There are those who'd say I shouldn't be writing this unless I watch a whole episode of TLC's "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." To them, I say, "My parents raised no masochists."

I just can't do it. And I really tried. I got about 5 minutes in and I was gone. Sat there in pained, astonished silence at what I had witnessed. And I'm not sure what I witnessed.

But I was able to make an observation. And, at this point, it's likely a very obvious one: TLC is cornering the market on exploitation.

They have zeroed in on the basest aspects of our personalities and triggered something in television viewers that we may not have known--and certainly hoped--was there.

It's bad enough that this grisly embarrassment was spun off from one of the most regrettable excuses for entertainment I have ever seen--"Toddlers and Tiaras"--but I've actually had people, who know I'm on the radio, tell me I absolutely should watch it so I can talk about it on the air.

Seriously?

There REALLY isn't anything else I can discuss that's even a TINY bit more relevant? I certainly hope this isn't where we've come.

I know not every form of entertainment has to be high-brow. I get that. "Beevis and Butthead" still makes me laugh. Give me a Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck "rabbit season/duck season" argument any day, complete with a Daffy Duck-bill rearranging gun shot. Love it.

But "Honey Boo Boo" just goes too far. And, I'm thinking it has to be because of the exploitation of a child--the market for which I thought was cornered by "Toddlers and Tiaras."

I'm not sure what the ratings are for either of these shows; maybe I'm afraid to look. But I do think that this is some of the most reductive programming I've ever seen on American television.

And, I'm sure season two is on the way.