Friday, May 29, 2009

Jon and Kate ... Hey, wait

I don't watch much reality television. For some reason, I'm not attracted to shows such as "Rock of Love," "Bridezillas" and "Big Brother" that seem to feature nothing but scummy, mean-spirited, slimy, venal and repugnant people. But one would almost have to live in a cave to avoid the mass media frenzy over the family featured in a TLC series called "Jon and Kate Plus Eight." The program follows the lives of Jon and Kate Gosselin and their eight children, a set of twins who are nearly 9 and 5-year-old sextuplets. And those lives, of late, seem to be twirling down the toilet. In my limited exposure to the program, it struck me that the mother in the family is what we used to call a "bitch on wheels." The dad appears to be a disinterested schlump. And if you believe the news reports, some from questionable sources, one or both of the parents might be having extramarital affairs, and divorce might be right around the corner. It appears to me that if these two don't actively hate each other, there's an intense and growing dislike. Which brings me to my point: Does anybody involved in this sordid mess really give a damn about those eight kids? I presume that they're all in school now, and I'm guessing that, kids being kids, some other youngster will inevitably ask, "Why does your Daddy have a girlfriend?" or "I saw on TV that your Mommy and Daddy are getting a divorce." The exploitation of these children would be considered deplorable by any caring person, but it's clear, at least at this writing, that the parents are content to allow the apparent collapse of the family to be carried out in front of millions of TV viewers. Could the big money they're raking in be the overriding factor? It's pretty clear that they're now accustomed to living a high life that, without the television program, they would be unlikely to be able to afford. If the producers of the show or the folks at the network that carries it had any morals and integrity, they would pull the plug. But again, money talks - and it's really loud. So, no matter that these children might be scarred for life by what's going on here. There's plenty of cash to be stuffed into the adults' pockets.

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Blogger Brant said...


WERNERSVILLE (AP) – Jon, Kate and their eight children have attracted a huge TV audience, screaming tabloid headlines and, now, a state labor investigation.
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor says it’s looking into whether the hit reality show “Jon & Kate Plus 8” is complying with child labor laws.
The TLC series follows Jon and Kate Gosselin as they raise their eight young children, including 8-year-old twins and sextuplets who just turned 5. The show drew nearly 10 million viewers for its fifth-season premiere Monday following reports of trouble in the Gosselins’ marriage.
Labor Department spokesman Justin Fleming tells the Associated Press that the department is looking into a complaint against the show.
TLC says it “fully complies” with state laws and regulations.

May 29, 2009 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

My wife loves this show and the little people big world show...

I can't stand either one... but the little people show is "better" than this one... I do kinda like it when my wife watches it though... because she will say to me "I'm not like THAT, am I?" when Kate is being extraordinarily bitchy.

May 29, 2009 at 2:29 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

And you say, "Of course not, honey."

May 29, 2009 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Of course!

Something about butter and bread and corn...

May 29, 2009 at 2:46 PM  
Blogger Brant said...


The latest version of the AP story indicates that Kate's brother and sister-in-law are speaking out against the kids' involvement in the show:

“Unfortunately, I think it has come down to all about the ratings,” sister-in-law Jodi Kreider told CBS’ “The Early Show.” “And no one is looking at these children as what they are going through and the life consequences they are going to have as they get older.”
Kreider said the children have told her they don’t like the cameras.
Her husband and Kate’s brother, Kevin Kreider, said in the same interview: “You can’t imagine as a child realizing that my birthday party, that all the outings that my parents took me on were ... for ratings, and all organized by production companies.”

May 29, 2009 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger {cher} said...

i think i watched the first few episodes, and i got the same impression every time. Jon always looked like he was forced into all of it (including the marriage) and Kate was just a complaining control freak. Lots interest right away. If they supposedly are having affairs on each other, you could probably see that coming years ago when the show first started. Another case of "staying together for the kids". It's all BS.

June 1, 2009 at 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do we care?

June 1, 2009 at 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brant, I'm with you on the reality TV thing. Why watch these people, who aren't particularly interesting and have no particular talents, when there are so many other things you could do? There are libraries full of books to be read, to name just one thing...

--Brad Hundt

June 1, 2009 at 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand the family receives $75,000 an episode. If that number is correct, is there any middle class family out there who would not parade their kids in front of cameras for a reality show? Of course you would. Ten shows pays for their college education. Another 10 pays for a beautiful new home.

There are very few families who would walk away from that type of payoff.

As for Jonh, I would guess that eight crying kids - ever notice how they are alway crying on the show? - would drive me out of that house at some point.

June 1, 2009 at 7:17 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

There's also truth to the old saying that money can't buy happiness. As for Jon, if I were him, I'd be looking for a strong piece of rope and a stout tree limb.

June 2, 2009 at 6:52 AM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I'm proud to say that I've never watched a second of any of these shows. Nor will I.

June 2, 2009 at 2:58 PM  

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