During her Friday press briefing, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany touched again on the subject of “cancel culture,” and lamented that the Nickelodeon show PAW Patrol had been canceled. Calling the program a “a cartoon show about cops” she grouped it among other cop shows like, Cops and Live PD, which have actually been canceled. Unfortunately for the nation’s parents, McEnany was (and I know this is shocking) inaccurate. Sadly, PAW Patrol, in all of it’s saccharine, vivid, extremely grating, Canadian glory remains on the air.
But why would McEnany claim that PAW Patrol was canceled in the first place? Most likely because in the wake of ongoing police violence toward Black people, parents are casting a dubious eye towards PAW Patrol’s leading pup, Chase. The plucky German Shepherd is, well, problematic. He is a cop-dog and part of a seemingly privatized police force. He apparently operates with impunity, free of warrants, or public mandate. He has a goddamn surveillance drone. Which, you know, feels like the show is grooming a generation to accept the benevolent oversight of a police state.
That’s only a guess, though. It’s also possible that Trump simply wasn’t able to find his favorite show and assumed the worst.
The thing is that plenty of parents would welcome the cancelation of PAW Patrol. It would be a sweet release. Because for anyone over the age of 8, the show is basically unwatchable. The voices are pitched way too high and unnaturally optimistic. The plots are so simplistic and yet confounding that it’s likely even the target audience of Kindergartners feels that they are being patronized. And the characters? What is even going on there.
Leaving aside Chase’s fascist tendencies, there’s the PAW Patrol’s owner, Ryder. He’s the child Ayn Rand never had, living out some kind of John Gault objectivist fantasy. He’s the child genius/iconoclast who has somehow managed to privatize the social infrastructure of Adventure Bay by replacing it with … specialized dogs. He’s put the clumsiest one in charge of fire response, by the way, so sleep tight Adventure Bay! Even on the merits of his dog ownership, he’s terrible. He basically neglects Zuma the water dog, giving most of his attention to his favorites. What kind of role model is that?
The merits of PAW Patrol are few and dim the second you count past “It keeps my kid slack-jawed for a half-hour”. Believe me, if the show were canceled there would be much parental rejoicing.
Is that “cancel culture?” Not in the way McEnany and the White House understands it. But let’s be honest. Some things deserve to be canceled, simply because they are objectively terrible. PAW Patrol is one of those things and McEnany should be ashamed for getting our hopes up.