Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter


Re: Jon and Kate; The Learning Channel Needs to Learn

posted by Douglas Howe

By now you’ve probably heard that TLC’s “Jon and Kate Plus 8” is being turned into “Kate Plus 8,” as Jon is out of not only the marriage but, beginning in November, he’ll be out of the show itself.
Idol Chatter’s Ellen Leventry has followed this story for awhile now and recently posted her latest update.
Further, CNN is among the outlets reporting that Jon may have even wanted to get fired. As for me, I think the Gosselin story is a tragedy that’s being portrayed as reality, when in fact there’s a tragedy much deeper that isn’t being identified in the enough media.
While the producers are talking about the “family” evolving, the truth is that the family is falling apart. Who gets to stand up and say that anymore? In a faith-based culture–or at least in a culture pretending to be one–shouldn’t somebody call for the producers to shut down the show, use some funds for childcare, and free Kate and Jon up to restore their marriage? Now that would be some reality TV worth watching! And it would be inspiring!


And while I’m thinking that way, shouldn’t the network take some responsibility for what they’ve created and not just choose sides by giving Kate her own show? I know, I know, it’s about ratings and money. Well, of all channels, shouldn’t The Learning Channel be the one to break the mold?
You may think I’m old-fashioned, archaic or nerdy, but I think much of America agrees with me. Viewers of the show are disappearing faster than the Gosselins’ sparks for each other, as America is tuning out of the ratings-driven garbage it’s become. Even with the realities of, well, reality-TV, the old show was of a nuclear family trying to hold it together amidst some really big challenges, not the least of which was the numerics of the family. But to see a family breaking apart? Wow! I don’t know anyone who would appreciate that as an “evolution.” It’s more of a mutation. And it’s not inspiring. Not one bit. And the ratings are showing it.
The producers have made their stand. They’re going to try to make this about the single mom who so many in our nation can relate to. So can I. My mom was a single mom. I respect her and love her for what she accomplished for me and for our family. I love and respect all single moms and our practice makes special room for them. But if the producers are going to throw dad under the bus and ask the audience to take sides, well that’s about like any divorce proceeding where the parents each have their views and the kids have to decide. I didn’t like it then and I don’t think our culture will like it now.
The Learning Channel has a chance to be about reconciliation, whether on or off the air. And America will have no problem attaching onto another couple with a lot of kids, if TMC needs to fill the slot. But the powers-that-be need to take a look at why their ratings are plummeting: America’s not interested in what they’re peddling, and casting off Jon won’t save the mistake.
Jon and Kate Plus 8



  • Kathleen

    I agree 100%!! Why isn’t anyone stepping in to give the kids privacy? Aren’t parents supposed to protect?

  • JANIE

    I’VE LOVED THE SHOW FROM THE BEGINNING, BUT NOW IT IS BORING AND FAKE. I THINK MONEY SHOULDN’T BE A FACTOR. THE WHOLE FAMILY NEEDS TO RETHINK THINGS. GET A REALITY CHECK ON WHAT WAS IMPORTANT IN THE BEGINNING OF THE SHOW. LIKE LOVE, FAMILY AND DOING THINGS TOGETHER!!!!

  • Keran

    IF TLC DUMPED THE SHOW… NBC, ABC, CBS, CW, FOX ETC… WOULD BE IN LINE TO OFFER HER MORE $$$ AND A NEW SHOW. IT’S A BEAST THAT WILL NEVER DIE… UNTIL PEOPLE STOP WATCHING … LIKE 1.7 LESS MILLION.

  • Tom

    If the show’s on life support then maybe one of the kids can “come out” or something before too long, even though they are a bit young. But hey, new prescedents need to be set (or is it new lows burrowed)? Might be a slight demographic shift in the audience as well, but the times they are a changin.

  • Joanne M. Servansky

    I appreciate your “old-fashioned” ideal that the family is central to society and needs protection and nurturing. This family’s story is now a train wreck and the cameras keep rolling. I am disappointed that The Learning Channel has not (yet — there is hope) helped the Gosselin children, specifically to advocate for them even if their mother seems intent on hurting them under the guise of providing for their financial futures. How about peace, Kate, in your children’s day to day, here and now? Producers and sponsors, please cancel this show and help society heal. Thank you.
    PS: I never thought these children were particularly sweet-natured or well-mannered, unless that was the “reality” you were going for.

  • Fireball

    Jon IS A LOSER!!!!!! He is Disgusting and I hope he ROTS! Jon and his disgusting girlfriend, his ear piercings, and his Ed Hardy Crap can go to %$^&! WHO is the one that wants the spotlight???

  • Leah

    “The producers have made their stand. They’re going to try to make this about the single mom who so many in our nation can relate to. So can I. My mom was a single mom. I respect her and love her for what she accomplished for me and for our family. I love and respect all single moms and our practice makes special room for them. But if the producers are going to throw dad under the bus and ask the audience to take sides, well that’s about like any divorce proceeding where the parents each have their views and the kids have to decide. I didn’t like it then and I don’t think our culture will like it now.”
    Hmmm I agree with a lot of the things you say, but I am not so sure that TLC “threw Jon under the bus.” He seems to have thrown himself under the bus with his irresponsible and non-family-friendly actions.
    As to whether or not the show is “bad for the kids,” that is a separate issue. Jon only started to argue that the show was bad for the kids once he got kicked off it, and lost his share of the money. Before now, he has always agreed with Kate that the benefits of the doing the show outweighed the drawbacks.
    Whether or not you agree with Kate’s (and formerly Jon’s) point of view is moot, I think. Kate argues that the money from the show gives their family opportunities they never would have had. (They were extremely poor before the show, worried about putting food on the table.) Regardless of whether or not you agree with her, she is their mother and since the children are being taken care of as well as most children (not experiencing physical or emotional abuse, neglect, etc) it is really her decision to decide what is best for her family. Media exposure v. poverty. I might have made the same choice.

  • julie anderson

    i don’t think u should cancel the show because what it’s showing is reality. however i do think it may be affecting the kids and making it harder on them, but problems do happen in families. and if this is a reality show, then it clearly should be reality, and not something where the scene is set for it to be one big happy family. i come from a family of evan and pat plus 8 plus divorce, and none of it was easy at the time. but to see the happiness in both their lives today has made it worth the hard times we went through.we children did live through all the court trials, ect. so give them as much privacy as u can and only film what’s necessary for the show. and if the media would get off them, that is what’s probably causing alot of the problem for the kids. remove especially jon off every news channel and that will take a big load off the kid’s minds, and let them process at their own levels, without any outside ideas put in their heads. us 8 kids have all turned out ok, although we didn’t have a tv show, that doesn’t mean that we didn’t have our problems to live through. if anythng it cud be a teaching lesson to the kids of what they don’t want to do to their own children. , sincerely julie

  • Fedup

    I think the reason the ratings have slipped, and why I don’t enjoy watching the show anymore, is because it’s no longer a show about a “regular” family who has all the same struggles I do, like potty training or doing laundry or grocery shopping, but has two sets of mutliples; as a mother of small children, it was nice to see them dealing with the same things I do, but on an exaggerated scale. The show is now “look at all the cool things we get to get because we’re on this show and made a lot of money”; 99% of American doesn’t get to take a vacation with 8 kids to Hawaii, with a stopover in San Diego; we don’t get flown out to Colorado to ski; if I want to spend time with my sons, I don’t fly them out to a dude ranch; there’s no reality to the show anymore – except for their own warped reality; who gets Emeril to come cook a meal at their house? Why do I care about seeing that – it’s not interesting, it’s not real, it’s totally contrived; divorce or no divorce, the show changed once they decided to make their life the show. I don’t begrudge them the experiences they’re giving their children – I would do the same if I could; I just don’t want to watch it on TV anymore.

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