Monday, September 22, 2008

A Minor Imposition

My take on the recent National Enquirer piece.

Submitted by "Mom"

The article itself was small and contained eight quotes from Mr. Peterson. To say that this piece is responsible journalism is a stretch. Why? Because it also included the reporter's take (and opinion) on some "reported" information about a personal chef, gardener and wealthy relative. In a nutshell, it is the same things we have been reading out here in cyberspace over the last several months. Responsible journalism should include two sides of the story, which this did not. If an attempt was made to contact the Gs, it would have been reported. Back in August, a CBS reporter interviewed NE editor David Perel. Even though the story centers around the John Edwards’ scandal, some of Perel’s quotes about what they feature is interesting, and very telling. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/08/17/sunday/main4356479.shtml

I don't fault Mr. Peterson for his attempt at getting his message out to the mainstream media. I am disappointed though that he settled for the Nat'l Enquirer. Perhaps they were the only "biters" of any pitch he sent out. But unless something is "breaking news," it will (and does) take time for the media to respond. I would consider the G story to be more of an investigative type of article, not breaking news. Investigative stories can take months to put together. And because I think Mr. Peterson is well-intentioned, my guess is the Nat'l Enquirer contacted him for a story, not the other way around.

There seems to be a lot of blogging about the photo used in this piece. To me, the children look bored and tired. This is probably one of at least one hundred pics that were snapped off in a studio for a publicity shot. Of course the NE used this pic for their skewed story - what a 'perfect' accompaniment. I am surprised they (J&K) would want this photo released to the media, however. [see link above for info on what the NE looks for in a photo]

Which leads me to another thought - public relations. As someone who has sat on both sides of the PR fence (a media professional for 10 years and an editor for 6 years), I can honestly say without a doubt, J&K need some serious help in the PR department. Whoever said "silence can be deafening" wasn't kidding. Although the Gs have taken the high road when it came to addressing personal family situations and public scrutiny, I believe it's time for them to say something. And, let's hope that they can say something. Let's hope they personally have some type of legal representation aside from Figure 8 or TLC who have a financial interest in their family.

My initial hopes were that Mr. Peterson could have contacted J&K directly to chat, safeguards could be put in place, Mr. Peterson could give some type of 'thumbs up' for their efforts, etc. That day may never come for Mr. Peterson now. And, I can't say I would blame J or K for not accepting a call from him after seeing this story.

There are many out here in blogland applauding this article. Unfortunately, I think it is just another unwelcome burden for the G family.

139 comments:

nomoredrama said...

Well written piece. ITA that the Gosselins PR sucks when it comes to responding to accusations such as these. I sit here, shaking my head. I think they need to reconsider their stance (not on personal issues, on the issues Paul Peterson is bringing to the forefront). Say SOMETHING!

Anonymous said...

What could they possibly say? Especially if what is being reported is the truth?

A anon post said...

Mom and NMD - better yet, have an independent person verify that the kids are ok and state that they will hired this person to monitor the situation as it progresses.

And just a thought Mom? I haven't read the NE article, but since they are repeating facts from the blogs, is it possible that the NE are cutting and pasting quotes that Paul Peterson (is that his name?) from his website into the article?

merryway said...

I had a few thoughts and was wondering if Paul Peterson contacted the Enquirer or if he was contacted by them and just gave them a few quotes.
It doesn't seem like the part about the chef, nannies, helpers, etc. is opinion. The writer seems to be stating it as fact. The only thing that seems conjecture is "...and reportedly command $25.000.00 per appearance..."
The NE is my guilty pleasure when It's not the rag it used to be years ago. They've gotten sued so many times that now they have some of the informants take polygraphs. (does any one remember when Carol Burnett sued them and won a long time ago for saying she was drunk at an event?) Most of the stuff has enough truth in it to keep them from getting sued anymore. I would like to see a "making of" Jon and Kate to see exactly how it's done, if there are retakes, waits for shots, all that stuff. I would like to see how the security works around them. We've never been shown those details.
I'm wondering if the chef is really craft services or if there is a chef.
The stuff he mentions about the nudity is over and done with, so I'm not sure why he's mentioning it now. I haven't seen any nude shots in quite a while, unless I just didn't notice.

anya said...

Interesting. I hope they are getting sound, unbiased advice as well.

As for addressing the allegations, I did see a commercial for next week's show. Apparently, it's another viewer mail show, but it appears to be all new questions. One of them that they showed was "how long do you plan to continue filming?"

I wonder if they will tackle any more of the hot-button issues? I am starting to agree with you all, that it's time to do so.

Anonymous said...

Early Monday morning, I posted to the GWoP blog in order to call the photo a "perfect accompaniment" to the NE article. I see that you've either quoted or co-opted the phrase, though you've added your own punctuation to make it "'perfect' accompaniment." My original statement was meant to be ironic, as I hope and trust yours was!

At any rate, I'm just sorry for the Gosselins. I'd imagine it's easy to let fame and fortune go to your head, especially when they appear so quickly.

Anonymous said...

Paul Peterson must be DESPERATE for press that he has to go to the NATIONAL ENQUIERER?

I wonder if he'll coat-tail his 'crusade' when he starts doing publicity for the Season 1 DONNA REED SHOW DVD Box set?!

Anonymous said...

I am new to your blog but obviously you approve of the decision of Jon and Kate Gosselin to allow their childrens' lives to be filmed. It seems to me that they are being exploited and that their young lives are being exploited. I agree with Paul Peterson that the damage from this will last long past the filming. Your defense that "This is probably one of at least one hundred pics that were snapped off in a studio for a publicity shot" does not hold water. Poor children; they have been robbed of a normal childhood. The Gosselins' admirers conveniently forget that genuine celebrities seek privacy and protection for their children. In the Gosselins's case, it is the opposite; the parents have sacrificed those childrens' privacy and dignity for years to come.

erin said...

The first NE article tip came from a poster at GWoP, not someone who knows them. I believe they were posting under the name Anon1979 or similar. The entire article was pretty much word for word what had been said at GWoP. The second article, IMO, smacks of their involvement. I do think they need to make a statement, and pursue legal action if what is out there isn't true. In this situation I think they run the risk of perking the state CPS and I can very clearly envision a situation where CPS seizes the children, while it wasn't the intended consequence of the blogs and articles. Julie, on various blogs, has alluded to the fact that she thinks the children are being abused. I said these same things early on at GWoP, on a post called Degrees of Abuse and Exploitation and subsuquent posts by the same author. Removal may not be their aim, but it might be the end.

Anon 4:50 a.m.: I actually think that there could be longterm harm to the kids. I would urge Jon and Kate to make sure the kids have places they can go that the cameras aren't allowed (like Mady and Cara's bedroom), or where are limited (there has been speculation that the back yard is off limits unless granted permission (which I think the kids should have a say in)). I would also like to know that there is some kind of child counselor or psychologist to consult about the effects of filming and to help with a transition should filming end. But, just because there could be harm to the kids doesn't mean there will be harm to the kids. It could be that these kids get to travel, have enough money to have what they need in life, parents will be able to support them through college, they will grow up well adjusted, etc. I can't say which way it will go--my crystal ball is on the fritz.

MrsRef said...

That picture was used in another article, I believe by the Washington Post. The kids do not appear happy. If that picture was many taken at a photo shoot, perhaps the shoot went on too long to elicit those sad little faces. Next week I guess we get treated to a glimpse of their new house. Can't wait. This show is so no longer about an average family and how they cope with everyday life. I feel more like I am watching Life in the Fab Lane with Kimora Lee Simmons. JMHO

Daisy said...

IMHO, the kids aren't in danger of CPS removing them from their home. This has been discussed since early on in the show. There was talk of people contacting CPS a long time ago. If there was a danger, CPS would have already removed them.

Nina Bell said...

Mrs Ref is right, that picture was used before and received the same reaction from a certain group of people. I have not read the NE article yet and I probably won't. I wonder if Paul P has tried to contact the Gosselins. Now that would be an interesting conversation, to say the least. Mom, well written article and I love your new avatar!

Mom said...

Anon 450 - My post here was my take on the NE article. As far as the photo goes, the NE chose a photo that was well-suited to the story they were doing. I am sure from that session there are just as many happy faces as well.

I did not say that I disagreed with Paul Peterson's mission - in fact I mentioned my hopes of him actually meeting with the G family, etc.

Merryway - If you look at the first NE article, some of the copy is almost verbatim. Since the first article came out, it was stated on the G website that they did indeed have craft services there a few days a week when filming and not a personal chef. In my opinion, if the author was really following the case, they would have been privy to that.

Actually this article was written by someone different than the first. IMO, if the NE was really following this case, they would assign it to the same reporter. Just my two cents.

Anon 11pm - I, too, wrote this early yesterday. It just wasn't posted until later in the evening.

MommyZinger said...

Great job, Mom.

I agree. I don't consider it responsible journalism either. To me, the NE is more like pulp fiction. The writer should have referenced his source for the personal chef, nanny comment.

It just bugs me so much that the anti's have used that picture as "proof" that the kids are damaged somehow. Of course the NE would use a picture like that! A happy picture wouldn't be consistent with the story. I mean, come on, people! Sheesh.

As for Paul Peterson, its too bad he had to go through the NE and he went through a difficult time in his acting career. But I don't think drug and alcohol abuse are the default outcome for children in television. Mayim Bialik (Blossom), anyone? I know, one example, but we just hear more about the negative aspects because of people's strange fascination for train wrecks.

Anonymous said...

Mom: "Anon 11pm - I, too, wrote this early yesterday. It just wasn't posted until later in the evening."

Oh my, parallel universes! What's that phrase--GMTA? :)

Anon at 11 p.m.

Anonymous said...

".....it was stated on the G website that they did indeed have craft services there a few days a week when filming and not a personal chef."

Actually, Kate did NOT deny that there was a chef. She only admitted to the craft services, which is no big deal because most shows being filmed have it. I believe the Go$$elins' chef is named Katherine and owns a local catering business.

Nina Bell said...

Anon 8:37

What is the name of the local catering business?

AgainAnonymous said...

While I agree that the G's PR firm could be doing a better job with how the G's are presented, I'm not sure responding to another NE article that basically repeats what was said in the July article would be a reason to start having the G's make public responses.

I think next week's new "Answering Viewer's Questions" show will be all that is going to be said publicly, barring any future "revelations."

IMO nothing said in these NE articles or shown on the show is going to make CPS knock on their door.

And for all Julie's suggesting that things are much worse than what we see on the show, she and PM have continually backed away from claiming "abuse" when actually confronted about why they're not calling CPS themselves.

If Julie is speaking (with her "it's much worse than what we see on the show" comment - paraphrase) about anything except more examples of Kate's supposed bad behavior towards the adults in her life, she's basically painting her sister, Jodi, as someone who has stood by and allowed abuse to occur.

Anonymous said...

Whether you like Jon and Kate or not, there is no way that this show isn't affecting the kids. I find it humurous that the Gosselins, like so many celebrities, want their "privacy". News Flash--you sold your privacy to "the man".

Mom said...

again anon -

Good points. As far as the responding goes - my thoughts were that now that Mr. Peterson is talking albeit the NE and his website, it maybe time for the Gs to say something.

AgainAnonymous said...

mom,

I don't mean to sound like I'm discounting any scenario where the G's should respond publically. I'm just saying I haven't seen that scenario yet.

With regards to what PP has stated about the Gosselins children's "work," I don't think he has stated any particulars about how the show is being produced that he could possibly know firsthand. His personal experience and knowledge is with tv and film production of scripted shows and how being "typecast" affected his emotional and career development.

Now, I'm sure he can lend some insight. But without being there in the G's home, I don't think he can say for sure how long the kids are in front of the cameras and if any stress we see in the children can be attributed to being part of a reality tv production.

As has been said many ways many times before...we just don't know what the G's are doing with regard to their children's wellbeing with regards to producing this show. I don't get the impression they are without empathy for their children's emotional and physical health, and perhaps there's been a bit of a learning curve with how much power they have in the situation.

Maybe in the beginning they did as they were told, not knowing they had more power as the "stars." But why is it some would assume that what they see as feelings of entitlement and the brandishing of their newfound "stardom" by the G's only extends to freebies, perks and pay scales?

Why assume all this "power" would only be used for "evil" and that in every other respect regarding their children they lie down and accept whatever the production company asks of them?

I know there are some out there who can look at the G's and only see selfish intent. I, being a mere mortal, cannot make that leap based on a show and a whole lot of hearsay.

Guinevere said...

That picture was used in another article, I believe by the Washington Post. The kids do not appear happy. If that picture was many taken at a photo shoot, perhaps the shoot went on too long to elicit those sad little faces. Next week I guess we get treated to a glimpse of their new house. Can't wait. This show is so no longer about an average family and how they cope with everyday life. I feel more like I am watching Life in the Fab Lane with Kimora Lee Simmons. JMHO

I never watched that show, but I don't think a comparison between Kate Gosselin and Kimora Lee Simmons is very accurate. I read an article about Simmons in Vanity Fair a year or two ago, and if I recall correctly, her life is very much the jet-set, private yachts, mansions and diamonds, nightclubbing kind of life. I can't imagine her taking her van on a road trip and packing snacks for her kids to eat along the way.

If the anti-Gosselinites want to harp so much on "sad-face" photos of the kids, shouldn't they also acknowledge the numerous examples of the kids smiling and laughing in photos and on the show?

A anon post said...

Mom -

As someone who has PR experience, what would you recommend Jon and Kate should do? If they address the internet rumors, then they open up a whole can of worms for viewers who don't go on the internet, essentially inviting them into the world of GWoP. What issues would you allow them to address (not what WE want, but as a PR professional, what would be more beneficial to their client.)

Personally, my take would be to say that some people have stressed their concerns about the children appearing on the show, and to put concerned fans's mind at easy, we have hired someone to monitor their time on the show to make sure it is not harming them. In addition, we have invited someone from the state of Penn, to come and have their own independent investigation at any time. And maybe mention 1 or 2 other points (college fund/finances, maybe - probably nothing about Jodi), and on to positive things like their plans on building a house.

Anonymous said...

Of course no one can definitively say that the Gosselin children are being harmed or helped by having their lives televised. I guess it depends upon how these terms are defined. I noticed that in one article Kate Gosselin said they would continue the show so long as it was "healthy". I am not a psychologist or fortune teller, but I have trouble grasping how it can be healthy for children now or in the future to be filmed for television during their private moments including using the bathroom, having emotional outbursts, being treated unkindly by beloved parents, etc. and for those moments to exist in perpetuity on the web. I also fail to understand how those who dare to speak up are villified. Should good people do nothing? Clearly someone has to. If Jon Gosselin would truly "do anything for my kids" he should do the right thing and say stop and tlc should assist however is necessary (including financial) for these children to make the transition. Maybe then they could stop dressing identically and just be in this world.

Anonymous said...

I agree the article was an "unwelcomed burden" for Jon and Kate. Can't say I have any sympathy for them, nor should anyone else. The children, you bet! It is just a matter of time before we see Mady's picture on the cover.
I also agree their PR firm seems to be clueless. I have often wondered if Figure 8 WANTS the controversy. Do they really care about Jon and Kate and their children? It doesn't appear that they do.
What is unfortunate is that Jon and Kate have had ample opportunity to turn things around. But they chose to go forward and it all boils down to money.
Jon and Kate have taken the high road never! If there was something to speak out about you can be sure that they would!
But are Jon and Kate the only guilty parties? Julie has stated that the children are in "danger". What does she do??? Blogs about irrelvant things about her sister. If the kids are in danger, then call the police, dummy. Call CPS!
The same goes for the other blog by PennMommy. She says she has "seen" much worse. What does this mean???
Unwelcomed burden-my gosh it is about time! Would you allow your child to live day in and day out like the Gosselin kids? Yea, me neither!
And one last thing, maybe PP did try and contact Jon and Kate? Maybe they refused to talk to him? Maybe Jon sent him a nasty certified letter.
Let's not forget the issue here, and who is responsible.
They are Jon and Kate Gosselin.

Anonymous said...

The stuff he mentions about the nudity is over and done with, so I'm not sure why he's mentioning it now. I haven't seen any nude shots in quite a while, unless I just didn't notice.

September 22, 2008 10:12 PM

******

NO, MERRYWAY! It is not done and over with!!!! The shows are rerun!!! And Hannah, Leah, Alexis, Collin, Joel and Aaden have not even begun to get over it! You are sadly wrong! And your laissez faire attitude is freightening, because there are too many like you!

Anonymous said...

And Merryway, did you stop and think that the reason he is mentioning the nude shots now is not just to protect the Gosselin kids, but children of equally ignorant parent's who are forced into the same situation!

It's over and done with, so let's all just forget it!!! WRONG!

Guinevere said...

I seriously think people obsessing over "nude" shots of babies and toddlers (none of which even show any genitalia, IIRC, except for the outtake that was yanked from Youtube, and that was hardly a gynocological view) need to get their minds out of the gutter. You folks are creeping me out with your fixation on pedophiles.

Anonymous said...

I do think they need to make a statement, and pursue legal action if what is out there isn't true. In this situation I think they run the risk of perking the state CPS and I can very clearly envision a situation where CPS seizes the children, while it wasn't the intended consequence of the blogs and articles. Julie, on various blogs, has alluded to the fact that she thinks the children are being abused.

I agree with you Erin! Say something! But I don't think they will, because i think it is all true. And julie is going to be the villan here when we find out the kids are abused and she knew it all the time. Jody too. She wateched them so she knows if they are being abused.

MrsRef said...

Regarding my Kimora Lee Simmons comment, I just meant that the average middle class family in this country is struggling now to keep a roof over their head and food on the table, not jetting off to Hawaii and God knows where else, having hair transplants, teeth whitening, nor are they having large houses built. They are making due with what they have which frankly in the Gosselins case is plenty. They are so far gone from reality - that is what my comment meant. I am not a hater, anti-Gosselin or jealous. I am actually very sad for this family. When reality smacks them back in the face (and it will) it will be a sad, sad day.

Mom said...

again anon -
I think a anon (lol at all of the 'anon' posters) gave a good example of what they would like to see the Gs say.

a anon -
Perhaps 'saying something' for now might be just as simple as what you mentioned. There is a huge difference in marketing and PR. I hope whatever PR firm they are working with has experience in dealing with public scrutiny (crisis mgt.).

One of the best things a mentor of mine told me when it comes to crisis PR:

-tell it truthfully (acknowledge any wrongdoings - apologize)

-tell it quickly (saying something sooner than later will help prevent losing credibility)

-turn crisis/problem into an opportunity (best example of this is tylenol creating the tamper-proof caps we see today on all types of meds - they did this after the deaths of those who took Tylenol laced with poison).

I also would never rely soley on the media to tell your message. Respect the media (don't attack), they (media) can often hurt more than help.

If they are a good PR firm they will help J&K answer (and possibly tackle) any question with honesty, compassion and confidence.

Hope this helps answer your question.

Anon 1132 -
I, too, believe F8 may thrive on controversy.

I think Julie's blogging is hurting more than helping. Do you agree that it would be in best interest of the entire family if ammends were made with Jodi?

As far as taking the high road, I firmly believe that it's best J&K do not stoop to the level of addressing their private matters with family on the internet or otherwise. Call it whatever you'd like.

You are correct, we don't know if Mr. Peterson has contacted the Gs. I hope he has. I hope perhaps they are listening to his advice and years of experience. But, until Mr. Peterson or a reputable news source tells me otherwise, I can't really speculate.

The 'issue' is far from being forgotten. J&K are responsible for their children and their children's well-being, yes. I will give you that. But, they are not totally responsible for all the lies and scrutiny that others are blogging about. That, my friend, is partly your responsibility as much as it is mine.

Anonymous said...

You know what Guin, it is creepy!!! But it is stuff like that that pedophiles get off on. And you are the only one I have ever heard mention "genitalia". In fact, that is not the only thing that turns on a pedophile. Some are aroused by little girls in dresses, little boys in suits (little men)...I think YOU are obsessing over the Gosselin's yourself as a moderator of a blog!

And how did that footage make it to YOUTUBE??? That should have been investigated by Jon and Katen themselves. It had to have come form someone who had acsess to the film! Camera man???

Anonymous said...

I would have to say the first article from the NE was off of Julie's blog. The reference to personal chef's etc.. The first NE was on July 28th and Julie wrote everything said in the first NE on July 5th. It looks like someone is making money off the Gosselins behind the scenes after all. I wouldn't put it past Julie for writing to the NE to get back at Kate and Jon.

merryway said...

Anonymous said...
NO, MERRYWAY! It is not done and over with!!!! The shows are rerun!!! And Hannah, Leah, Alexis, Collin, Joel and Aaden have not even begun to get over it! You are sadly wrong! And your laissez faire attitude is freightening, because there are too many like you!
September 23, 2008 11:37 AM

I was speaking in regards to the article. I only meant that it was already shot and over with so there's nothing PP could do about it now. Figure 8 owns the film, it's on or has been on youtube, it's out there.. I agree this will follow them for the rest of their lives. I wouldn't want everyone to have access to my bare-all childhood photos either. I always feel bad for Maddy when her tantrums are filmed I hope she is able to rise above it and not let people label her that way all of her days. The other Anonymous poster(same?) right after that makes a good point about other children, I hadn't considered other parents might do the same thing. I've only thought of those other shows, baby borrowers (nice idea if they didn't have to use real children) and KidNation.

Guinevere said...

Regarding my Kimora Lee Simmons comment, I just meant that the average middle class family in this country is struggling now to keep a roof over their head and food on the table, not jetting off to Hawaii and God knows where else, having hair transplants, teeth whitening, nor are they having large houses built.

I think the Gosselins' life in terms of consumption is pretty on par with upper middle class Americans, of which there are plenty. I know many people who've been to Hawaii. I know people who've had their teeth whitened. I don't think I know anyone who has had a hair transplant, but I don't see it as something only the super-rich do. Nor is building a house something only the very rich do. It's upper middle class behavior, not, again, private jet and yacht behavior. I think there are a lot of people who could relate to the Gosselins financially, if not in other ways (the being on TV and having sextuplets are obviously much more unique circumstances).

They are making due with what they have which frankly in the Gosselins case is plenty. They are so far gone from reality - that is what my comment meant.

Maybe I'm mistaking your meaning, but are you saying that only a middle-class, "average" existence is reality? Because that's obviously not so. It reminds me (and excuse me, I'm going to go off on both a tangent and a rant here; neither have much to do with what you posted, I don't think) of those who think that the only "real" Americans are from small-town middle America. If you're from the city, or from one of the coasts, or not middle-class, white, Christian, etc. - you're not a "real American". Oh my gosh, that drives me so crazy. "Real" comes in many flavors.

To bring it back to the Gosselins, I guess what you're trying to say is that the Gosselins are trying to portray (or the producers are trying to portray?) a more middle-class existence than in reality exists. I'm not sure I agree. I think it's a matter of perception, and people with a grudge against the Gosselins interpret a number of comments from J or K to suggest that they are struggling financially or that they are just like you and me. Either way, I don't get the level of resentment about the Gosselins' averageness or lack thereof. But that was yesterday's argument, and I won't rehash it today.

I am not a hater, anti-Gosselin or jealous. I am actually very sad for this family. When reality smacks them back in the face (and it will) it will be a sad, sad day.

What is it that you envision happening? Hopefully, they are making sound financial decisions that will keep them comfortable for a long time, and so "reality" will not need to smack them in the face in that way.

a anon post said...

Mom -

This is what I remember most about my crisis management class, which is similiar to what you have posted "tell it truthfully (acknowledge any wrongdoings - apologize)."

Depending how bad the situation is, tell just little bit more truth than the reporters know to give the impression you are telling the whole truth. The example my professior used was one that happened at a US Army recruiting base (please keep in mind that I am trying to illustrate at point and not necessarily stating the story is true. It's been 12 years, so I'm sure I don't have all the facts straight.)

Appartently the recruiters got caught falsifying recruitees tests to allow them into the Army, so the recruiters enrollment numbers looked good. This is the story the reporters had. What the reporters didn't know was that they were also promising the recruits drugs to take the test. The Army brought this out in a press conference to show that they took this matter seriously and show the public that, by coming through with this extra information, they are honest and trustworthy. The reporters stopped digging into the story. However, the whole truth was that the recruiters were also having sex with underage girls in the office. But because the army through the reporters a bone with the drug story, no one ever found out about the underage girls.

Maybe this is why I question things that appear to be a PR move?

merryway said...

On their website Kate only refers to craft services. The NE seems to report it as fact that they have a chef. (not that NE doesn't take a lot of liberties with assumptions). A poster above referred to a private chef named Katherine.
Is this sort of like the scholarships denial where we never get a straight answer. If they do have a personal chef, I'm sure Figure 8 would want to keep this quiet to protect the image they call reality. Kate has made so much talk about cooking for her family. I believe she said something about being exhausted.

Guinevere said...

You know what Guin, it is creepy!!! But it is stuff like that that pedophiles get off on.

I'll have to defer to your obvious superior store of knowledge on exactly what pedophiles "get off on."

And you are the only one I have ever heard mention "genitalia". In fact, that is not the only thing that turns on a pedophile. Some are aroused by little girls in dresses, little boys in suits (little men)

So...burkhas for everyone?

Seriously, just because sick-minded individuals choose to sexualize children, doesn't mean I have to. I believe in protecting children, but how far do you take it? Do you believe diaper commercials should not feature babies in diapers and nothing else? Should little boys be allowed to play shirtless in public on hot days? Why are we letting perverts set the bar for what is sexual and what isn't? A topless four-year-old girl is not a sexual object. And since you admit that some pedophiles prefer clothed children, what does it matter, anyway?

This is reminding me of repressive Islamists, who believe a woman needs to cover her hair because hair is seen as a sexual object. Or Victorians, who thought all tables needed to be draped with cloth to avoid the potentially arounsing sight of table legs. We really need to get a grip here.

And how did that footage make it to YOUTUBE??? That should have been investigated by Jon and Katen themselves. It had to have come form someone who had acsess to the film! Camera man???

I have no idea. I don't think I ever even saw it on Youtube (it had been taken down by the time I was even watching the show, IIRC). I thought I had maybe seen a similar clip on one of the shows (it included a quick side view of one of the sextuplet girls naked), but I don't know if it was the same footage or something else that was on Youtube and got everyone so riled up. I don't know whether J&K did investigate it or not; again, I think this was all before my time.

a anon post said...

Guinevere -

I believe in protecting children, but how far do you take it?

I believe that if you have a picture of a topless 4 year old, your topless 4 year old, you don't publish that picture in a public forum. You would not believe some of the photos members of scrapbooking websites will post of their kids.

marci said...

aka againanonymous,

mom,

I was not the anon who asked you what the G's should do.



nina bell, guin, NMD,

I've changed my handle because the all the anonymous posters are getting confusing.

MCB said...

Have you ever read a comment or an e-mail, and even though you can't hear the person, you just know the writer is a shrieking, shrill, overly invested harpy?

NO, MERRYWAY! It is not done and over with!!!! The shows are rerun!!! And Hannah, Leah, Alexis, Collin, Joel and Aaden have not even begun to get over it! You are sadly wrong! And your laissez faire attitude is freightening, because there are too many like you!

I don't know. Your spelling and punctuation are pretty frightening to me.

Oh sorry, I mean "to MEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I that enough exclamation points?

It's over and done with, so let's all just forget it!!! WRONG!

How can it ever be over with? GWoPPERS won't let it be over until their bitter, hateful agenda is accomplished, which has absolutely nothing to do with the safety of those kids. If those kids were even a blip on your "advocating" radars, you wouldn't be posting the family's scheduled whereabouts on the Internet, or the names and addresses of their relatives, or driving by their home, or letting every freak of nature with a computer know when their parents are away from home. Your "mission" is actually to cause misery to the mother of those kids who you irrationally hate with the white hot intensity of 1000 MSNBC staffers at a Sarah Palin rally.

In fact, that is not the only thing that turns on a pedophile. Some are aroused by little girls in dresses, little boys in suits (little men)

So, using your logic, no child should ever be on television. Clothed, or otherwise.

Like Guine said, "Burkhas for everyone!" WHOOO-HOO!

I fully expect you to be writing to sleezy supermarket tabloids like the National Enquirer about the Duggars. Those girls show entirely too much leg (and use way too much Aqua Net). There. That's two things you can "advocate" about. The Duggars letting 15 minors on TV and the fact that they're putting a hole in the ozone with all the Aqua Net. Oh, and the landfill issues with all those diapers, too! Better start advocating. Time's a wastin'!

I think the mantra we should be saying to GWoPPERS is simple. "GET A GRIP."

anya said...

Nina Bell said..."Anon 8:37
What is the name of the local catering business?"


Anon 8:37, Still waiting for your "inside" info......

Mom said...

Yeah Marci! So glad you have a non-confusing handle now! :-)

MrsRef said...

Sorry Guinivere but I am a middle to upper class american and after working 40 hours and my husband working 40 plus hours plus a second job as a referee there is not much time left to fly hither, thither and yon. I have three college graduate children who did not get to college because I sold pictures of them to strangers, they got there because both their father and I and they worked to pay the tuition. Not too many people I know fly to Utah for sking, California to fix a receeding hairline, Hawaii for a vow renewal, etc. Middle and upper middle class people usually get that way by working a JOB, not off the backs of their kids. Who would give a crap about J&K if it wasn't for their kids. And what I envision is that they will get their big house, they will no longer be on tv, therefore no one will care to hear them speak, read their books etc and they will not be able to afford the taxes and lifestyle they have become accustom to. It happens all the time to celebs, ball players, etc.

merryway said...

Guinevere said...
So...burkhas for everyone?...

I love your whole witty and well written post. This part has been making me chuckle for awhile and am picturing a BurKhas R US store.

Saint said...

Guinevere left a very flippant comment about the Gosslein children being shown nude on TV.

Guinevere: I seriously think people obsessing over "nude" shots of babies and toddlers...need to get their minds out of the gutter.

Your mind is not in the gutter when you object to filmed, public nudity of babies and toddlers. This attempt to attack those who are concerned is unfair. Another exaggerated Guinevere response is to propose an exteme remedy: burqhas or never showing ANY child on TV. What's wrong with the rule: keep private parts private? Just because you are little and not sexually developed does not mean you can be paraded nude on national TV. And yes, they were shown nude, and will be again, in reruns, unless someone re-edits or stops showing the episode(s). Objecting to the exploitation is a good thing, and may help put a stop to it. It is not having your mind in the gutter.

Guinevere said...

Sorry Guinivere but I am a middle to upper class american and after working 40 hours and my husband working 40 plus hours plus a second job as a referee there is not much time left to fly hither, thither and yon. I have three college graduate children who did not get to college because I sold pictures of them to strangers, they got there because both their father and I and they worked to pay the tuition.

You may not be a "hater, anti-Gosselin or jealous" but you certainly seem to have a lot of hostility and resentment towards the Gosselins.

Not too many people I know fly to Utah for sking, California to fix a receeding hairline, Hawaii for a vow renewal, etc. Middle and upper middle class people usually get that way by working a JOB, not off the backs of their kids.

The show is the Gosselins' job. They have said so, I believe.

Maybe the people you know do not travel. Maybe it's more of a social class thing than an economic class one. The people I know all have traveled a lot more than I have (I'd like to travel more some day). They go to Hawaii, to Europe, to Asia. None of these are rich people, and they all have jobs.

Who would give a crap about J&K if it wasn't for their kids. And what I envision is that they will get their big house, they will no longer be on tv, therefore no one will care to hear them speak, read their books etc and they will not be able to afford the taxes and lifestyle they have become accustom to. It happens all the time to celebs, ball players, etc.

Maybe, maybe not. I don't know the details of their finances, so I don't know how well they are saving for the future. I would guess Kate is pretty smart about that stuff. For all the she's accused of being greedy, I don't see her running around in designer clothes or driving a Mercedes. I think she's socking away money. But that's just a guess. I don't seem to have access to the crystal ball that a lot of the anti-Gosselinites consult with such regularity.

Nina Bell said...

Saint,

I am amazed that of all the flippant remarks made about these children and their parents over on the "dark side", that you choose a remark made by Guin to bring attention to.

Guinevere said...

Guinevere left a very flippant comment about the Gosslein children being shown nude on TV.

Guinevere: I seriously think people obsessing over "nude" shots of babies and toddlers...need to get their minds out of the gutter.


It actually wasn't a flippant comment. I wonder sometimes about people who are so focussed on sexualizing children. It's a bit like those cases of preachers condemning adultery or homosexuality, and then what do you know, they have a few skeletons in their own closet.

(Disclaimer: I'm not calling anyone a pedophile. But I do think the preoccupation with pedophilia and with seeing the Gosselin children as sexual beings is way creepy.)

Your mind is not in the gutter when you object to filmed, public nudity of babies and toddlers.

Just to clarify, has there been more than one instance (the one I already mentioned) of this flagrant nudity involving anything more than toplessness? I want to know exactly what we're talking about here.

This attempt to attack those who are concerned is unfair.

No one is being attacked.

Another exaggerated Guinevere response is to propose an exteme remedy: burqhas or never showing ANY child on TV.

That was in response to the suggestion that a pedophile might be excited by the children in dressed or suits. So I think your issue is with anonymous poster, not with me.

What's wrong with the rule: keep private parts private?

Who decides what constitutes a "private part"? Again, in some places, it's hair, the face, arms, legs, everything - at least if you're female. You don't want to see even infants without tops on (I guess?); what about shorts? How short can they be? Bare arms? Swimsuits? Is it okay for the boys to walk around topless, because they will not some day many years from now have breasts, unlike the girls? Do you realize how ridiculous and sick it is to sexualize the chests of toddlers?

Just because you are little and not sexually developed does not mean you can be paraded nude on national TV.

Wow, I totally missed that. I think the only parade I've seen the Gosselins in was the 4th of July one, and the kids were definitely dressed for that (though cold. I seem to remember sleeveless tops and shorts? Racy!). When did this nude parading occur, might I ask?

Sarcasm aside, I think any brief nudity has been incidental and hardly consitutes "parading". That you see it so says more about you than anything or anyone else.

And yes, they were shown nude,

Again, can you clarify for me when and where? I certainly don't think I've ever seen what Joel would call "a weiner" on the show. (Nor would I want to! Just to make that clear. But I also wouldn't twist it into something sick and creepy.)

Fanny said...

msref said...
"And what I envision is that they will get their big house, they will no longer be on tv, therefore no one will care to hear them speak, read their books etc and they will not be able to afford the taxes and lifestyle they have become accustom to. It happens all the time to celebs, ball players, etc."


Yeah, I guess you're right. Living on welfare will be MUCH better for the kids. I mean, Kate has no job and no people skills, and Jon is just a lazy bum, right? How else would they support themselves?

Hey, you know what else would be hilarious? If they couldn't pay the utilites and they had no electric or running water! They'd probably have to move some place with an outhouse. Wouldn't it be cute to see one of the tups stumbling out to potty at 2am and just trying so hard not to fall in? Gee, I can't wait.

marci said...

saint,

As near as I can tell you have an objection to ANY children not dressed in a full top and bottom.

You did not address guin's example of children in diaper commercials, baby shampoo commercials in nothing but a towel, or kids in swimwear at the beach (the last two are my examples).

My point is, where is the line drawn?

I don't think guin was flippant about kids being protected from those who would do them harm. But can you truly say hiding children away from all adult eyes until they reach the age of sexual maturity would cause pedophelia to go away? Do you think this problem doesn't exist in all societies (and hasn't since the days of Adam & Eve), no matter how strict the moral code is or was on nudity?

I think some people take issue with the kids-and-"nudity" cries because it's a slippery slope. You can't look at a baby in a diaper commercial and say, "Aw, how cute," and in the next breath be outraged by the G kids in their diapers or undies.

The naked kid issue always seems to be tied with how the kids might object to their images being "out there" in the future, and I feel like the "stranger danger" argument has been expounded upon more lately to exaggerate the point.

Also, while being mindful of our children's safety, some of us don't live our lives in perpetual fear of our children's potential victimization. Maybe the G's are the same way...can't say for sure because I don't know.

Guinevere said...

Thanks marci; you made the point better than I could.

AAP said...

Guinevere -

Where do you see hostility towards the Gosselin's in this post - where is your evidence?

Sorry Guinivere but I am a middle to upper class american and after working 40 hours and my husband working 40 plus hours plus a second job as a referee there is not much time left to fly hither, thither and yon. I have three college graduate children who did not get to college because I sold pictures of them to strangers, they got there because both their father and I and they worked to pay the tuition.

You may not be a "hater, anti-Gosselin or jealous" but you certainly seem to have a lot of hostility and resentment towards the Gosselins.

The poster is just saying that most upper middle class people work hard to get where they are. How is that showing hostility and resentment towards the Gosselins by stating the her facts?

aap said...

Guinevere -

They go to Hawaii, to Europe, to Asia.

I think the question is do they do all of that traveling in 1 year?

Guinevere said...

The poster is just saying that most upper middle class people work hard to get where they are. How is that showing hostility and resentment towards the Gosselins by stating the her facts?

I think the resentment is in the insistence that the Gosselins aren't working. They consider it work. The fact that people don't like their choice of profession doesn't mean it's not work. Or even that it's not hard work. Kate finds it hard, I think.

I think the question is do they do all of that traveling in 1 year?

Some upper-middle class people might very well ski in January, take a summer vacation to the Outer Banks (it is the Outer Banks, right? I think that's what the area is called), and then manage a trip to Hawaii, yeah.

I still say it's closer to the typical upper middle-class experience than it is to someone ultra rich like Kimora Lee Simmons.

marci said...

Thanks, Guin,

I'll take that as a compliment since the best I can usually come up with after reading your posts is, "Yeah! What she said!"

MCB said...

I think what we have, once again, is a bad GWoP habit of repeating something often enough that it becomes fact (wow....there's another definition I can add to the term "GWoPPED.")

So, the Gosselins have "paraded" their nude children around in front of cameras. Seriously? I do not recall seeing private parts or genitalia on TV (thank GOD). I have seen infants and toddlers, shirtless. That's it. Shown in the tub, but only from the stomach up. Shown sitting on the potty, but fully clothed. Where is all this nudity people keep bitching about? A couple tub shots when they were two years old? A half a crack shot (if that) when Alexis' poopy diaper was falling off? Aaden's plumber's crack? None of these were sexual things and it actually says more about the mindset of the people complaining, than that of Figure 8 or the Gosselins for filming them. Not one thing shown on that show has been nasty, perverted, sexual or humiliating.

Just curious. Do those of you who insist that the Gosselins are exploiting their kid's bodies, find people who take pictures of their babies sunning on a blanket without a diaper, bad parents or perverts? How about photographers that shoot professional baby photos where the baby is sitting in a washtub, or laying on a blanket, with no clothing on? One of the cutest photos of my son is of him laying nekkid on his stomach in a kiddie pool, age six months. I always threaten to haul it out to show girls that come to the house. Guess that makes me an evil pervert like Kate. Quick, call CPS! Oh, sorry, you can't. My son is over 18. Missed your chance.

Typical hater paranoia. Keep obsessing and repeating something over and over until it ends up fact.

marci said...

Sorry to put this here:

Can I ask a dumb question?

How do you quote parts of someone's posts so that it appears in bold lettering? Actually, I need to know how to quote/copy, period.

Thanks in advance!

aap said...

Guinevere -

The poster didn't say that J&K didn't work, just that they are pimping out their kids to earn a living.

It is highly likely, considering that their are currently no reality TV shows based on normal interracial couples just living their life, that Jon and Kate would not have their show if they did not have the kids they do. The same could be said of the Duggars. So it's far to say that the Duggars and Gosselin's are earning off of their children.

aap said...

McB -

Just curious. Do those of you who insist that the Gosselins are exploiting their kid's bodies, find people who take pictures of their babies sunning on a blanket without a diaper, bad parents or perverts?

i think in a home setting there is absolutely nothing wrong with the pictures you describe. However, I do know from personal experience that the Picture people will not take a picture with their genitlia (sp?) showing.

For me, the problem comes in when you post these pictures for the world to see on public sites. I don't think the parents are bad, but I do think it is a poor judgement call.

Guinevere said...

marci, the html coding for bold is at the beginning of what you want to bold and at the end. I just "quote" by copying and pasting the text I want to quote, and then bolding it. I wish this site had a real quote function.

Guinevere said...

Well, damn, I thought that would work - I tried leaving space so it wouldn't actually bold...anyway, what I was trying to say is that you want to put bracket-b-bracket at the beginning of a quote and bracket-/b-bracket at the end, in order to bold. Minus the hyphens. Damn, I don't think I'm making sense here.

Guinevere said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Guinevere said...

aap, pimping is a pretty ugly word. The Gosselin children are not prostitutes. We can agree or disagree about how much harm the show does them, but they are not prostitutes.

I can accept that others think J&K's choice of profession is inappropriate; where we part ways is that I think they believe they are doing the best thing for their family as a whole. Whereas the anti-Gosselinites seem to think that they are lazy and greedy and it would be more noble for them to work two jobs each in order to support their eight kids. If you say that the Gosselins chose an easier path for greater rewards, I would agree with you. I just don't necessarily agree that doing so makes them pimps or bad people.

Mom said...

Marci - very well said.

Mrsref - I consider myself upper middle class as well and there is no way I could take those types of vacations in one year, so I understand your comment.

Guin - we agree on the 'parading' issue. I think the nudity thing has gotten out of hand.

The recent episodes showing nudity (I think they were running around the sprinker?), did make me say to myself 'aren't they a little old to be running topless now?' I think now that they are out of toddler-hood and into preschooler years a little modesty isn't a bad thing. I also realize that this was shot in their backyard (I think). As AAP mentioned, when it's in a home setting society seems to deem it okay, but putting it out there publicly, people have issues with it. Unfortunately for the Gs, they can't really have it both ways.

Mom said...

P.S. to Guin - After re-reading my comment above I realized I didn't say what I meant about "getting out of hand." I don't mean the nudity itself is getting out of hand, but everyone getting up in arms about the nudity is getting out of hand.

Anonymous said...

Uhhh, just a slight correction about Paul Petersen's motives or stab at fame, or whatever, with the NE--Mr. Gentile contacted Paul Petersen initially for an interview, not the other way around. Paul Petersen did not initiate this article, he merely answered questions asked of him by Mr. Gentile regarding circumstances with Jon & Kate plus 8.

Mom said...

Anon 634 - Thanks for your comment. It is also what I thought. May I ask how you know this?

Saint said...

Nina Bell,
You are amazed that I chose a reamrk of Guin.'s to bring attention to.

Why?

Anonymous said...

MCB at 4:17--You say that you have only seen nudity from the waist up on the show, and that is true for the most part. Did you realize, however, that while the boys were filmed for who knows how long while sitting on potty chairs that while getting up and down off of those chairs would have most certainly produced footage of genitalia that is digitized out there, somewhere whether on the cutting room floor or not. Did you take into consideration the fact that these boys were old enough to know that privacy was an issue? If you look back at "PottyGate", and watch the scene where Jon is telling one of the boys to stay on the potty on the driveway until he "goes", and then proceeds to look at the camera and say something to the effect that "he can't go with a camera on him", not exact words but something to that effect. That would be a flag for any child advocate, if not the child's parents, I would think.

Then, we come to the "Hannah Pooped" clip that was on YouTube, showing full nudity on the dressing table without being blurred as it was on tv. Do you know that this clip was viewed 12,000 times before being taken down? Do you know it took weeks after contacting Tom Corbett, PA Attorney General to get that clip taken down?

This is what any child advocate would hope to eliminate from happening in the first place. How did that Hannah footage make it out of production without being blurred? Why does the production staff have the right to be in these private situations, without boundaries? Where and when might some other inappropriate footage that is edited out, but still exists in digital archives make it out into an inappropriate venue?

If we recall the "Kandoo" commercial, where the little boy is being potty trained there are a few differences. The little boy could only work 20 minutes per hour with advocacy there for him on the set. If you look at camera angles and film shots of that little boy, all filming was able to be done with the little boy wearing some sort of shorts or underwear, even when it appeared he was sitting on the toilet. This is the difference between protecting the rights of children and their privacy when they are too young to voice for themselves what, in my opinion, should be self-evident.

MrsRef said...

No Guinevere: I don't have hatred and hostility against the Gosselins. I would like to know what your problem is. Everytime I post, you seem to reply in a not so friendly tone. I thought this was a balanced board. You have the need to constantly nit pic every post line by line. And Fanny, I never said the Gosselins would be on welfare. Guinivere made a comment about what I envisioned happening and I stated my opinion. Tell me where I said they would be on welfare. I simply said they might not be able to pay for the big house and trips if they do not have the show and their 15 minutes are up. Sorry I don't share your unconditional love of this family. Kids are cute, parents not so much.

Saint said...

marci:

marci wrote:
saint, As near as I can tell you have an objection to ANY children not dressed in a full top and bottom.

What? Did you read my post or possibly confuse me with someone else? My post was an objection to Guin.'s accusing the people of bringing up the child nudity topic of "having their minds in the gutter." I stand by my remarks. It's a legitimate question and to say that about people who post an objection to the televised nudity of toddlers is unfair.

I did not make anything like the remark that you "concluded." My own experience in child protection, and with child sexual abuse makes me perhaps more cautious than you would like. But that is because I am concerned about children, not because I have my "mind in the gutter." I thought the nudity in the Gosselin episode was ill-advised. I thought the "Sight and Sound" episode dressing scene was a mistake. I am also pretty sure the Gosselins wouldn't permit it if they'd seen what I've seen.

I did not support burquas or a ban or covering up arms and legs, "Victorian" style, so I don't have to defend it. I also don't know why I have to answer Guin.'s question about babies in diapers when she wasn't even responding to me.

Please don't put words in my mouth.

AAP said...

Guinevere -

I agree pimping is a harsh word, but I have to say that I feel some of the choices Jon and Kate are making for the good of the family, are at the expense of the kids.

If you say that the Gosselins chose an easier path for greater rewards, I would agree with you. I just don't necessarily agree that doing so makes them pimps or bad people.

I would say that the Gosselins are chosing an easier path for greater rewards at the expense of their children having a private childhood. IMHO the season 4 contract of a reported 50 episodes is way too much of their personal lives for sale.

Mom said...

Mrsref - I know your post wasn't directed towards me, but I wanted to chime in.

I understood what you meant about being upper middle class and not having a similar lifestyle, trips, etc. I agree with you. I'm lucky if we can take one vacation a year.

I think a few things came across that contradicted what you said earlier - not a lover, hater, etc. and then you said:

"Middle and upper middle class people usually get that way by working a JOB, not off the backs of their kids. Who would give a crap about J&K if it wasn't for their kids."

This statement came across as "not so friendly" too.

Fanny was being sarcastic. And Guin debated with you.

A biased board, IMHO, would not allow some of these comments (both sides) to even appear.

Just take the good with bad and try not to take it personally. I'm sorry you feel slighted.

Saint said...

Ok,
I think the non-insulting, counter-arguement to the people (like me) who think they should edit out the nude or underwear-only clad scenes of the Gosselin children is: Where do you draw the line?

I think that's actually a really good question and one I can address.

The line: No toddler nudity. No more underwear shots.

Because they are children, and cannot consent, they should not be shown in such "attire." (Please don't bring up standards from 150 years ago or what they wear in the Middle East. I'm not defending those standards.) It's really, really uncommon to see children showering on TV in this country. Who gets dressed in front of cameras?

We agree on plenty, I am sure. Can you at least agree that editing out those scenes wouldn't hurt the show? And keeping them in may hurt the children?

merryway said...

I don't think that what the Gosselins have shown would be deemed as abusive, just questionable. To me, it's one of the side issues that are added up to justify the craziness. They've shown a lot of clips similar to the Gosselins (including potties and baths) on America's Funniest Home Videos.

Side note: Hi, it's nice to post somewhere again, I missed talking about the show and kept lurking. I keep my laptop by the spot where I take my breaks from the day and read the blogs.
I put my bigger soapbox up to keep things in check and got some perspective. I also learned a few things about blogging and boards having personalities and hidden agendas.

Fanny said...

MrsRef,

I was being only semi-sarcastic. You didn't say they would be on welfare, but really, how else would they support their family? My husband and I are supporting a family of four on two professional incomes. There is no way I could do the same with a family of 12. Besides, they did have government help in the beginning. Is it such a stretch to say that it could happen if they lost the income they depend on now?


And I'm sorry, but not wishing to see a family(ANY family, especially one with children) lose everything they have does not constitute "unconditional love". I think it falls somewhere under humanity and compassion. The kids, imo, would not be better off if the family went broke. I wouldn't wish that on anyone, and I have trouble understanding why you would. That's all.

nomoredrama said...

Saint,
I work in the same field and I'm sure I've seen many of the same sights you've seen. I think there is a difference between kiddie porn and toddlers being filed while potty training. And I think the argument that people were making is just what you said....where do you draw the line? There is, as a matter of fact, always the potential for someone to twist something pure and innocent into something sick. Why do perverts hang around playgrounds and watch children? School yards? Surely these children are fully clothed.

To me, the obsession over nudity is so puritanical. It's purely American and, in fact, derives from laws and beliefs people held hundreds of years ago when they formed this country. You realize that in Europe, this conversation would be laughable. They are not afraid to show themselves in public, armpit hair and all.

With that being said, however, based on the backlash over this, I'd re-edit the scenes and cut them out if I were TLC. I also agree that because our society does view nudity the way it does that these scenes could possibly have a negative impact. So, I'd be for removing them.

anya said...

Saint said..."The line: No toddler nudity. No more underwear shots.

We agree on plenty, I am sure. Can you at least agree that editing out those scenes wouldn't hurt the show? And keeping them in may hurt the children?"


Hi Saint. As one who has probably been branded a Gosselin defender aka sheeple in the past, I have NO problem with the moratorium on these type of shots. I don't think any of us on this board are clamoring for them in the first place.

What's has been shot has been shot. I lean much more to Guin, MCB's, Marci's school of thought on this issue, but I think as they are nearing 4 1/2, they are going to be more and more cognizant of their bodies and probably naturally shy away from this type of attention. So to answer your question directly, I think that type of filming can cease. The producers can find some other way to illustrate how crazy and stressful it is to get 8 kids out the door!

Guinevere said...

The recent episodes showing nudity (I think they were running around the sprinker?), did make me say to myself 'aren't they a little old to be running topless now?' I think now that they are out of toddler-hood and into preschooler years a little modesty isn't a bad thing.

I'm a little ambivalent about this. If we're talking topless, we're really just talking the girls, right? So there's a gender double-standard that bugs me a bit. And while I'm completely for teaching children from a young age about "private" areas for touching, I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call a four-year-old girl without a top on immodest. It just strikes me as a bit puritanical.

OTOH, I realize that part of teaching kids is teaching them the social mores of the society around them. Some families run around in the nude or semi-nude at home (without cameras, obviously). If it works for them, fine (it's kind of weird to me). But kids still need to be taught that they can't fling off their clothes whenever the urge arises. I don't see it as a modesty issue so much as an etiquette issue.

Did you realize, however, that while the boys were filmed for who knows how long while sitting on potty chairs that while getting up and down off of those chairs would have most certainly produced footage of genitalia that is digitized out there, somewhere whether on the cutting room floor or not.

Do you realize that at this very moment, somewhere in Pennsylvania (likely; Serena would know for sure), all eight Gosselin children are NAKED UNDERNEATH THEIR CLOTHES! The horror!

I'm sorry, I just can't take all this so seriously. What I see as a few potty shots (with nothing whatsoever showing) and some topless toddler girls seems to be being portrayed as something out of "Caligula". There's no "parading". I think even the word "nudity", while technically correct, is misleading in context. Maybe I'm at the agree-to-disagree stage.

I would say that the Gosselins are chosing an easier path for greater rewards at the expense of their children having a private childhood. IMHO the season 4 contract of a reported 50 episodes is way too much of their personal lives for sale.

I'll agree that it's a lot of episodes, though the number I'd heard was 40. (See, I'm not a total sheeple! Baaaa!) I think parents make choices all the time that may or may not be in the best interests of their children. A parent may move across the country for a better job, uprooting her kids from family. Is it for me to say whether that's a reasonable choice or not? A mother may move across the country for a boyfriend, which is less likely to be seen as a reasonable choice, but you never know. Maybe she wants go to give her kids a stable father figure.

Anyway, I'm rambling. My point is just - has always been - that I think the Gosselins do have their childrens' best interests at heart, and I think they've weighed the risks and rewards of what they are doing. I know a lot of people feel confident saying that they've made the wrong choice, but I don't. Being poor isn't fun. Never seeing your kids because you're working all the time to support them isn't fun. I'm not saying that these are the only alternatives to what the Gosselins chose to do, but I do see noble poverty way overomanticized by those who would criticize the Gosselins for their choices.


The line: No toddler nudity. No more underwear shots.

Ok, at the risk of being accused of nitpicking, is it safe to assume that by the first you mean, "no topless little girls"? Because topless has really been 99% of the nudity we've seen, I think. And most people don't have a problem with boys without tops on. By the second, are you okay with swimsuits, even if they are covering the same area as underwear? (If so, I can kind of understand why, though I can't articulate it well. But I think it again has more to do with social rules than modesty or morality or anything like that.)

marci said...

Okay. My quoting attempts did not work so I'll try to make this clear...

saint,

You had a problem with my statement that, from what I could tell, you seemed to prefer fully clothes kids on tv. Like I got that out of thin air.

Then you answered the "less insulting" question, "Where do you draw the line?" (I also said this, by the way.)

"No toddler nudity. No more underwear shots."

Okay. I may be going out on a limb here, but I think my first impression of your viewpoint was pretty accurate.

I'll have to just agree to disagree with you on this one. I just don't see what we've been able to view on the show as sexualizing these children. And I think their parents have to make these decisions for themselves.

To answer your question about, "Would it hurt the show?" to take these images out? No, probably not. It certainly wouldn't affect how I view the show either way.

Like I said before though, I think the issue with the kids' state of dress or undress, for the most part, is just a convenient add on for some posters who find fault with how Kate Gosselin breathes.

Anonymous said...

I never had an issue with this show until I came across "PottyGate". Then, after doing some research online I came across "Hannah Pooped", totally nude footage online. My mouth hung open, frankly and the "view" counter was already over 11,000. I am not talking about sexualizing these children, although others who are viewing may have these thoughts. I am talking about nudity and privacy issues that would shut any daycare in America down the next day, if camera crews followed children around the facility filming them in the bathroom and getting dressed as they do the Gosselin children. I AM talking about objectifying the sextuplets. Why haven't we seen footage of the twins bathing and so forth, they started being filmed at age three something? Has it been the slippery slope with the tups that no one wants to see is being handled very differently than other children, even than their older siblings? They are objectified, as money making and marketing objects. I then spoke with State's Attorney's and Judges in the Chicago area juvenile court system that I work with. Yeah, they agreed this behavior is and should be considered illegal. Why is this so hard to understand?

MrsRef said...

Fanny: An alternative to welfare (which I still NEVER said anything about) would be to have actual jobs like the rest of the world. Please stop putting words in my mouth. I did not say they would lose everything. How would they be living IF Jon went to work at his IT job and Kate was working as a nurse. They would be living like the rest of the world and would be making do with what they have. That does not qualify one for welfare. I am not wishing poverty on this family - you do not know me nor I you but I do things in my private life that show compassion and humility - I work with Special Olympics, raise money for autism, etc. I am not the cold hearted b&$*$ that you seem to think I am.

Fanny said...

Anonymous said...

"They are objectified, as money making and marketing objects. I then spoke with State's Attorney's and Judges in the Chicago area juvenile court system that I work with. Yeah, they agreed this behavior is and should be considered illegal. Why is this so hard to understand?"


Aside from the footage on youtube(why anyone would put that on there is beyond me),how is showing the children from the waist up illegal? As someone pointed out earlier, there are naked babies in diaper commercials...is that also illegal? What about naked children in movies?

I will agree that showing them on the potty was in poor taste. This is one thing that I will not defend.

As for the nudity, there has to be a clear line somewhere, not just for the Gosselins, but for commercials and film as well.

Fanny said...

mrsref said...

"Fanny: An alternative to welfare (which I still NEVER said anything about) would be to have actual jobs like the rest of the world. Please stop putting words in my mouth. "

Did you read my last post? I agreed that you didn't say anything about welfare, and I explained why I thought that they would need help. And for the record, I never called you a "cold hearted bitch(could that have been YOU putting words in MY mouth?), I just think a lot of people who dislike Kate don't afford her the same "compassion and humility" that they would anyone else.

As far as putting words in your mouth, keep in mind that this entire blog (and ones like it) thrive on assumption.

They have 8 children. I don't think that even with both of them working they could afford the health/childcare for all of them on top of everything else without any help.(see the assumption here?) By saying

"what I envision is that they will get their big house, they will no longer be on tv, therefore no one will care to hear them speak, read their books etc and they will not be able to afford the taxes and lifestyle they have become accustom to.",

you are basically saying that you would like to see them struggle. Am I wrong?

erin said...

Anon. 6:18: Forgive me if this is out of line, but by any chance are you Watchoverthem from GWoP (you reference the Chicago courts)? If you are, you and I have been through this before. The video on Youtube was not good, I'll give you that--but can you really blame Jon and Kate that that was posted? While it may have been filmed, I would bet Jon a nd Kate never expected it to air on television nor on Youtube. You and I disagree on the inappropriateness of kids without shirts. The reality is this is not a day care, this is not someone walking around and filming people's children without consent. I haven't seen anything that I haven't seen similarly in commercials or movies for a very long time (I know there are multiple pampers commercials with little kids in just diapers, and I was watching Dennis the Menace the other day where there is a scene with him in the bathtub). Plus, we have seen very little in the way of "inappropriate nudity" in a while.

Mrs. Ref: I'm not Fanny, but I'd like to politely butt in if that's ok. In the economic reality that we have currently it would be very hard for Jon and Kate to support a family of 10 on a low-level (i.e. no real specialized education) IT job and a nursing job for someone who has been out of the workforce for 4 years (we don't even know if she has kept up with her ed. requirements and kept her license). I think the disconnect happens where people say "get a real job and support your family the honorable way," or if you want to be upper middle class do what I did and work for it (which I know is not exactly what you said, but it was what I got when I read your post). A lot of people make their living "telling their inspirational story" through books and speaking engagements. And increasingly people are on reality shows with their children (Little People, Big World; the Duggars). I think, even if it isn't meant, there is an air of superiority that comes across when that kind of statement is made.

Anonymous said...

I never posted about kids without shirts being inappropriate or illegal, I posted about bathroom filming, privacy issues and nude footage being inappropriate and footage that would be potentially illegal in a documentary film. Documentary film crews MUST get consent from parents of children being filmed. This does not give the production company carte blanche with what they can film with children. Jon & Kate are only one piece in this puzzle. They are somewhat victimized by a production and film crew that created this mess, exploiting the whole family, although they are responsible for the decision to allow the inappropriate access. The difference between a documentary filming commercially viable film in a daycare, or a film crew filming commercially viable footage in the Gosselin home would be what? I don't speak only for the Gosselin children here, either, I would hope that these issues would be addressed for the future protection of whatever children may be put in this position. It is true that the filming has avoided more private moments lately, but what about the next family targeted by the film industry in this way? Always pushing the envelope, always looking for the next shocker to pull viewers in? And, what about archived footage that could also be pushing the limits that may find it's way out at some point? Wouldn't it have been better to never have created the "Hannah Pooped" clip? This is not specifically a Jon and Kate issue, this is a reality television issue.

Anonymous said...

Anyway, we must all agree to disagree and I will bump out now and get on with my day, leaving all of you with this:

If Figure 8's portfolio is any indication of their integrity, I would say run hard and fast if they ever contact any of you or your family members. Their brand is exploitation and marketing of any disadvantaged family or individual situation. I believe they have taken what could have been quite a normal family in the case of the Gosselins and turned them into a freak show that will live on forever in these kids' lives. These kids will be the next Paul Petersens of the world, IMO. If they are lucky enough to get through it as well and as strong and with as much understanding as he has by now.

MrsRef said...

Fanny; No, it would not give me any delight to see them struggle. I have struggled myself in the past and it is not fun. I do have to wonder why other parents of multiples seem to live their lives without all this "help" ie Hayes family from NJ, Harris, etc. Yes, the Harris's got a house from EHM but they do not appear to depend on their kids for their livelihood. How do you think they would be surviving IF they did not have the show. Would they live within their means, would at least one of them leave their house daily to go to a job with health benefits? I have been aware of lots of so called celebs/athletes who have gotten in over their heads and cannot sustain their lifestyles when their careers are over. This show can't last forever.

erin said...

Anon: I hate to say this, because it is a little bitchy and I don't like to be that, but you didn't address whether or not you are Watchoverthem. I suspect you are, because this is chapter and verse what you and I argued about on GWoP back in June--same language and everything. If you would like, you can go back and read my responses again--they haven't changed.

MCB said...

Okay, so I better hide that copy of the classic movie, "Parenthood." Why? Because it's PORN. At least using the puritanical guidelines that the "advocates" are fussing about here.

Recall a scene where Justin, the adorable, blond, curly headed four year old walks into the room wearing nothing but a cowboy hat and a toy gun holster. You see him from the back (naked bum shot). Steve Martin puts his hand on the child's shoulder, looks at his wife and says, "Maybe I wear this outfit tonight."

I never knew Ron Howard (the director) was a perv. Go figure.

Did you realize, however, that while the boys were filmed for who knows how long while sitting on potty chairs that while getting up and down off of those chairs would have most certainly produced footage of genitalia that is digitized out there, somewhere whether on the cutting room floor or not

I think the key phrase here is "left on the cutting room floor."
It was not broadcast, therefore we did not see anything indecent. You guys are the first to counter any argument with "Well, your kid's naked baby photos are different. You aren't broadcasting them on television." But you use "probable," unbroadcast footage as part of your argument. Footage that you don't even know exists.

As far as 11,000 hits about Hannah's poopy diaper, I'm willing to bet that 90% of the viewings were from GWoPPERS, looking for something to over analyze and freak out about. Frankly, I find your obsession over this subject and you calling and discussing this with state agencies a tad disconcerting. And creepy. And over-invested. Discovery Networks has a litany of lawyers at their disposal. They are not going to let illegal or indecent footage on their channels.

I also find being upset about four year old's running around in a sprinkler to be laughable. They're TODDLERS. Cara and Mady doing that is another story. They're school age children and have never been shown this way. I'm quite sure that once the 'tups reach school age, the cute butt shots will end, as well.

Perspective is a wonderful thing.

Daisy said...

IIRC, the video of Hannah was on the Discovery Health website and made it's way over to YouTube. It was a scene from the show when Hannah woke up with a dirty diaper. It was footage that wasn't aired.

Fanny said...

Mrsref,

I can't comment on other families with multiples, I wouldn't begin to know their financial status. Actually, I don't know about the Gosselin's financial situation either, I'm only making assuptions based on what I see. I would imagine that only one of them would work as childcare for 8 would likely take an entire weekly salary to cover. I pay childcare and let me tell ya, the expense is second only to my mortgage.

Hopefully if the show ends, they will have put back enough of the proceeds to continue to raise their children in a lifestyle that wouldn't have been availble to them otherwise. I would hate to see them do all of this for 3 or 4 years and end up back in the same boat.

Thanks Erin, your're anwser was spot on.


Anon,

I think that part of the issue here is that the show actually started as a documentary on what it was like for these people to raise sextuplets and twins. Obviously, potty training is a very important milestone as well as a headache for most parents with only one child. I don't believe the potty footage was for shock value, but rather to show the ups and downs of doing it with 6 kids.

I don't at all agree with the way they chose to do it, but if it had never been addressed, I'd have wondered why such an important part of toddlerhood was left out.

I watched a documentary on a&e once about a man having a vasectomy(sp?), and they actually showed this man's testicles. Would I want to see his "junk" every week? Hell no! See where I'm going with this? Some things that normally wouldn't be shown on tv will be shown for educational purposes, and aren't necessarily entended to be entertaining.

dotsicle said...

I think the 6 are old enough now that the filming of them in their underwear should stop. It's all about privacy issues, IMO.
Would I like to see the Go$$elin$ "struggle"? Not particularly, but I'd be fine with seeing them have to cut corners like everyone else during this period of economic slowdown.

MCB said...

I think the 6 are old enough now that the filming of them in their underwear should stop. It's all about privacy issues, IMO.
Would I like to see the Go$$elin$ "struggle"?


I think we can see that most of the things being complained about are from past season's shows. As the kids have gotten older, the potty shots have stopped. We see the potties, but not the squatters. Obviously, the kids are old enough to no longer have poop blow-outs in bed, too. Alexis poop blowout was when they kids were a year and a half old (one of the original specials) and Hannah's was probably last season when they were potty training. The only skin we've seen this season is playing in the sprinkler and Aaden's plumber's crack, neither of which I would classify as indecent. So, I think they have cut back on it as the children age. But it doesn't seem to stop the fussing about the older shows. The Hannah thing wasn't even ON a show. It's actually becoming comical to see people complain about old news that isn't really an issue anymore.

dotsicle said...

In "Sight and Sound", there was entirely too much focus on the "getting dressed" aspect of the show, with a lot of kids-in-underwear shown. Not necessary. Besides, aren't the kids old enough to dress themselves? No, I guess Kate has to display the newly acquired Gymboree/Gap clothing still on the hangers, because the girls haven't quite mastered doing that yet.......

Tyra said...

If you're worried that the children are being objectified, there doesn't have to be nudity for that to be true. The disapproving viewers who still find the children 'adorable', and wish that the show would show less Jon & Kate and more kids are already objectifying the kids. It's a fact of the medium we're dealing with. Because we all have watched the show, and gotten some form of diversion from it, whether it's enjoyment or outrage. The kids in the show are the objects of our attention, observations and judgment.

The only sexualizing of the kids going on is in the minds of particular viewers. I do Not want to buy into a pedophile's point of view. I don't want to look at a potty advert in a magazine and think 'OMG, dirty! OMG, sex!" Laws and moral standards can't control the thoughts of a pedophile, so what's the option being offered here? We have to think like a pedophile so that we can clamp down on any image that might appeal to them? That's ridiculous and impossible, especially since someone noted that a pedophile can be excited by little girls in normal dress.

There are media images that actually do sexualize children, at younger and younger ages; it should be a concern. But I think that presenting images that are deliberately sexualized are a different issue from presenting images from the real life of real people. Every human being on the planet had to be potty trained, and most have been around younger humans being potty trained.

Meanwhile, while the internet debate over pottygate goes on, pedophiles are out there harming children that they have access to, and influence over. There are groups of them on the internet trading their pornography of choice, made to order, and the place they get it is Not off of YouTube. They are manufacturing it themselves using their own children, the children of friends, and then trading it in virtual marketplaces where morally bankrupt people are making money off of it. Has anyone watched congressional hearings on this topic? It's horrific. While that's going on, I just do not understand obsessing over potty-training footage.

Yes, I know Serena at GWoP says she can advocate for the Gosselin kids and the other kids, and other people can say the same, but what's the real effect of all of the internet energy focused on the Gosselins? It means that people spend a lot of time on the Gosselins, collective attention is being focused on the Gosselins under the heading 'helping', 'advocating', 'protecting' kids, and collective energy is a powerful force. If it were focused toward the kids who are in direct danger, in horrific circumstances, how much more good could that much energy do? Why are so many people using up their personal power, their collective energy on erasing all potty footage (for crying out loud!) from the mass media?

Anonymous said...

It's actually becoming comical to see people complain about old news that isn't really an issue anymore.

September 24, 2008 10:23 AM

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@2
MCB,
Tell that to the kids when they are older, OK? "That's old news Hannah, get over it"

GLO said...

Can't find the original message to list who posted, but ...
"And how did that footage make it to YOUTUBE??? That should have been investigated by Jon and Katen themselves. It had to have come form someone who had acsess (sic) to the film! Camera man???"

How do you know that J&K or F8 didn't investigate this?

Guinevere said...

In "Sight and Sound", there was entirely too much focus on the "getting dressed" aspect of the show, with a lot of kids-in-underwear shown.

"Entirely too much focus"? It was a few seconds of a 30-minute show (well, 22-minute with commercials, I guess). You're the one who is entirely too focused on it.

Besides, aren't the kids old enough to dress themselves? No, I guess Kate has to display the newly acquired Gymboree/Gap clothing still on the hangers, because the girls haven't quite mastered doing that yet.......

That doesn't even make sense - are you saying that showing the clothes on the hangers is some sort of product placement? Why would it be, as opposed to clothes on the girls themselves?

It's been too long for me to recall, but with just turned 4-year-olds, I think, yes, they can dress themselves but if you want it done in under an hour, it's easier to help.

marci said...

Okay. I am sooooo done with this subject!

I don't know about anybody else, but I am NEVER going to be convinced, no matter how many times it's repeated, that this show is somehow pornographic because we've seen toddlers in diapers and "unnawares".

Personally, I LOVE little kid tummies and little kid buns (the latter of which we've never seen on this tv show, by the way)!! I love it when little ones talk about "unnawares" and "weenahs"!!

My favorite story my mother's ever told about me from that age is when we were walking down the street and she was in such a hurry that I had to complain to her, "Mommy, you're making my bottom clap!"

Why, for God's sake, WHY, does everything have to be ruined about childhood innocence because of some puritanical code that some people feel they have to enforce on others????

Okay. Done.

MrsRef said...

Erin: I did not mean to have an "air of superiority" when I posted that. Sorry if it came off that way. I still maintain, however, that if they weren't marketing their children they would be earning a living like everyone else. I am far from superior to anyone. I am not a Duggar fan but I will say this, Matt & Amy Roloff would actually be interesting to watch even without their kids. Who would actually want to watch Jon & kate without the 8. I just don't find them all that inspiring.

Saint said...

marci,
You want to "agree to disagree" about what my viewpoint is? That's not fair: I get MY viewpoint, you get yours. You attribute to me the viewpoint that only fully-clothed children can be shown on TV. You either pulled that out of thin air, marci, or you think I wrote another post. My original post was an objection to Guin saying the that those who raised this issue, "had their minds in the gutter." Besides objecting to that attack (it IS an attack...because it is a negative judgment of the person, not his argument)I wrote, "Keep private parts private." I did not say that only fully-clothed children can appear on TV. I don't have to defend a viewpoint I didn't state, and you don't get to attribute it to me unchallenged.

In another post, Guin says, " I realize that part of teaching kids is teaching them the social mores of the society around them." I do think Guin is right that these scenes are more a breach of social norms and etiquette than full blown kiddie porn exploitation. Certainly the Gosselins had no wicked intentions.

Like I said before, the scenes are ill-advised (even the underwear scenes.)

(I saw other questions raised, but I don't remember to whom my answers should be addressed.)

Yes, bathing suits are OK at the beach or waterpark. Yes, standards for boys and girls are different because standards for men and women are different. It's a way of teaching children about adult standards.

No, underwear-clad kids should not be televised. Yes, it is because of social norms. There are norms about privacy that should be respected and appear to be at times forgotten on this show. My personal objection is not to "baby buns" and other cute stuff. It's to televising some of it. We should not have seen these private moments.

Raising the issue raises the possibility of having those scenes cut from re-runs. It does not reveal that my mind is in the gutter. THAT was my original point.

OK, I'm finished now, too. Thanks for letting me post, moderators.

marci said...

saint,

In my last post to you I tried to be clear and referenced your definition of where you believe the line should be drawn about what should be shown on tv.

What you said was, "No toddler nudity. No more underwear shots." Correct?

My point was, even if what I first gleaned about your viewpoint wasn't exactly what you wrote (out of thin air), the above follow-up statement to Guin was and sounded to me pretty much like, "Only fully clothed kids on tv, please."

Forgive me if that was putting words in your mouth, but we're all dealing with the written word here and that's what I got from what you wrote.

As I said before, I'm done with the discussion because I've not heard anything that will convince me what we're seeing on this show is all that serious or has to be dealt with; i.e. taking the old kid scenes out of reruns.

And I know you don't prefer this statement, but we'll just have to agree to disagree...about writing styles as well apparently.

Anonymous said...

"Sarcasm aside, I think any brief nudity has been incidental and hardly consitutes "parading". That you see it so says more about you than anything or anyone else."

The fact of the matter is, there shouldn't be ANY "incidental" nudity available, the cameras shouldn't be there when they were in the bathroom, going to the bathroom, getting dressed, getting changed, getting showered, or any other possible place that nudity might have occured. At that instant, it's the responsibility of the mother and father to protect their children from that type of situation. The only thing that comes close to that that I've seen from the G's, is no girls in the boys room, and no boys in the girls room, which makes no sense at all to me, but let the camera man in there, that's okay.
And as far as what's considered "Okay", it's common sense to me, and yes, I have seen more than just naked chests on there, and no I won't point out when and where. I'm not a hater, and I'm not jealous, just a parent that knows you can't be too careful protecting your kids.

Saint said...

marci,
You are forgiven. Don't worry about your misunderstanding my position. I am happy to disagree on the toddler nudity point. I do think anonymous2:29 makes a great point. And I do thank the moderator for allowing the discussion.

Nina Bell said...

You are welcome saint

Guinevere said...

just a parent that knows you can't be too careful protecting your kids.

I actually think you can be too careful protecting your kids - you can cripple your kids emotionally with hang-ups and fears. I think parents need to balance sensible precautions against giving kids freedom to grow and experience different things.

The above is more of a general observation rather than specifically related to the Gosselins and "nudity". But I do think that we are not going to be able to reach an agreement on some of these issues. When people bring up pedophiles, I wonder why we are letting perverts define for us what is sexual. When people bring up how embarrassed the kids are going to be in 5 or 10 or 20 years, I just can't take it that seriously. Little kids go to the potty. Everyone is naked under their clothes, and I just don't see the humiliation inherent in strangers having seen your naked 4-year-old chest, even if you are a girl. If I could find it, I'd post the picture of myself at about age five taken at a water park where my mom had taken our shirts off after they got wet. (Not that I think anyone is so interested; just to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak.) I think the greater irresponsibility there was poor fair-skinned me running around in the sun without any covering, rather than an affront to my privacy or dignity or the potential temptation I presented to pedophiles.

I don't see the "nudity" or the potty stuff as any more intrusive than the very fact that they are being filmed (and I'm sure my saying that will be an "aha! gotcha!" moment for some of you, but all I'm saying is that I don't see why someone would think the filming in general is okay but the little girls with no tops on isn't).

erin said...

Mrsref said: "Erin: I did not mean to have an "air of superiority" when I posted that. Sorry if it came off that way. I still maintain, however, that if they weren't marketing their children they would be earning a living like everyone else. I am far from superior to anyone. I am not a Duggar fan but I will say this, Matt & Amy Roloff would actually be interesting to watch even without their kids. Who would actually want to watch Jon & kate without the 8. I just don't find them all that inspiring."

They are earning a living, you just disagree with the way they are doing it. The post I was referring to was the post in which you talked about how you are MC to UC, and that you got there through work and so did your friends. And you are right, had Jon and Kate not had they kids they wouldn't have what they have, and I wouldn't watch them on TV--the whole basis of the show is ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. I would say the same goes for the Duggars (I will not be watching their show anyway), and the Roloffs.

It is this exact issue that gets my hackles up. I hate the "other people don't do it this way so J/K shouldn't" mindset. I also have that seems to only be leveled at Jon and Kate. A lot of the people who stand out loudest against Jon and Kate are over on Duggars Without Pity saying that there will be no exploitation of the Duggar children, etc. I apologize if I came off as rude, but I don't think that it was a leap to get from your posts. I renew my points in my previous post; I think that in this economy with their earning potential at what you have termed "real jobs" (which I feel at this point is probably pretty limited) would not be enough to support their family. I also think that speaking engagements, and books about their "extraordinary" situation are legitimate ways to make money. Hell, that's where Bill Clinton has made a big chunk of his money. And whether you agree with it or not, reality TV has also become a way that people are making money.

erin said...

Mrsref, my last post can be construed as rude and I didn't mean it to be. My beef is not with you personally and I didn't mean to be rude, so please don't take it that way. I think I'm having a bitchy day, I apologize.

Daisy said...

glo, I made the comment about the YouTube video being from Discovery Health.com. I made a typo. It was footage FROM the show, not footage that wasn't aired. I apologize.

The video was already on the internet, someone simply copied it to YouTube.

BTW, Hannah was 2 when that happened. She had a blow out like Alexis. It was either the 2nd special or one of the first shows. I can't remember which.

MCB said...

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@2
MCB,
Tell that to the kids when they are older, OK? "That's old news Hannah, get over it"


I'm sure she'll be so worried about it when she comes of age and finds out that that footage paid her college tuition and got her nice clothing, possibly her own room and a car. Maybe even a pool in the back yard. Yeah, I can see her wishing she was crowded in a tiny house, in the same room with all her female siblings sharing hand me downs, which in a family that large would be bound to happen without the luxuries this show provides those kids. Most likely, she'll think a random baby poop shot when she was two years old was worth it.

MrsRef said...

Erin: I have been having a couple of bitchy days myself. I apologize to everyone here for being that way. We will just agree to disagree. I actually believe part of my problem is that the market is flooded with J&K-they are on every day on my cable outlet. I think I need to step away for a while. For the record, I have issues with the Duggars too. I hate the way the hand off the younger kids to the older kids. I was 13 when my mother remarried and had two more children (to make 6) I was the oldest and had to take on way too much responsibility for the younger ones. That makes me cringe too. I do like the Roloff's so I really don't dislike everyone. Honest:)

erin said...

Mrsref: We agree on the Duggars! My oldest brother is 15 years older than our youngest and was put in the same situation you were. I'm sorry you had such a grown up responsibility at such a young age!

We do disagree on the work issue. I'm not remotely middle class and I never have been (I fall way below that cut off, as do my parents). I took a harder road than many of my friends and I took a job I thought would make a difference not make money. I have to admit that given the opportunities the Gosselins have been given I would find it very hard to turn down and I'm a very well educated woman with the capacity to earn a lot of money. I think that's why I have sympathy for them, because I could see myself doing the exact same thing; with all my higher education, with all my ability to earn I understand why they made that decision. I stand by what I said, but I really do apologize for the tone. I had just responded to another poster with whom I have a rather checkered past--she brings out the bitch in me.

anya said...

MrsRef said...
"For the record, I have issues with the Duggars too. I hate the way the hand off the younger kids to the older kids. I was 13 when my mother remarried and had two more children (to make 6) I was the oldest and had to take on way too much responsibility for the younger ones."


I agree. When actual parenting is handed over to an older sibling, I think that is unfair to both kids. And unless there are circumstances that really necessitate it (a parent's illness, for example), it's pretty selfish of the parents.

Now, that's not to say that older siblings shouldn't help out. Even pour cereal :-), but there is a line and an older sibling should not be deprived of a true childhood just because of birth order.

Anonymous said...

LonnysWife,
Sign your name...your writing style is obvious

nomoredrama said...

It seems we're not the only ones debating child nudity.

Here are a few interesting articles

http://www.kypost.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=1b0f971b-888a-4ad6-8e3f-26fdba07b429

and http://www.xomba.com/kiddy_porn_or_family_photo

I think there are problems inherent in labeling all child nudity pornographic. Some parents have been nabbed by authorities for this and forced to register as sex offenders. This, my friends, is sick.

It begs the question again, where is the line drawn?

While there are most certainly examples of sick, disgusting adults who sexually exploit children, there are also innocent people who happen to view the human body as something beautiful. Not dirty or sexual necessarily.

I'm not saying I advocate for what the artist in the first article did but I'm not ready to deem her a pervert either.

Midnight Ramblings said...

there are also innocent people who happen to view the human body as something beautiful. Not dirty or sexual necessarily

There are also people who see nothing wrong in taking things from a store, with cheating on taxes, with having sex with children. Criminals usually attempt to justify their behavior. Addicts certainly do. We're not about to say that stuff is OK just because some people think it's fine, are we?

There is definitely a difference between my personal pictures of my babies in the bathtub, and a kiddie porn pic. But I don't publish mine for all to see, to be USED by any pervert. That people don't see that difference boggles my mind.

Midnight Ramblings said...

"I'm sure she'll be so worried about it when she comes of age and finds out that that footage paid her college tuition and got her nice clothing, possibly her own room and a car. Maybe even a pool in the back yard. Yeah, I can see her wishing she was crowded in a tiny house, in the same room with all her female siblings sharing hand me downs, which in a family that large would be bound to happen without the luxuries this show provides those kids."

WOW. How insulting to those of us with large families who got by on what we had and not only lived to tell it, but thrived happily. My 6 kids don't have their own rooms, don't have cars, don't take fancy trips, will have to figure out how to pay for college on their own (the first one is a senior in high school now), we have an above ground pool in the yard because we scrimped elsewhere to provide it, and yet this little house without extras is the place where all the teenagers hang out. NOT their own homes with all its stuff including in ground pools. Did you know that some people don't find STUFF to be the main thing in life? Personally I think it's more likely they will be sitting in front of a therapist trying to get past the fact that their parents put STUFF over them. That their parents pimped them out to provide things they were not even allowed to play with lest they get dirty. This is exactly what Paul Petersen is fighting for, because he's seen it so many times himself. This is exactly what the surviving Dionne quints were warning against. Do you think they sound thankful about their childhoods? I don't think they do - and they spend their lives warning others to learn from their past. How sad that their voices are being ignored.

I have nothing against anyone with money and I am not jealous. I would frankly NOT give up my lifestyle for any amount, but I don't begrudge anyone who does have money. I would certainly take it if I had the chance - but not at just any cost! I have no comments about their general parenting or their relationships - they are human, make mistakes, and we don't see only what the camera chooses for us to see. I am not even against show business, believe it or not; I am simply for laws to be put in place to protect these and all children in similar situations, and shocked that there are not. Unfortunately, no law will protect these children from the mindset you describe (the stuff is worth it in the end). That seems to be the prevailing attitude of the world in general, and these kids are far from alone in that. That doesn't mean they don't need laws regarding their JOB to protect them as much as possible. I am neither a fan nor a hater, I don't watch the show; I came upon this situation because of my own multiples. I am an advocate for the children. Sure, there are other children that need help; other worthy causes in this world. None of us can be involved in every cause. If this was simply about the way they parent I wouldn't be wasting my time here. This is about the rights and protection of the children. This is but one of the causes that has my support at the moment.

Nina Bell said...

Midnight Ramblings,

If you have read through the comment section of these posts, you will see that a majority of the posters here are in favor of laws in place to protect children in Reality TV.

Anonymous said...

Where is the line drawn? What I hear or read from this blog is that adults are getting in hot water for innocent nude photos/art of their children that should in no way be considered offensive, as the human body is a beautiful thing.

As the Gosselins showcase their kids on tv, is it art?

Is privacy and a home that is a sanctuary for the family also a beautiful thing? What I'm not hearing in all of this is what the children want, or would say they want if they could?

MrsRef said...

I really think the internet has been both a blessing and a curse on our society. My children are grown but I would think twice about putting pictures of my young children on line. There have been perverts since the beginning of time. The internet, however, allows people who are borderline or curious, the opportuntiy to explore some of this without having to go to a risque store or have the mailman see brown packages arriving. I wouldn't want my kids pictures being viewed by "those" people. My take is that the pictures of kids in their underwear or the naked rug picture we all have of our kids is not pornographic, it is just the idea that it can be used by someone who does. Yuck. JMHO. And Erin, it took us 20 some years to be considered middle class. I understand where you are coming from - my daughter works with autistic children where she can make a difference but not alot of money.

Fanny said...

Midnight ramblings said...

"There are also people who see nothing wrong in taking things from a store, with cheating on taxes, with having sex with children. Criminals usually attempt to justify their behavior. Addicts certainly do. We're not about to say that stuff is OK just because some people think it's fine, are we?"


What exactly are you trying to say here? That people who see the gosselin kids in their underwear and don't find it disgusting are crimals and addicts who steal and cheat on their taxes? That THEY are the pedophiles?

I truly hope that I read this wrong. I find this VERY offensive.

Midnight Ramblings said...

If you have read through the comment section of these posts, you will see that a majority of the posters here are in favor of laws in place to protect children in Reality TV.

Yes, but I felt I should explain my own point of view. I've seen (on this and other sites) how people can react and just wanted to get all that out in the open from the start. :)

Midnight Ramblings said...

"I truly hope that I read this wrong. I find this VERY offensive."

Yes. You read it wrong.

nomoredrama said...

Where is the line drawn? What I hear or read from this blog is that adults are getting in hot water for innocent nude photos/art of their children that should in no way be considered offensive, as the human body is a beautiful thing.

As the Gosselins showcase their kids on tv, is it art?


I posted those articles as something to think about in light of the macro debate going on about things like this in our society.

Gosselins=micro. 1 example in this discussion.

No, I don't think potty shots are art. I chose the 'art' article to show that others have done this on a much wider (and probably more offensive scale to some) scale and to illustrate that this discussion (again) is bigger than the Gosselins.

Like it or not, there are some serious implications to the discussions we are having. I've seen many a nude photo of a baby or toddler on myspace on public profiles. Those profiles have the chance to be seen by perverts as well. So should all pictures with any nudity be illegal to post online? You realize how prudish that is, right?

Again, please travel to Europe sometime and they will note how silly are culture is about such things. There is absolutely nothing you can do to stop a pervert from sexualizing a child (short of locking all children in a room without windows until they are 18).

In fact, most of the children who are victimized are victimized by members of their families. Caregivers even.

What I think is that we need to stop living our lives in a perpetual state of hysteria and start living. Appreciate a toddler's body for what it is (innocent, cute) and when true instances of child pornography come out, fight against them with everything you have.

Anonymous said...

But, nomoredrama--I'm not talking exclusively about sexualized nudity, or European standards as opposed to US standards or culture. I find nothing wrong with nudity, as long as those participating are able to consent, and not get arrested for the behavior with locality laws in place. There hasn't been that much nudity on the show, but privacy in many instances of the Gosselin children's lives is not being protected. Some of the filmed nudity has made it out to an inappropriate venue, ancient history? Perhaps, but it's the ability for that to happen again to these children and others to come that still exists, because the footage was allowed to be created to begin with, by adults that hold the power of best interest over these children. If the adults can't make the correct calls in these instances, to protect a child's welfare and safety within the social norms and culture that the child must live and grow within who should?

What I am talking about is consent. If the children are too young to consent, are decisions being made in their best interest? These children live in America, not across the pond and must live and grow up in an American culture. I am not implying anything sexual, for the most part. I am writing about privacy issues within a culture that does embrace modesty. I think this issue can be discussed without bringing an extreme of sexual abuse into the consideration. This would be horrible, and of course should never happen to any child. That would be extreme for this family, and that is not what I'm trying to communicate. It's the sanctity of home, of secrets, privacy, a safe place that is being viewed by an audience that strips all away from these kids' lives. It's not just physical privacy these kids are not able to rely on, it's also emotional privacy, and privacy regarding who they are and what people in a very public way may be writing, speaking and thinking about them. They deserve their privacy, and yet it's gone and specific details of their lives are archived forever, for anyone to search for and bring back up at any time. Science experiment? Social experiment? Psychological experiment? I wish better for them, and other children put in this situation to come.

MrsRef said...

I think there are rules against those type of pictures on my space, however, I don't think they enforce them based on some of the pictures I have seen on there. I personally would not put pictures (and yes they exist) of my naked babies on the internet. I am not prudish by any means but do think that modesty has gone out the window in this country. Have you seen some of the profiles of teenaged girls on my space? I know that you can't control what others do but I myself do not want to give them material to do it with.

Guinevere said...

WOW. How insulting to those of us with large families who got by on what we had and not only lived to tell it, but thrived happily. My 6 kids don't have their own rooms, don't have cars, don't take fancy trips, will have to figure out how to pay for college on their own (the first one is a senior in high school now), we have an above ground pool in the yard because we scrimped elsewhere to provide it, and yet this little house without extras is the place where all the teenagers hang out.

It's been a couple of days since we had a, "Let me tell you how much better a person I am than the Gosselins" post. I can't say I was missing them.

So, fine, midnight ramblings, you're a better person, except for lacking modesty and being judgmental.

What I am talking about is consent. If the children are too young to consent, are decisions being made in their best interest?

So again, you would be against all child actors? Don't tell me about laws that protect child actors because they don't address consent. If consent is the issue with filming children, period, then no one under the age of 18 should ever appear on TV or film, whether they are acting or being themselves.

BTW, the "extreme of sexual abuse" was brought into consideration by the anti-Gosselinites, throwing around the word "pedophile". The subject only shifted when some of us questioned sexualizing children simply because perverts do.

Anonymous said...

guinevere--did I say I would be against all child actors? What I'm trying to say is that I would hope that those with the power of consent and power of decisions of best interest for these children were more careful with those decisions and thought long and hard about the possible consequences of what they were having the children do with their lives, basically on behalf of the adults garnering the consent. Just as those in power in other situations, there may need to be more regulation and oversight so that reality television kids are not taken advantage of and put in harmful situations. If the power of consent brings with it the ability to make money, it seems that it's very easy to take advantage of what should be for what can be and situations become what they were never meant to be.

Anonymous said...

It's been a couple of days since we had a, "Let me tell you how much better a person I am than the Gosselins" post. I can't say I was missing them.

When people relate their own stories IMO just a way of saying "it can be done."

Anonymous said...

In response to comesclean,

As someone who thinks that the Gosselins are exploiting their kids, yes I would be happy to see the show cancelled. I hope that the family has excess funds so that when this happens the kids do not suffer; they've all worked very hard for that money. Also, I would not feel badly if J/K had to get real, family supporting jobs; it's called being the parents. It's an adult responsibility.

I believe that in industrialized countries most people support the notion that it's the parents' responsibility to support, protect and nurture minor children. Do any of you know any other family in the US where 80% of the family's income is generated from minor children? Do your minor children work to supply your family with basic needs let alone luxury items? I'll bet most of you answered no to the aforementioned questions.

Lastly, no this is not a jealousy issue. My husband and I both have well paying jobs and live a very blessed and comfortable life(as do our minor children). I just wish that the Gosselin parents would wake up because I believe the decisions that they're making now just might end up haunting their children in the future. I really don't think any one would want that...not the parents, supporters or those like myself. And, yes, I've unplugged the show...did not want to be part of the problem. Thanks

Midnight Ramblings said...

"It's been a couple of days since we had a, "Let me tell you how much better a person I am than the Gosselins" post. I can't say I was missing them."

If that's what you got out of my post, I don't know what to say, other than you don't seem to have read it very thoroughly. I was not even referring to the Gosselins in the portion you quoted. I certainly was not judging them.

MrsRef said...

At the risk of being bashed, I will just point out that alot of child actors seem to have troubled lives as adults. Please let me put a disclaimer that I am not saying that these particular kids will have those problems. I had made a similar observation once before and it didn't go over so well.

nomoredrama said...

Anon 8:20,
You make valid points. I would agree that children who are unable to provide informed consent are to be protected by their parents. I also agree that all children should be entitled to a level of privacy to learn, grow, make mistakes and have embarassing moments without the prying eyes of the general public.

What I struggle with is this. Is the show a violation of privacy? I know you are going to say "Absolutely, are you blind!" or something along those lines but I think the only way to know that for certain is to talk to the kids. Do they feel that their privacy is violated? Do they feel safe and protected? Are there safe places they can go when they are feeling overwhelmed? Are there things that are considered "Off-limits" now that they are older?

My problem with saying outright that their privacy is being violated is that we don't have answers to these questions. We still don't know what goes on when the cameras are not there (and we don't have a total picture of what goes on when they are there).

Are Mady and Cara targeted by their peer or popular among them? There are so many unanswered questions. I will say that if the kids want out the plug should be pulled.

I can only hope that Jon and Kate would make decisions in their children's best interest. In my opinion, there has been no evidence to say that they would not do this.

(Note, I'm not saying that there haven't been lapses in judgement. Getting hair plugs while your kids were sick might not have been the best decision.) I don't agree that the potty shots show that the parent's don't have their kid's best interest at heart. I think some parents are into that sort of things and some aren't. Doesn't make either parent incompetant.

lancelotsbarber said...

I will just point out that alot of child actors seem to have troubled lives as adults.

I agree and most, if not all, had parents who did not act in their best interest.

nomoredrama said...

Lancelotsbarber,
I agree but there are a lot of factors that go into each individual case. Like, IMO, Dina Lohan is not a strong parental figure. She tries too hard to be friends with her kids. When Lindsay was 17, she was going to clubs with her and making excuses for her behavior. You see (even though it is pretty scripted) on Living Lohan that Dina does very little to enforce rules. She relies on her 19 year old son to come home and be "daddy" to Cody. Ali goes out and buys a dog without permission after Dina explicitly told her no. In the end, Dina lets her keep it. She undermines her own authority, maybe because she feels guilty about the situation with their dad.

Anyway, I'd be willing to bet dollars to donuts that Lindsay would still have issues (and the others) whether she was on TV or not. There are factors beyond just being in the entertainment industry.

Anonymous said...

I know for a fact that A Minor Consideration did contact TLC, Figure 8 Productions and the Gosselins themselves. I do not know anything other than that.

quietlyconcerned said...

I am one who believes in having a child advocate on the set for reality tv production.

Please understand that I do not begrudge the Gosselins any kind of financial windfall they may encounter, as long as the funds are honestly gotten, and not through misrepresentation (crying broke).

I just believe that sometimes the parents (not just the Gosselins, but ANY parent)are not knowlegeable enough regarding the pitfalls of such a production, and an advocate would keep them more fully informed (which may not be in the STUDIO's best interest, for it may slow production down).

Child advocates do not have to be on the opposite sides of parents. If they both realize that they want what is best for the children, I believe it can be a beneficial relationship all around.

I would like to see the Gosselins get all the help they need--I suspect in many ways they are very naive and maybe too trusting of people who do not have their best interests at heart.
I would like to see them get financial counseling, help with investments and taxes, etc. They DO have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, and I suspect it is overwhelming at times.