Posts Tagged ‘reality TV’
We’ve never been big fans of the Duggars. I wrote a piece for Babble.com about the “quiverfull” movement awhile back (can’t find the link) in which I basically said that it was a lot of nonsense and they should stop having so many kids, but if they want to have so many kids, don’t use religion as an excuse for it. Also, don’t put the kids on reality TV shows. Now, with the news that Josh Duggar had an Ashley Madison account, I’d like to keep things simple. Josh Duggar, oy vey.
In 2013, conservative reality TV star Josh Duggar—of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting fame—was named the executive director of the Family Research Council, a conservative lobbying group in D.C. which seeks “to champion marriage and family as the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society.” During that time, he also maintained a paid account on Ashley Madison, a web site created for the express purpose of cheating on your spouse.
Source: Family Values Activist Josh Duggar Had a Paid Ashley Madison Account (Gawker)
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This story, if true, illustrates something I’ve said for a long time. Children shouldn’t be on reality television shows.
This Daily Mail article, taken from a report in the New York Daily News, says that Kate Gosselin told her daughters, “You embarrassed mommy,” after they didn’t “defend her” during an interview on NBC’s Today Show.
I know I’ve said it to people I know, and I think I’ve written about it and/or talked about it on podcasts. What have I said? That kids shouldn’t be on reality shows. It’s not fair to them. They aren’t able to make an informed decision about their privacy.
Now, what do I mean by “kids”? I would say “18 and under” but that’s both unrealistic and a little silly. What would be reasonable, though, is 13 years old. That’s the age used by COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
COPPA establishes rules for websites collecting information about children under the age of 13. Seems reasonable, right? Maybe we could apply the same cut-off age to whether or not a kid is allowed to be on a reality TV show.
Now, you might say, “what about child actors?” Well, there are laws about child actors — the hours they are allowed to work, what happens to the money they make so that unscrupulous parents can’t spend it all. Also, those kids are ACTING. They don’t have cameras in their homes recording their real lives.
Yes, I am aware that “reality television” isn’t reality. These shows have writers on staff, and much of what is purportedly real is staged. (I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been said before by hundreds of other people. If this is the first time you’ve heard it, my apologies.) Still, would you like to grow up and discover that you were a reality TV star when you were two years old?
Here’s an idea. As the Marx Brothers said, there is no sanity clause.
But maybe there should be. It doesn’t seem fair that young children should be allowed to have their lives broadcast on television, even with parental consent. Many news outlets fuzz out the faces of kids in photos. Why? Presumably because they respect the idea of a child’s right to privacy. Why not extend this same right to reality TV?
If you want to see some quality parenting, look no further than Spencer Pratt’s dad. The father of the reality show nitwit says that he wishes he had worn a condom.
Well, that’s what Spencer says. Or rather what he tweeted. On Father’s Day.
According to Us Magazine, Pratt’s parents removed all photos of him from their home (via HuffPo). This, of course, may or may not be true.
What is true is that commenters at Huffington Post made the obligatory “we wish your dad had worn a condom too” joke. Which is soooo funny.
One comment was worth quoting:
Anyone consider he was at one point just a moldable blob…and those parents of his failed miserably to make him much more than that?
A good point, that. Sometimes the parents are to blame. Spencer Pratt must have had help becoming so utterly useless.
Spencer Pratt’s Dad ‘Wishes He Had Worn A Condom’ (Us Magazine via HuffPo)
This could be interesting. If it’s true.
So. How much would you pay for a tape of Jon Gosselin and Deanna Hummel making the beast with two backs? (For those of you who didn’t waste their time getting a liberal arts degree, that means having sex.) Read more »