Britney Speared in Lap-Gate: "So, So Scary" Emotes CBS's Syler

No more than a couple years ago, headlines invoking Britney Spears in a "lap" controversy might have brought to mind images of graphic goings-on in the Champagne Room.

But time marches on, and Britney-the-new-mother is now caught in a lap-gate of an altogether different sort after photos were snapped of Britney driving her car with her four-month old son in her lap rather than secured in a car seat. In the latest development, according to this LA Times article, a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy went to her Malibu home on Tuesday "to collect information for child welfare investigators" in connection with the matter. For the record, Spears says she was feeling hounded by paparazzi and drove off with the baby in her lap to escape them.

The morning shows worked themselves into a collective lather over the horror of it all, with the sentiment best summed up by CBS Early Show co-host Rene Syler, who, interviewing a child safety expert, emoted: "every time we look at that picture, it's just so, so scary."

Pluh-eese. Sure, kids should be strapped in a car seat in the back. But just a generation or so ago, an image of a parent tooling around with junior in her lap might have evoked cooing sounds from the person sitting in Syler's chair. The Andy Griffith Show meets Leave it to Beaver.

But today, in our therapeutic society, Britney's gaffe, if that's what it is, merited national news coverage. At one point at the beginning of the 7:30 AM half-hour, ABC, NBC and CBS were simultaneously airing segments on the affair.

In a world where every day untold numbers of terrorists are plotting to kill as many men, women, and yes, little children, as possible, where are the MSM's priorities?

Finkelstein lives in Ithaca, NY, where he hosts the local TV show 'Right Angle.' Email him at:

Political Scandals Early Show Entertainment Media