears was not.{2}. Dana did not have the support of NBC hence her firing,Jamie Spears had the support of Nickelodeon.{3}.Dana fell deeper into drugs than she already was,Jamie Spears as far as I’m concerned has no know record of taking drugs heavily.{4}.Dana lost everything and was reduced to taking jobs that did not fit her former lifestyle,Jamie Spears is still living in luxury and my final point {6}. Jamie Spears has the support of most of her co-stars if not all ,as far as i am concerned,Dana did not ,she especially did not receive support from Conrad Bain ,who played Phillip Drummond on the series.

    Overall a 16year old girl getting pregnant by her boyfriend sets worse examples for teenage girls and young women more than a 20year old ADULT getting pregnant by her boyfriend.

    Delissa on December 30, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Excellent analogy!

Honeyporter on December 19, 2007 at 3:01 pm

This is pretty tragic.

travis on December 19, 2007 at 3:02 pm

Thank God for Roe v. Wade. If Jamie Lynn Spears had an abortion, she could’ve still been a role model to young girls and not worry about being fired either like Dana Plato. Let this be a lesson to young girls: make sure you’re protected before having sex and if you get pregnant, abortion is probably your best option. And don’t give me that abstinence crap. Government stats show these programs alone are ineffective, and just remember that Jamie Lynn met her virtuous boyfriend at CHURCH!!!

Norman Blitzer on December 19, 2007 at 3:50 pm

Let this be a lesson to young girls: make sure you’re protected before having sex and if you get pregnant, abortion is probably your best option. Posted by: Norman Blitzer
what?to bad nobody told your mother that

patriot10 on December 19, 2007 at 3:55 pm

You are a walking advertisement for abortion. I guess your mother ended up like Dana Plato.

Norman Blitzer on December 19, 2007 at 3:59 pm

nope old age

patriot10 on December 19, 2007 at 4:00 pm

from a drug overdose of anti-depressants

Norman Blitzer on December 19, 2007 at 4:10 pm

awe normy,are you TRYING to flame me?you old devil you

patriot10 on December 19, 2007 at 4:13 pm

Nah, patriot buddy, just some old-fashion ribbing.

Norman Blitzer on December 19, 2007 at 4:30 pm

get a room.

travis on December 19, 2007 at 5:04 pm

“Take responsibility?” It’s not apparent that Ms. Spears took any kind of responsibility, other than deciding not to get an abortion.”
This is a sad situation for the younger Ms. Spears, and even sadder for her child. Still, these days that “other than” is HUGE. At least the child has a chance to live; especially courageous, given the pressure from a society of infanticide advocates.
And speaking of certain posters on this very board, here’s a stat you don’t get from the government: abstinence, 100% effective, every time it’s used. It’s also illuminating how certain posters’ glee over this is only amplified by the fact that it started at church — but then, killing innocents and hatred of Christ and Christians has gone hand in hand for centuries.

DocLiberty on December 19, 2007 at 6:50 pm

Who cares where they met?? Your acting like it’s questionable that they met at a church.
The fact is….the thong didn’t fall far from the dresser. Jamie-Lynn Spears decided to be a slut just like her big sister. And Nickeloden, which used to mean something back in the 90’s….has now becuase the MTV for kids.
Take responsibility?? MY ASS SHE TOOK RESPONSIBILITY!! It’s not shocking anymore that the media is sending a message to girls that this is ok as long as you take responsiblity. That’s why my best friend’s sister is a mother now…yeah..she’s 16 too…and just had her baby this week!!
“abstinence” is a dirty word now, and marrige is bad unless your gay. This is the society we live in. Sick of it…I am. But what can I do, knowing that the media will just ignore you anyway becuase your not a member of the death busters?

Squirrel3D on December 19, 2007 at 8:24 pm

Squirrel3D posted:
[Who cares where they met?? Your acting like it’s questionable that they met at a church.]
I see the “CHURCH” comment went over your head. If both kids went and met at church, it means both kids had a Christian upbringing, implying they knew about abstinence and yet that’s what they didn’t do.

Norman Blitzer on December 19, 2007 at 9:43 pm

DocLiberty is correct…..abstinence is 100% effective. No teenager ever became a “babymamma” or “babydaddy” by keeping their legs closed or their pants zipped up. But by no means is that easy for them. So yes, we in the church can teach abstinence but we also have to teach common sense. Teenagers raised in church have raging hormones just like kids not raised in church, so Squirrel3D is right on this one….where they met is irrelevant. At my church, we tell the kids to not even put yourself in a position with the opposite sex where you could be tempted (alone in a room!) because they are not of an age where most can make a rational decision once things start getting heated (and some adults can’t either!). At that age, if a kid is alone with their boyfriend/girlfriend, chances are hormones and nature will kick in, throwing all reason and “Christian upbringing” out the window at that moment in time. I’ve seen it happen to the best of kids. Some kids can resist, but many others can’t. Young Jamie-Lynn and her boyfriend chose to go against what they were taught and put themselves in that position, and now they have to deal with the consequences.
Something else about this is troubling….why is a 16 year-old girl with a successful television show even allowed to be alone with a young man unescorted? The adults in her life need to ask themselves some hard questions also. Well….if any good comes out of this, it’s that she’s not having an abortion. No use punishing the unborn child over his/her Mom’s irresponsible actions.

JibberJabber on December 19, 2007 at 11:17 pm

man – if this ever happens to hannah montanna I’ll have to die crying! I love Billy Ray and my child loves hanna. Pwease hannah stay pure!
I would hope that Thomas-Nelson would be the ones to grow some stones and cancel that book – gheesh – what were they thinking? Are they aware that Brittney is her daughter?

piratelady on December 19, 2007 at 11:18 pm

I’m not at all suprised this happened, or at the kind of comment Nickelodeon made in this regard. In fact, I’m sure it happens quite often to the affluent. 6000 years of history, and most folks act like this sort of thing is brand new.
These folks will push any social/poltical standard further toward Sodom until they die of intoxication, infections, murder/suicide, or anything else. A being can only take so much. And once the star is destroyed and dead, there’s hundreds willing and able to take their place.
We don’t watch any of these shows in our home. This is the first I’ve hear of the pregnancy. Parents can control the media in their homes, but many chose not to for fear of the neighbors (stupid excuse). My children don’t even know who Britany and Jamie-Lynn Spears are, much less their antics.
There is an answer to this problem – stop fueling the market for it. If you don’t like it, then don’t patronize it. We’re all adults here.

bhparkman on December 20, 2007 at 1:37 am

I, too, would like to know how “responsibility” is being defined in this context. Somehow, I don’t think they mean she’s “responsible” because she didn’t get an abortion — that would be anathema to liberal politics to imply that abortions are irresponsible. They just feel it necessary to throw that word out there, even if it has no meaning attached.
For now, they still refer to these things as “mistakes,” but be on the lookout for that judgment to go by the wayside as well. In no time at all, it will be deemed unfair to call teen pregnancy a mistake. How dare you judge!
But I did get a kick out of her interview in which she said she was “shocked” to learn she was pregnant. Oy. An idiot.
Anyhoooo, we don’t have these problems in the Orthodox community, not because the kids have more control over their raging hormones, but because they are not allowed to hang out together unsupervised. Girls and boys do not mix, and certainly not while alone. In fact, no one ever discusses the concept of teens having control because it’s understood that you WANT to feel strong sexual desire, that you DON’T want to arouse it only to have to “control” it, rather, you AVOID triggering that desire, or at least you remove all temptation by staying away from the opposite sex, until after you’ve stood under the chuppah. I think where many Christians go wrong is in trying to teach their teens how to date and still “hold the line” after kissing, but religious Jews have the right idea — no dating until it’s time for marriage and no touching until after the wedding. It sounds crazy but it works. We followed that practice, and we are very happy.

AmericanJewess on December 20, 2007 at 4:41 am

“Jamie-Lynn Spears broke the news to OK! Magazine that she’s expecting a baby with longtime boyfriend Casey Aldridge.”
Longtime boyfriend? She’s 16 freakin years old. When you’re 16, there ain’t NOTHING longtime. She doesn’t have a clue what longtime is!! So let me get this straight, Genarlow Wilson of Atlanta gets a couple of years behind bars for getting oral sex at 17 from a 15 year old but, its ok for a 19 year old to have sex with a 16 year old and nothing happen?? I thought that was statutory rape??

RadicalRightWinger on December 20, 2007 at 8:43 am

I was thinking the same thing, what is a 16 year old doing with a 19 year old? I thought I read somewhere that he was a live-in boyfriend, not sure if it’s true but with the Spears family it’s highly likely. I blame the parents, for Britney and Jamie-Lyn, neither one of them know how to behave. How does the Bible verse go, you’ll know the quality of the tree by the fruit it bears? I’d say the Spears tree is rotten. They should change Lyn’s book on parenting to “How NOT to Raise Your Children.”

Minnie Mouse on December 20, 2007 at 1:22 pm

the spears girls when they are living in the mobile home park they will make a porn video like amy fisher, just watch such white trash,DO NOT THERE PRODUCT THEY HOPEFULLY WILL FADE AWAY LIKE DANA PLATO AND EVERY OTHER CHILD STAR!!!!!!

PNAMARBLE on December 20, 2007 at 1:56 pm

THANK YOU JibberJabber. Finally we agree on something and you pretty much made my point vaild. Hey Norman, how do you know that they grew up in a christian setting? Especally Jamie-Lynn?? I mean, this is the sister of britney spears for god sakes!!
Like jabber said, where they met is irrelevant. The fact is what happened and Jamie-Lynn got pregnant by a 19 YEAR OLD!! Talk about going over your head, apperatly this part went over yours.

Squirrel3D on December 20, 2007 at 3:29 pm

A 16 year old who is raped and gets pregnant I have compassion for. A poor, uneducated 16 year old I may even have a little compassion for (but mostly for the poor baby, because she still should’ve known better).
But a multi-millionaire spoiled brat who is supposed to be a role model to NINE YEAR OLDS? (yes, the target audience of Zoey 101 is 9-14, NOT 16!!!!). She REALLY should’ve know better. Just think, if she was a 16 year old starlet in Dana Plato’s time, her career would be OVER! I wish that would happen now.
Of course Nick won’t cancel Zoey 101, not only is it all about the money now, but they have a year’s worth of episodes in the can! The irony is I hear the final episode this season had a cliffhanger that could’ve easily written Jamie Lynn out of the show.
My main problem with the Ellerbee specials is they advertise them during shows that 6 year olds watch like Spongebob. If they’re going to do them at all, they should only be advertised during “16 year old” shows.
But I’ve heard rumors that Nick is going to do a reality show around Jamie Lynn’s pregnancy. Now that is really a new “basement door”. I usually find Debbie’s opinions on Nick and PBS to be a bit extreme but if they do that I will boycott them to the max!

hairymon on December 20, 2007 at 6:54 pm

Squirrel3D posted:
[Hey Norman, how do you know that they grew up in a christian setting?]
Because they went to church you dumbass.
[Like jabber said, where they met is irrelevant.]
No, it’s not for reasons I’ve already stated.
[The fact is what happened and Jamie-Lynn got pregnant by a 19 YEAR OLD!! Talk about going over your head, apperatly this part went over yours.]
Squirrel3D, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Neither Debbie’s blog entry or your first post here mentioned that JLS’s bf is 19yrs. old. So it wasn’t made an issue by either you or Debbie. A 19 yr. old getting a 16 yr. old pregnant, what a crime! 16 is the age of consent in most if not all states, I believe, so the bf being 19 is a non-issue. And we’re only talking about a freakin’ three year difference.
Squirrel3D, you are a complete idiot. Don’t ever think of challenging me ever again because you just make yourself look like a bigger fool than you already are.

Norman Blitzer on December 20, 2007 at 8:01 pm

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