Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gosselin Propaganda


It occurred to me recently that the relentless attacks on the Gosselin family utilize a lot of classic propaganda techniques. To wit:

Ad hominem attacks: if one does not agree with the Gosselin haters they are labeled "sheeple" and told they don't care about the exploitation of children.

Ad nauseaum attacks: a negative point is made about the Gosselins - for instance, regarding the love offerings. When the point is refuted or put in context, there is no response from the original poster. The subject is dropped and then brought up again a day later. Repeat. And repeat. Then repeat some more.

Appeals to fear: claims are made that the appearance of the Gosselin children on television makes them a target for pedophiles. The truth of such claims is never examined too closely; it's enough to simply repeat the claim, because of the understandable fear and revulsion the subject generates.

Joining the bandwagon: attempts are made to present the Gosselin debate as being lopsided in favorite of the anti-Gosselinites (the millions of viewers who do not even participate in the online debate are ignored). The aim is to make weak-minded people who are on the fence fall into line.

Black-and-white fallacy: the argument that Jon and Kate are either loving parents or ruthless exploiters. There is no credence given to the possibility that they may be loving parents who may or may not always be making the right choices, but are acting in good faith.

Common man: there is a strong whiff of class struggle endemic to the anti-Gosselin movement. Indignation is often stirred by seemingly innocuous choices, such as using a cheap water filter pitcher to purify their water or choosing to consume mostly organic food. Posters will often declare indignantly that they can't afford this or that or that they were themselves raised more humbly and turned out just fine. They seem to view many of J&K's choices as climbing above their natural station in life, and they resent them for it.

Demonizing the enemy: this is the one that first got me thinking about this subject. I wondered how and why the rhetoric got to be SO heated against the Gosselins, particularly against Kate. I've seen her called a monster and psychotic. I've seen her compared to OJ Simpson, Diane Downs and Casey Anthony. These are not exceptions - this type of rhetoric occurs daily on some boards. It's almost a chicken/egg phenomenon - I can't figure out if people feel the need to whip up their hatred by convincing themselves that she is a horrible person, or that they are for whatever reason so convinced that she's horrible that they don't even think about the things that they say about her. I tend to suspect the former, but I still don't entirely understand the genesis of the hatred.

Disinformation: there are countless examples - the hit and run rumor regarding Kate and the claims of recent poor mouthing during church appearances are two - of stories used against the Gosselins but never substantiated, simply believed and passed on by the haters. Disinformation seems to occur on anti-Gosselin boards on the most basic level – almost like a game of “Telephone”. One poster speculates that Hannah threw a tantrum in order to sit on Jon and Kate's laps during the interview in the "All Smiles" episode, and shortly after another poster cluck-clucks about how awful it is that Hannah gets her way by throwing tantrums. The fact that neither Jon nor Kate indicated that Hannah threw a tantrum, and that this "fact" was nothing more than speculation on the part of a poster, is ignored. From now on, in a certain number of posters’ minds, it will be a known fact that Hannah threw a tantrum; these people will not even question how they know this.

Oversimplification: Real anxieties about money are labeled greed; real anxieties about the difficulties of raising so many children are labeled laziness. The complexity of the decision to have fertility treatments and carry through with a high-risk pregnancy is reduced to the level of a scam (the absurdity of Kate planning a potentially life-threatening pregnancy as a money-making venture apparently does not occur to these people). Not only are the anti-Gosselin arguments usually rendered starkly in black and white, but the behaviors and emotions that are identified are unsophisticated and unnuanced.

Virtue words: the most prevalent example being the overuse of the word "truth" - it's used like a shield. It also amounts to a circular argument: "we have the truth and thus anything you say that questions that 'truth' must be incorrect. Because it’s the truth, and we are the sole possessors of it." It's no coincidence that both Jodi's sister Julie and the scammer Pennmommy used the word truth in the titles of their blogs.

While of course it is not solely the anti-Gosselin crowd that engages in propaganda tactics, I do think it's fair to say that such behavior is more prevalent in their community. I think a lot of it has to do with justifying anger that otherwise can't be justified and whipping up sentiment against the Gosselins. But, again, that doesn’t really explain it entirely. What are your thoughts?

57 comments:

Lizabeth said...

Great piece, Guin. This is why I appreciate how on this blog *proof* is used to make claims of fact. We have links to news articles, videos and pics from people who attended book signings and are telling their story, and when people want to make claims we ask for this kind of proof before taking it into consideration.

Honestly, the one that I see more often than now it disinformation. There are SO many rumors (like the organic chef which we now know is craft services if they have a full day of filming) that started by someone making a statement or comment on a blog then having the entire thing become a fact. I've become far more aware of this lately and looking for actual articles and trustworthy sources when I hear something new. It is evident that there are very strong opinions on both sides of the Gosselin world so I would much rather be wary and wise about the sources I listen to.

SamanthaNC said...

The thing that bothers me most is the demonization of Kate and at times Jon. People on these boards come at them with such hatred and venom and they seem convinced that Jon and Kate are horrible, cold, unloving, selfish, idle, exploitive parents. They state their opinions that often stem from misinformation, either by chain of heresay or outright lies, as the Gospel truth.

Anyone who dares disagree with them and sees any form of reason whatsoever- is an uneducated sheeple, who only wants to be Kate's best friend. Please.

The more successful they become the more the hate and disgust seems to grow. I know the anti-g camp gets angry (rabid) when they are accused of jealousy, but when someone rants and raves about their house, their vacations, their money- guess what? It DOES seem like envy and hating darlings you're lookin a little green around the gills.

Daisy said...

Lizabeth, that was Julie that first said that Kate has an organic chef, which makes it even more disturbing.

Samantha, I agree about the demonizing. They only state the negative on the show. They dismiss any good or love shown by J&K.

Another thing that irks me is saying J&K are currently crying poverty when clearly they aren't. All I hear is how greatful they are for where they are at now.

themrs said...

this is right on. that's why i like that i can come here, not be a big fan of them, and discuss it like rational adults. i just can't imagine hating a total stranger like that! and if i hear one more story of how someone grew up in family of 12 with only a dollar a week and had to walk to their (public) school with baggies on their feet, i may vomit. yes, we know. you all had it much worse and they should not succeed because of it!

Bridget said...

Good post, Guin,

What bothers me about the hater boards is that you have to be a "hater" to contribute. I have seen many times a comment or post where someone is innocently asking a question, or suggesting another side to the story and they are immediately called a "sheeple" or "naive" or "Kate". I have wanted to share my good experience of meeting Kate at the book signing, but I know that would be wasted time on another board.

I enjoy this blog very much. You certainly don't need to be a fan to participate, in fact, you don't have to be a fan or a hater (gasp!). OMG!That means I can change my mind here and have a difference of opinion!

VOR said...

Excellent summary of propaganda tactics in the Gosselin world, Guin.

I have seen all of these techniques on various blogs. When you combine propaganda tactics with the sock puppets, it is unbelievable. Why? Who are these people? Is one of them my mild-mannered neighbor next door taking out some stress in her life on the web?

I started to write which tactic I dislike the most, but I can't pick just one. They are all disturbing.

I appreciate the reasonable, intelligent discourse here!

Saint said...

Great post Guinevere.

The demonization bothers me too, Samantha. Jon and Kate are called liars for things they explain themselves.
Examples: Kate shared on the show that she gets laundry help. She is called a liar because a viewer didn't KNOW about the laundry help from the beginning of the show. Kate is called a liar because she says she cooks meals, but "craft services" a few times a week (which Kate told us about) suddenly qualifies as a personal chef. The Gosselins are accused of lying about needing college funds because TAP accounts (where you put the funds) were opened in each sextuplets' name (as if opening an account is the same thing as completely funding one.)

The detractors who seem to think they care more about the kids than Jon and Kate baffle me, too. No one who reads her book will think that Kate blows off medical concerns about her children. If they need speech therapy, counselling, OT, PT, glasses, a special diet, whatever, I don't doubt she'll be on top of it. My proof is the six healthy preemies she's been taking excellent care of since their conception. Her going to bat for them has been roundly criticized (suing for an extra year of their nursing care,)
but it was exactly the thing a protective mother would do.

Theresa said...

Excellent artwork! Great piece Guin. Each point was so right on.

Saint, you verbalized my thinking. Kate and Jon have done a wonderful job with the kids.

It also baffles me that the distractors would think they know what's best for Jon and Kate's kids. These are the same people who are ripping those parents to shreds and if a G kid stumbles upon this crap of theirs, they're going to be hurt.

The haters or "those over there" wouldn't know a good blog if it hit them in the face. All they have done is spit forth lies, innuedos, rumours and stupidity ad nauseum. It bothers me that they are parents, and could quite possibly be teaching their kids some really bad behaviors/attitudes. They are nothing but blog bullies.

I just took a look and saw what you mean Bridget. Someone slightly questions something and they jump down that person's throat. It is rare that a difference of opinion is posted, as those posts are normally rejected in favor of the never ending hate posts.


Once again, excellent post Guin!

scarfoot said...

You forgot to include the "Block the 'Sheeple' From Making Comments" by making a laundry list of reasons they will not post your comment. This list should be exhaustive (in more than one sense), color coded, and hypocritical.

The demonizing issue is the one that bothers me the most as well. I have no problem reading about issues that people may have with the Gosselins, as long as it is rational, reasonable, and respectful. No one, including myself, is perfect. I also believe everyone has a right to their opinion. However, some of the extreme emotional responses truly frighten me. Some of these people can't see the forest from the trees. They definitely don't see that they are, in any way, posing as a risk to the Gosselins. I have a feeling that the Gosselins have had some scary interactions with some of these people and that they had a bodyguard (IF that is truly what he was) in Hawaii specifically because of some truly sick individuals.

I truly feel pity, in a sense, for some of these people, because I think some of them have some serious issues. I am not excusing their behavior, but something is terribly wrong if they are going to this many lengths to hurt another family they don't even know.

shrinkinla said...

Has it not occurred to you folks that those on this board are doing the exact same thing, only with positive attributions rather than negative? Please think about this.

merryway said...

Great post Guin, I always look forward to reading what you write. I've wondered if the hatred and the mob mentality against Kate is following some sort of social pattern, but I don't know enough about the subject. It never ceases to amaze me how many posts defy logic in order to validate their anger. The comparisons to notorious female murderers is unbelievable. Her very existence seems the root of the cause as she can't even leave post it notes (who know who left them) on her mirror or use filtered water. She also is unable to even acknowledge she is a mother as “it's all because of the kids”. How is she supposed to stop being a mother and why not bring attn to how hard it is? Your grassy knoll tin foil hat comparisons which made me laugh really hard is all that needs to be said of Kate planning and scam to have multiples.

Ditto on what everyone said above on the demonetization of J&K. I read it over and over and can't believe that's how those people view them.

I love the Crown Princes, they do an awesome reality check on the crazy haters and make me laugh so hard.

I do think if people were more satisfied with themselves, they would be less apt to hate others.


Mean People Suck.

Lizabeth said...

Shrinkinla,

When has this happened? It would be great if you could present facts and quotes of times when we (the royal 'we') have used these techniques.

Anya said...

shrinkinla said...
Has it not occurred to you folks that those on this board are doing the exact same thing, only with positive attributions rather than negative? Please think about this.


I re-read the list presented in Guin's article and honestly the only tactic I know I have been guilty of on occasion are ad hominem attacks. Those are kind of hard to avoid in heated exchanges on a message board where most of us don't really know each other.

Like Lizabeth I am looking forward to some of the examples you will give us of where the regular posters on this blog have engaged in tactics such as:

-Appeal to Fear
-Black & White Fallacy
-Disinformation
-Oversimplication

These fallacies and more occur daily on the main hate blog and the mini ones.

Please back up what you are accusing us of with some actual tangible examples.

Looking forward to seeing what you have to say, Shrinkinla.

Barbara said...

I live in Houston and Pearland, where the Friday night book signing was, is about 15 minutes from where I live so I decided to go. When I arrived about 25 minutes before it was to start, there were about 150 people in line, talking with each other and visiting. You did not have to purchase your book there, you could bring the book with you. At 6 sharp Kate arrived and took a seat behind a desk. Her bodyguard stood behind her. When you got to her you handed her your book, she signed it, looked up and you and asked how are you and we had a quick conversation. She smiled, it appeared sincere to me, I told her I loved the show and her family and she was genuinely pleased and told me so. She was calm, rested, not at all under the influence of any drugs (as some have claimed) and in no particular hurry. She allowed all the pictures you wanted to take. I did not stay for the whole evening, however I wish now I had because of all the rumors going round that she huffed off when she got mad about something leaving people standing in line. First, I don't believe it happened and second, I don't think Kate would alienate all the fans there even if a hater showed up. She had protection there and he would have dealt with it. There were plenty of store employees around her also. I have many pictures to prove I was there if there were a way to display them. She was very nice.

Nina Bell said...

Thanks Barbara for your post on your experience. I would be happy to display your pictures if you would email them to me.

Nina

Nina Bell said...

Guin,

Thanks for the post. I just don't understand the extreme hate this has caused. Not just towards the Gosselins but towards people that think differently.

I guess the thing that bothers me the most are the rumors that become facts because they are repeated over and over. New ones start everyday.

Guinevere said...

this is right on. that's why i like that i can come here, not be a big fan of them, and discuss it like rational adults. i just can't imagine hating a total stranger like that! and if i hear one more story of how someone grew up in family of 12 with only a dollar a week and had to walk to their (public) school with baggies on their feet, i may vomit. yes, we know. you all had it much worse and they should not succeed because of it!

Heh. I appreciate the "other" perspective - you know we are happy to have posters who don't like J&K here. Unfortunately, too many of them just spew anger everywhere and repeat a bunch of unsubstantiated rumors, so we really appreciate the ones that don't!

Has it not occurred to you folks that those on this board are doing the exact same thing, only with positive attributions rather than negative? Please think about this.

I suppose it's possible. Some examples would help. I do think that erring on the side of being positive and giving people the benefit of the doubt is more morally defensible than erring on the side of negativity and judging people guilty based on rumor and innuedo. But I'm open to the possibility that my own POV is not exactly unbiased at this point.

I love the Crown Princes, they do an awesome reality check on the crazy haters and make me laugh so hard.

I know; whenever I get fed up with the ugliness (and I rarely even visit certain blogs!), I go over to Marie Chantal because the ladies their have a great perspective on it, and don't take it seriously.

Hey, I appreciate everyone's kind words - it was an interesting piece to write!

Beatrice said...

Amen to this -- something written based on research and fact. I love the "snowball" effect that the haters subscribe to. Someone says something in total speculation; and the next thing you know, they use it as a basis for fact and theory. I love that they all somehow seem to have access to Jon and Kate's finances and know "for a fact" that they were left a huge sum of money from Jon's dad, who by the way, was a "very rich man." That's my fave.

Me said...

The number one thing that bothers me the most is how the haters claim J&K beg for money and items. NEVER have I ever seen or heard them do this. Nor have I ever heard such nonsense from others who have met them.

Just because they get paid for making appearances does not mean they are begging for money. People are really stupid. Celebrities, and like it or not that's what they are now, often charge for thier time. And, just like J&K, celebrities oftentimes get things for free and special treatment. That is nothing new. But I guess people forget that.

And it also cracks me up how haters complain that they charge for pictures. And? So what. I wonder what the haters would think if they knew that William Shatner charges for his autograph? Things are done for a reason. And just because you don't know that reason does not make it wrong.

And the ever famous "exploiting" phrase. PLEASE!!!!! These people just don't like Kate and never will. There are tons of other shows that exist that show families on TV but why is it they only hate J&K? If they were truly worried about child exploitation, then they'd be complaining about shows like the Duggars, The Osbournes, Snoop Dog's Fatherhood, that show that used to be on with Traviz Barker, etc. But they don't. Instead they condemn Kate in one breath and praise Michelle Dugger in the next and yet they both have the same fault, by the haters standards, and that's display their families on TV.

Oh it was gross and nasty (so they say) that we saw Kates tummy tuck and Jon's hair transplant and the comments like "we didn't need to see that" flew around like crazy. And yet it was okay and all good that they showed Michelle Duggar give birth to their latest kid? I just don't get it.

It's this double standard that leads us to make comments like "you are jealous!" Because, nothing else makes sense.

I'd rather poke my eye out... said...

Barbara, looking forward to your pics. Glad to hear you had a positive experience at the book signing. I've wondered how she was during these because I've seen Kate in a video interview, while she was in Michigan doing a book signing ( I think that was the place) and heard an online interview off the Opie & Andy show where Kate says she thinks the people are "silly" and she doesn't understand the fascination.

marci said...

Great topic, Guin!

IMO there's definitely a cult mentality among the posters who hate the Gosselins.

I've read the same rumors repeated so many times that, expect for the totally nutball opinions, I don't even read on the negative boards anymore because I know what they're going to say. I think we probably all do.

That's why when someone shows up who is supposedly *new* to the Gosselin blogging world with the obvious agenda of repeating the unsubstantiated "truth" once more, I don't have any patience for it.

It's like some mantra they're required to repeat....expoitation...greed...etc., etc., etc.

Talk about drinking the Kool Aid.

Do any of them have an original thought in their heads??

Lizabeth said...

*me*, you mentioned how it gets to frustrating to listen to the anti-Gosselin crowd spout the same things over and over and I can totally see your point. At the same time, as tough as it is to avoid it, the 'you're just jealous' response does nothing but bring the rhetoric down to their level. I honestly do not think a lot of the people who don't like Kate are jealous. I think they are misguided. I think they have an ideal in their minds of what a TV show should be about and are not seeing that now. I think maybe they see enough of themselves in Kate to lash out at something they are actually doing. But I don't think that by and large they are jealous.

Thats why it is difficult to have a debate or discussion other places about the Gosselins. People get emotionally invested and are so positive they are right and so sure they know for a fact something happened when in the end they realize it was just a random comment instead of verified source. If you look on their Wikipedia page there are tons of people crying foul about the omission of a 'controversy' section- but the wiki moderators keep saying that unless there are valid sources instead of just blogs and opinions nothing can be published. I try to keep the same thing in mind for my own research anywhere now, too. Seems best to wait until something is validated before parading it around as fact.

When all else fails, which is a better idea-- to see a more positive side of a story, or a negative one? Would you rather seethe with hatred for a total stranger due to some rumor, or stop and think "Well there is probably a good reason for it..." then go on your way with life? I prefer to go on my way and give Jon and Kate the benefit of the doubt-- innocent until proven guilty.

Me said...

Hey Liz, I guess I should have elaborated on why I use the term jealous, if and when I ever do.

I use it when I read comments like:

"Wish I could take that many vacations!"

"I couldn't afford (insert whaterever item it is the G's have)!"

"My kid would like (insert whatever item it is the G's have) but I just can't afford it!"

"Wouldn't we all like someone to fold our laundry or help with the kids?"

"I'm struggling to make ends meet."

And the list goes on. There is NO other reason, other than jealousy, to make comments like the ones above. Like I said, it's only after such comments like that are made that I may use the word jealous.

And the comments like "I'm struggling" or "I can't afford it" or "I don't make that much money" have absolutely NOTHING to do with the G's or their show. And yet the haters bring things like that up constantly! And, just because you are experiencing those things does not mean that everyone else is or should be too.

Hell, I don't own a house or take vacations either but that isn't anyone elses fault. Perhaps I need to learn to save better or spend my money differently. I'm not gonna sit here in a huff and say that, just because I can't take vacations and buy a house, that no one else can. That's stupid.

And yet that's pretty much what the haters do. They always list a long list of things they would like to do but can't and then condemn the G's because they can. If that isn't jealousy then what is is?

Me said...

And Liz, I agree, they certainly are misguided or misinformed.

Mom said...

Excellent post Guin!

The telephone technique mention really hits home when it comes to these blogs. What begins with speculation turns into "truth" sayers coming forth to spread their account of the Gosselin Gospel (Penn Mommy, Julie, Bananabethanna, oh wait that is PM too!).

I still believe it's more about hating Kate than it is about protecting the children. Otherwise, don't you think "they" would all jump on the chidren exploitation bandwagon and continue their mission with other TV families who are "exploiting" their children and families?

jace said...

Excellent article, Guin.

I think you are right on about the propaganda mentality that exists in regard to the Gosslins, Kate especially.

Has anyone seen Doubt? It is about a priest who is accused of a molesting a young boy based entirely on rumor and speculation. There is a line spoken by a young nun to Meryl Streep's character that says, (paraphrasing) "You just don't like that he uses 3 scoops of sugar in his coffee and likes "Frosty the Snowman" and so you believe these terrible things about him."

And that is sort of what happens with the anti Kate sentiment. They don't like her for whatever reason therefore any negative speculation about her must be valid and truthful. Someone on another board told me once that since she could imagine that Kate would do these negative things, then she would chose to believe them, end of story.

That mindset is really chilling to me. Bad things can happen when people justify their bad behavior because of their own bias.

Lee said...

I have watched the show for many years but am new to the blogs. I just spent a while reading another blog (slow day at work, and darn it, these blogs are addictive). That site doesn't seem to allow pro-Gosselin comments through, but I came across this site, which seems to. Anyhow, if I knew nothing about the Gosselins except for what was written on the other blog (I call it that because it seems people don't outright call it by its name here), here's what I'd gather (all of which have me with my jaw on the floor):

If you raise your voice at your kids or husband or set rules, you are clearly abusive. Kate is a fat shrew. Hannah is the favorite, and she has Down's Syndrome (this one is particularly upsetting, but, yes, someone wrote that). Jon and Kate got a huge sum of money from Jon's dentist dad, who was a VERY wealthy man. Mady is in therapy, and all the kids are going to have MAJOR MAJOR issues someday. Aunt Jodi and Beth are absolute saints who definitely didn't participate in the child exploitation, even though apparently Jodi wanted to be paid to be on the show, but she's still a saint. Jon and Kate are uneducated even though she was a nurse and he was an IT guy. A person who watches the show just to bash it with other mean-spirited people is definitely a free-thinking child advocate. It's okay to stalk the Gosselins and demand to know everything about them, including their financial statements. The Gosselins have the ability to manipulate the IRS. Eating organic food is not okay (for reasons I couldn't quite find). You cannot go to the spa if you are a mom; if you do, you are being neglectful of your children. Accepting free trips is atrocious. Even though people voluntarily buy your books, watch your show, and pay for pictures of your family, you should never, ever, ever consider accepting the money. Moving into a large house means you are an uppity snob, and let's hope the house gets foreclosed on asap.

I'm not saying I agree with everything the Gosselins do, but jeez louise, this stuff is hardcore. I could not follow the logic of the assumptions in most cases. Insanity I tell you.

I repeat, it's a very slow day at work.

Bridget said...

Thanks for the report on the book signing, Barbara! It sounds very similiar to my experience, in which Kate was very nice and (shocking) normal! She acted like a person! I'm always happy to read about positive experiences.

honeyhush said...

Great article!I agree w/ it all. There is so much that drives me nuts, in these debates. I can't possibly list them all. They call us sheeple, but I have a mind and have formed an opinion. Many of them seem to have jumped on the hate Kate band wagon and, in those cases wouldn't they be the sheeple?
I'm sick to death of almost every single thread ending up on the exploitation issue. A mom asks where she can buy sippy cups and next thing you know, that thread is all about J&K exploiting the kids to buy sippy cups.
I'm a regular poster on a forum where the non-fans far out number the fans. When I point out that's not the case IRL, as proven by the millions of viewers and the many fans who turn out where ever Kate is, they say I'm wrong and the non-fans are "bringing them down." WTHeck? There are tons more fans that never get on a message board. Because the fans are outnumbered,on this board there are literally a hand full of us debating several of them. They have insinuated I have said things that were far from anything my post said, which served to rally other haters to the "cause". My words have been twisted way out of proportion. Just this weekend, I found out someone was using my user name to spew hate "over there". It has amazed me @ times the lengths some of these people will go to, to spread their message of hate for people they don't even know. I spend most of my online time doing things I enjoy. I enjoy discussing the show and supporting the family. Do they enjoy hating? Sometimes I can almost feel the anger, from their words.
Another thing that makes me crazy is if anyone disagrees w/ them, we must worship @ the church of "Saint Kate." We all have to be super fans. I don't agree w/ everything J&K do. I believe they are loving parents doing their best.

Anya said...

Barbara, thanks much for sharing your experience. I have taken to using Google reader to try and find blogs of others who have gone to Kate's appearances or book signings. I have yet to find anyone with an established blog who has had a negative experience. The posts about diva-ish behavior or outright rudeness almost always originate from anonymous posters at general message boards that aren't moderated. Why anyone without an agenda would believe anything said on these sites is beyond me.

Anya said...

Jace said...
Has anyone seen Doubt? It is about a priest who is accused of a molesting a young boy based entirely on rumor and speculation. There is a line spoken by a young nun to Meryl Streep's character that says, (paraphrasing) "You just don't like that he uses 3 scoops of sugar in his coffee and likes "Frosty the Snowman" and so you believe these terrible things about him."


I haven't seen "Doubt", although it's one of the ones I hope to see soon.

The line you quoted really resonates with me. I won't rehash all of the negative stuff said about Kate, but if you break it down, most of it is silly and petty. These rather pedestrian complaints about Kate snowball in many posters minds until Kate becomes evil incarnate. It's just unreal.

marci said...

honeyhush,

I'd venture to say there are many posters here who tired of "running around the mulberry bush" with posters the like of which you just described at other Gosselin sites.

Welcome to GDNNOP. No padded walls required.

Lizabeth said...

LOL Marci! Thank goodness we have no padded walls :). Honestly, when I found GDNNOP I felt like I could just talk about the show casually and enjoy the parts I like instead of get sucked into drama and hatred. This is much more constructive and pleasant than other sites.

Jace, I agree that the mentality is chilling. You have definitely made me want to see "Doubt" also!

Welcome, honeyhush- kick off your shoes and make yourself at home :)

Quiltart said...

What a great article, Guin! You have pointed out so many things that have been on my mind lately.



I really like the show and really like J&K and find the kids to be adorable, but I'm not a crazy fan. One reason I am fascinated by them is that Jon is the same age as my son, and knowing my son, there is no way that he was mature enough to take care of a family of eight children when Jon did. Of course there are things that J&K do that I wouldn't do, but it's their life (as they say).. it's not my life, so I don't judge them for their choices. They have eight beautiful, bright and happy children who are loved greatly by their parents and who love each other. The more I hear the unfounded hatred and venom that is published about them, the angrier I get and the more I feel like I should stand up for them! No one, deserves to be treated like that. It is, after all, a TV show. They are not our next door neighbors. We are voyeurs, looking at the portion of their life that they wish to share with us.


First of all, one the things that makes me the craziest is when the nay-sayers claim that the G's do not work and that the other reality families deserve what they have because they have separate income from their shows. The Gosselins DO work and they work hard to take care of their family. The ideology that what the G's do is not a job is beyond me! A contract with TLC is not a job? Touring with a new book and making motivational speeches.. not a job? No. Not a job. I have been told over and over that they could easily support their family of 10 on their incomes as a nurse and IT specialist....Gimme a break! If this isn't jealousy, I don't know what is!



All of the reality TV families have benefitted financially from their shows, but somehow, the G's, who are a good 10-15 years younger than the others,and therefore not as well established, are not deserving according to those who have seen the truth.



One of the other things that is so irrational is the constant thought that the G's are greedy. I have never seen Jon and Kate be anything but appreciative and grateful for all the things that have come to them because of the show. If you question how they think they are greedy, the naysayers will dredge up the prayer list on their website when the tups were infants...(which, BTW, is not unlike lists on the websites of other families with HOM.) If there isn't anything in the present to use to prove their points of the evil that is the Gosselins, they dredge up the past.
(How many times do we have to hear about Kate asking for another year of nursing help. She asked. She didn't get it... and that should have been that.)



...and that brings us to the so called fact that J&K are liars. How are they liars? Well, here's an example: in one of the first shows, they said that their kids were not interested in TV. That was probably three years ago or so.
Recently the kids are shown watching TV or talking about a TV character and now the G's are liars because they said the kids don't watch TV. Time moves on and things change. Does this mean the Gosselin's have to present their public with a running update everytime something in their life changes? I think not!


If the so-called "advocates" for the Gosselin children REALLY cared about these kids, they wouldn't be trying to sabotage every form of employment that their parents have. By hurting the parents, they are hurting eight children. If this show is so distasteful to them, they should just change the station and leave the Gosselins alone.

Anya said...

Lee -- you summed up the group thinking over there very well.


honeyhush said... Another thing that makes me crazy is if anyone disagrees w/ them, we must worship @ the church of "Saint Kate." We all have to be super fans. I don't agree w/ everything J&K do. I believe they are loving parents doing their best.

Yeah, that would fall under the black or white fallacy , I believe.

Honeyhush, I rememeber you had a few posts several days back. Nice to see you again and sorry for the childish games being played with your moniker at the other site.

marci said...

Add to the general list of falacies, the fact that the Gosselins have alienated everyone in their lives who we ever saw on the show...based primarily on the fact that we simply don't see those people on the show very much, or at all, anymore. Oversimplification.

I remember how posters would say, "Oh, I can just see Kate doing that (kicking people out of their lives) based upon how I see her act on the show." Then all of a sudden it was a given fact in the "tellers of truth" roundabout.

They also have never seemed to have grasped the fact that when we're watching a new episode it's anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks in the past, and they're basically spouting off about something that's, quite literally, history.

Granted, I'm watching and enjoying something that happened in the Gosselins' lives 6 to 8 weeks ago, but I don't expect their world to be static, like time stands still between episodes. I don't take it as a personal affront when, in a newer episode, something is changed because (gasp!) I EXPECT that their lives to go on when I'm not watching.

Not to mention the constant bringing up (as others here have recounted) of things that happened in episodes filmed YEARS ago, and trying to connect the dots between something Kate or Jon said that long ago to something said in a recently filmed episode as an inconsistency.

Time must move at a slower pace when your mind is so addled with hate.

MrsRef said...

To "ME" I don't think that making a comment like I don't take that many vacations makes one a "Hater" or jealous. Do I take that many vacations, no, Did I get a tummy tuck, no, do I have help with my laundry, the list can go on and on. Saying so does not make me a hater. I am no longer a Gosselin fan but that does not make me a hater. I dislike what they do sometimes, not them personally as I do not personally know them. They are not the type of people that I would seek out for friends.

Dr. H said...

Wouldn't kids on TV be LESS likely to be pedophile victims, just because they have so many people around them and so much scrutiny of the people around them?

marci said...

You know, MrsRef, the poster you referenced didn't name any particular Gosselin "haters" in his/her post, so I'm not sure why you feel the need to defend yourself as not being jealous if you're not.

Now, let me be clear, I'M not saying you're jealous, I'd have no way of knowing whether you are or not, but I find it strange when people come out of left field to defend themselves as not being part of a group when no one has even labeled them part of that group in the first place.

Simply put, if you know you're jealous, why the need to point it out?

Some Gosselin posters with, shall we say, a more negative spin on things call anyone with a little perspective about the show "sheeple." I have never felt the need to defend myself against that label because I know it's not true.

Theresa said...

I think the word sheeple is so lame. It also sounds so stupid. And, that's their word to throw out when they don't have a legitimate answer..."oh, you're just sheeple".

I think all you women who met Kate and say that she is normal and down to earth brings forth a good point about why they've succeeeded. That's the real Kate and with that kind of stability and head on her shoulders, that's a main propellant in the progression towards a better future for her family. She's secure in herself.

And, there really is no other way to say it, but the haters are jealous of that trait of Kate's. If they had it, they would be secure within themselves and work harder for their own situations and they wouldn't be writing nasty things about her day after day (or for some of them, post after post).

Me said...

MrsRef, as someone else said, I never pointed anyone out by name. Nor did I say that everyone who doesn't like the show is a hater. The haters are the ones that sit there and rip apart every little thing Kate says and does and tries to make it into something it's not. There have been plenty of examples of what I'm talking about given already in this section so there is no need to mention them again.

So, if you felt such a strong need to defend yourself and to claim your are not a hater or jealous, perhaps you need to look at yourself again.

It's one thing to say "I just don't care for the show", which is fine. Not everyone has to like it. I don't have a problem with that. But I do have a problem with the people who pick everything apart and make up lies about the show and those involved with it.

When I say haters, those are the types of people I'm speaking about. I do not call people who just don't find the show interesting haters. Of course not.

But the ones who sit and watch it every week in slow mo just so that they can rip it apart on a forum for the next week are truly haters.

And, if you don't fall under those guidelines then why should you care?

Like someone else said, the word sheeple is tossed around like crazy and yet, like the poster above, I don't see the need to defend myself against it either. I'm not some infatuated Kate fan that follows her across the country. Nope. I'm just someone who likes the show and that's pretty much the extent of it for me. I could care less to see them in person, have a book signed, etc. But I don't think it's right that people spread terrible rumors about this family. It's just wrong.

Guinevere said...

And, there really is no other way to say it, but the haters are jealous of that trait of Kate's. If they had it, they would be secure within themselves and work harder for their own situations and they wouldn't be writing nasty things about her day after day (or for some of them, post after post).


I think this is a good point. I think more than the Gosselins' material success, the haters resent that Kate does not evince those quintessential female traits - of trying to please everybody and of caring what everybody thinks about her. That seems to drive people crazy, for some reason.

Lizabeth said...

You know, a couple people have mentioned the nurse situation, which is yet another case of complete disinformation. A person on a different site even quoted this from the article in question (I can't find the link now-- if anyone has it please post!):

Patriot News- 5/8/05

"Kate Gosselin said she feels society has a responsibility to help with the children, since modern medicine promotes the use of fertility drugs, which can lead to multiple births."

This is not a direct quote. The author has taken a short conversation with Kate and deduced this statement. THAT pisses me off. How do we know what Kate said? We don't. It is clearly an author who chooses to, instead of quote a person directly, infer their meaning. In fact the paper was forced to print a retraction due to the shoddy journalism which was published and really did a number on Jon and Kate.

Because of that, the entire nurse situation is not clear and is not at all what many of the anti-Gosselins make it seem to be. I have a huge issue with journalists pretending to write factual pieces which are clearly bent towards their personal prejudices. For example:


Just wanted to clear the air with that. This is one article which happened around that time which is often quoted and not at all an unbiased look: http://internetservices.readingeagle.com/blog/mother/archives/2005/05/count_your_bles_1.html

Here is another article which is also very far from being unbiased about the Gosselins:
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_334106.html

From that second link this is the direct quote from Kate regarding the nurse:
"I understand that there is no medical necessity," Kate said. "But I hope they see my need. There is nothing set up for someone in our situation. I hope I can hang on to the person that I have."

See what I mean? Disinformation. Journalists present something as fact when it is their opinion and personal take on the issue instead of what someone really says.

rain88 said...

Lisbeth said: At the same time, as tough as it is to avoid it, the 'you're just jealous' response does nothing but bring the rhetoric down to their level. I honestly do not think a lot of the people who don't like Kate are jealous. I think they are misguided. I think they have an ideal in their minds of what a TV show should be about and are not seeing that now.

I agree with you, Lisbeth. I think they feed off each other with their strong anti-gosselin opinions. Because the site is so one sided, nobody seems to question themselves or try to see the opposite viewpoint.

This is the only Gosselin website I post at, but sometimes I'm hesitant to say something that would be deemed negative because I don't want to be viewed as a "hater" or picking apart everything they do.

themrs said...

lizabeth, can i point out that you referred to several different newspaper interviews as biased. but isn't that an assumption on your part? we were not at the interview therefore we don't know if that's what she said or the writer is biased. i think you have to be careful about swinging too far the other way. why would all these newspapers have it out for the gosselins, especially back then when they were relatively unknown? especially considering they were poor then, not jealousy..

Lizabeth said...

themrs, that is a valid point :). I saw these as biased because of the way they started off.
With the Pittsburgh article (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_334106.html) the writer begins stating Kate and Jonathan Gosselin want you to pretend that their sextuplets are disabled. Kate and Jon are never quoted as saying anything near this and I have no idea what parent would ever want such a thing. He also later states The little ones' good health was her bad luck. Go figure.

With the Reading Eagle article (http://internetservices.readingeagle.com/blog/mother/archives/2005/05/count_your_bles_1.html) the author starts with I don't even know where to begin about the Gosselin family.

I've frankly had enough.
Now this does set up more of an opinion piece than other articles, the way the journalist snarks on her comments (i.e. when this is said: Later on, she does say, "Look at those beautiful faces, how can't you keep going? They're awesome."
So I guess it isn't all torture.
) make me distrust the way the article was brought to light.

I can see why you would think I was leaning too far the other way, but with the articles I posted I really do feel that the journalists did readers a disservice by lacing quotes from Jon and Kate in with their own opinion without saying it was not a fact.

themrs said...

i see what you mean. i guess what i've always wondered is if these writers got such a bad taste in their mouths from the beginning, we don't really know if they have good reason for it. do they dislike the G's because they used medicaid? because they disagree with their decision not to reduce? or is it because they live in the area and have heard stories from the "helpers"? is it because they met the G's and didn't like them? we'll never know!

MrsRef said...

At your suggestion, I took a good long look at myself and no, I am not a hater. I am not insecure but I do feel that Kate is. I totally believe she must have had a rotten childhood or at least something traumatic in her past that makes her like that. She seems quite nervous, always wringing her hands and pulling on her hair and earrings. There is a prevalant feeling on this blog that if you do not like something J&K do, you must be jealous or a hater. That is what I addressed, I did not think that someone called me a hater personally. Sometimes I enjoy the episode and sometimes not. But unless I watch the episode, I have nothing to base my opinions on. BTW< I just heard that someone in LA just had octuplets, 8 babies at once.

Lizabeth said...

Oh totally, themrs. I was trying to find the other old articles then lost interest :). I dated a guy who was a newspaper journalist and was amazed at what a bad attitude he had towards some of his assignments and the people he met. (This was a few years ago-- this is a guy who is an ex for a really good reason!!) No clear clue why he would have such a negative perspective and then write things in that light, but I'm sure its similar to if you meet someone randomly and just don't jive with them. Some people just cannot separate who they are as a person from what they have to do.

Thanks for being respectful, themrs-- this is just how debates should be, where both sides can express what they think without people getting offended or throwing a fit :). Yay for adults acting like adults!! lol

themrs said...

LOL i was just thinking the same thing... how nice that we can have a friendly debate without resorting to name calling or accusations. the great part about that is many times someone points out a view i had not considered and it changes my mind! must be part of the "lovefest" :)

Lizabeth said...

Haha great minds think alike :). I really think that is why this forum is a place where so many different people find a voice. Disagreeing is great if you can be respectful, and can help both people see a different perspective. I have actually been working on not being as trusting and naive as I naturally am-- not just because of the Gosselin blogging world but because of my current job as well. So I really do appreciate your comments (as well as those of others!) and am going to keep working towards having a more balanced view based in facts.

Saint said...

Mrs. Ref,
I agree that Kate seems insecure, too. I have no idea what the origin is, but I've noticed the hand-wringing and earring-pulling. She also corrects John a lot, which I see as as symptom of teh same thing.

Have you had a chance to read Multiple Blessings? After I read her book, which is the story of the pregnancy and the sextuplets first year, I was impressed with what she was able to accomplish in delivering and raising those kids. She's had lots of help, and her husband is the consummate team player, but I just can't help thinking that Kate had to be 100% in charge that first year, circumstances being as they were. I think she had to overcome or work through those anxieties. She had a lot of reason to worry that year. I was wondering what you thought?

Guinevere said...

This is the only Gosselin website I post at, but sometimes I'm hesitant to say something that would be deemed negative because I don't want to be viewed as a "hater" or picking apart everything they do.

I'm sorry you feel that way - I don't think anyone should. Depending on the opinion, and how it's stated, people may disagree with you, but I would hope that we're all mature enough that we can treat each other with respect.

I don't consider anyone a hater just for criticizing the Gosselins (I criticize them myself from time to time) or even for disliking them (though I may wonder why you watch the show). I think we are pretty clear on who the haters are and the behavior that causes people to be labeled as such.

There is a prevalant feeling on this blog that if you do not like something J&K do, you must be jealous or a hater.

I strongly disagree. As I said above, there are reasons that some people are called haters, and it's not just for disliking J&K or their actions. People have explained why some haters seem jealous; if it looks like a dog and barks like a dog, people are going to call it a dog. Peoples' own comments reveal their jealousy. That does not mean that everyone who dislikes the Gosselins, or even that all people who act like haters are jealous. Some of them are, though. They make it clear through their words and the things they choose to focus on.

MrsRef said...

Saint: I have not read her book because I refuse to purchase it. I did browse thru it while waiting for my daughter at a local bookstore. I don't think she actually wrote the part I read and I think it is total spin. I just cannot excuse her behavior and control issues because she has 8 kids. There are people with worse problems out there who don't act like that. Sorry, I just can't do it. I don't begrudge them the house, etc. but why does she have to constantly complain about the blessings she has received. She already hates the fridge and can't find children on the toilet because it's too big. It just doesn't sit well with me on a day when people are out of work, living on the streets, etc.

Theresa said...

There are people with worse problems out there who don't act like that. Sorry, I just can't do it. I don't begrudge them the house, etc. but why does she have to constantly complain about the blessings she has received. She already hates the fridge and can't find children on the toilet because it's too big. It just doesn't sit well with me on a day when people are out of work, living on the streets, etc.

________________________
I agree that there is a lot of hardship out there and it may not've sat well with you MrsRef to hear Kate complaining. But, this is a reality tv show. They're living in the moment, their moment. That moment was Kate reacting to the messy fridge or whatever in this episode. Perhaps in private, she and her family have prayed for the less fortunate. While I think Kate's focus is her family, and I can't say this for sure because I don't know her, but from what I've read from people who's seen her speak, she acknowledges the fact that she is blessed and realizes others have it far worse and clearly appreciates it and prays for all.

I'm not telling you how to feel, but that's like comparing apples to oranges...people losing jobs to Kate's dirty fridge and big house. One is a major problem of our nation, the other something really insignificant (a reality tv show moment). The house will be an adjustment for them, I'm sure. And, I'm sure we'll see more frustration in future episodes. That doesn't mean she doesn't appreciate what she has just because she's complaining aoout a dirty room or appliance.

marci said...

Theresa,

Well said.

Anya said...

rain88 said...This is the only Gosselin website I post at, but sometimes I'm hesitant to say something that would be deemed negative because I don't want to be viewed as a "hater" or picking apart everything they do.

Rain, I have seen your posts and nothing would make me think that. I guess I kind of knew you may have some concerns about J&K, but you have always expressed them reasonably and respectfully in the posts I have seen.

Quite frankly, we need people like you post more. This is not supposed to be a Gosselin love fest. There are genuine issues that are worthy of debate. The Gosselins have opened themselves up to a degree of scrutiny by laying their lives out for public consumption. Obviously, those of us on the more pro side just disagree about where the "line" is.

Anyway, hope to see MORE posts from you. You will keep us on our toes. :-)