I hate reality TV. It gives me nose bleeds. But one show has managed to plague my life like an infectious disease. Wait for it…@plus8jonandkate. I’ve never subjected myself to an episode, nor visited their Web site, and have shunned reading anything about them to the best of my ability… yet I know more about the minutia of their purposeless lives than I do the current state of world affairs—and I’m well read. In an online exclusive, The Unreal Rise of Jon and Kate Gosselin, @vanityfairmag’s Nancy Jo Sales helped me figure it out: since March, these two money grubbing media whores (my words) have appeared on the cover of major celebrity weeklies more than 50 times—you know, the ones you mindlessly peruse while standing in line at the grocery store. Read Sales’ piece, it’s insightful.
I loathe the likes of Jon & Kate and other subpar Hollywood parents @sulemannadya and the Duggar family because they take what should otherwise be a heartwarming and exclusive experience and turn it into a means for personal gain (read money, more money, fame, tummy tucks, facelifts, cars, trainers, new homes, and more). To put it more bluntly, since when did such a basic human function become so media worthy? Prior to landing her reality star gig, Kate got her first taste of fame from the attention garnered when she appealed a Medicaid ruling that denied her family aid. That was when she had only two children. And before Nadya Suleman’s reprehensible birthing stunt earlier this year, she nurtured her six person brood through food stamps and supplemental security income. People, if you need—or have to hope for—a reality TV show to sustain your family, you should probably revisit your family planning scheme and keep your legs closed.
The Duggars are the worst offenders, in my opinion, because they “procreate-and-tell” under the banner of faith. If children are a gift from God, then treat them that way. You cannot possibly nurture each child with the love and attention required for healthy, well-rounded growth when you have so many that each of the younger children is assigned to an older child to help raise them. Money is simply not enough. Twenty biological children to one family in a world where there are countless children in need of good homes is irresponsible—on many levels. And at what point did you start feeling badly for Falcon Heene in the egregious balloon hoax his father implicated him in? Was it before or after he started throwing up on national TV? Maybe it was when he slipped in a family interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and said, “You guys said that … we did this for the show.”
Now, imagine a show where Phillip Garrido and his wife walk you through a day in the life of his 18-year-kidnapee Jaycee Duggard or Roman Polanksi pilots a show called The Real Great Escape: child porn and rape as art forms. Did you just throw up in your mouth a little? Well, there are many forms of child exploitation. And it’s time that we recognize that reality TV shows that voyeuristically follow young children during the most developmental years of their lives is exploitative. Maybe TLC can save the tanking show if they rename it to Kate Tells Jon She’s Late.
Posted by Elizabeth