Can deadbeat dads really be redeemed by watching a daytime talk show?
Educational television is a powerful tool. From "Sesame Street" to Ken Burns documentaries, TV can have an empowering effect on viewers. A judge in Michigan has taken the notion of learning via the boob tube one step further -- or backward, depending on how you look at it.
Dads who have fallen behind in their child support payments and show up in Judge Wade McCree's courtroom in Wayne County, Detroit, might be forced to watch the syndicated "Maury Povich Show" as punishment -- particularly the "Who's Your Daddy?" segment, which has been testing paternity via DNA tests for over 11 years.
"Some of these men in my court watch the show and see how ridiculous some of the deadbeats look, and then they realize it's them," McCree told the Detroit Free Press.
McCree also thinks the reaction of the audience -- which quickly degenerates into a mob scene, with boos and plenty of bleeped-out words aimed at the dad who doesn't "man up" to his responsibilities -- can't hurt either.
Will the judge's ploy make a dent in the number of unplanned pregnancies? That's yet to be seen. One clear sign would be Povich nixing the "Who's Your Daddy?" portion of the show because the producers can't find any guests.