Weekend Weather, Presidential Race and Halloween, TV and Social Bullying

Areas of fog this morning are affecting areas south of Cleveland that got most of the rain yesterday. Expect a dry and seasonably cool afternoon. We'll add on a few degrees Saturday before the next system brings rain overnight into Sunday. Behind that system, high pressure will build bringing a mostly sunny start to October.

Getting playful with politics. The presidential election is less than six weeks away and employees at Spirit Halloween in the Great Northern Mall have been busy selling President Obama and Mitt Romney masks. The manager of the store, Jim Finkelmeir  says, "We're seeing a lot of people coming in trying on and having fun with them. They're posting video on YouTube, Facebook and having a blast." Noah Sali is only seven years old and the masks are getting his attention. He pointed to the mask and said "Mitt Romney, he's the one who wants to be president." Spirit Halloween says so far sixty four percent of the masks sold at their stores across the country are Obama. Customers can even scan a QR code on their phone and vote online on the stores website. Employees tell us sales of the masks have predicted the winner of the past four presidential elections.

Long before Hollywood introduced the concept of "Mean Girls," people knew that childhood can be full of name-calling, manipulation and we-won't-talk-to-you freeze-outs. Now, a new study finds that "social bullying" isn't just a real-life phenomenon. It's also common in the TV shows popular among kids aged 2 to 11. From "American Idol" to "The Simpsons," the study authors found, the people and characters who appear on these shows are often mean. They insult one another, connive to get what they want and bully others in non-physical ways. The researchers said 92 percent of 150 episodes reviewed featured some form of "social aggression" -- on average about 14 incidents per hour. "Lots of attention has been paid to exposure to nudity and violence in the media, and rightfully so," said study lead author Nicole Martins, an assistant professor in the department of telecommunications at Indiana University. "But parents are largely unaware that programs could be teaching children to be cruel and mean to each other as well. Just because a show is low on physical violence doesn't mean it's harmless."

Julia Tullos, WOIO Assignment Manager