Jon And Kate, What About The 8?

Posted in TV Shows on October 1st, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

You may have heard all the brouhaha about the TLC reality show Jon and Kate Plus Eight that’s been in the news lately.  If not, a quick re-cap:  Jon and Kate Gosselin were a young couple who had a set of twins and a set of sextuplets, giving them a grand total of 8 kids before either one of them had even hit the age of 30.  They filmed a show for TLC chronicling their lives with all the little ones, and the special was such a success that they soon found themselves celebrities with their own reality show.  Apparently the sudden mega-stardom caused too much strain on the family, and the marriage did not survive.  Amidst accusations of infidelity and other ugly, yet very public issues, the couple filed for divorce earlier this year.  Scarcely a move has been made by either party since without full coverage from the media.

I watched a few episodes of the show back when the Gosselin’s were one big happy family, mostly because it was interesting to watch such a large family function as well as they did, err, as well as they seemed to function anyway.  But ever since the big family fall-out, things have been getting increasingly worse for the clan.  TLC announced yesterday that Jon would no longer be a major part of the show, and they were re-naming it Kate Plus Eight.  Ouch.  There are millions of people who follow the plight of the Gosselins; there are Kate fans and there are Jon fans, and then there are people who are mainly concerned for the welfare of the 8 kids.  The media has certainly vilified Jon, though it’s difficult to determine how much of it he has done to himself.  No matter how much the accusations about Kate’s controlling and domineering nature tend to be proven true by her behavior, she is always able to appear to be the better person through her public statements.  Maybe she really is the better person of the two, or perhaps she is more intelligent or has a better spokesperson advising her than Jon has.  But whatever the case, one thing is clear – those 8 kids they created together should not have to be caught in the middle of all of this, it’s disgusting.

The reason I decided to join in on the media storm and write about this is because of the latest chapter that broke yesterday – when TLC kicked Jon off the show.  His response?  He legally banned all production crews from the house he still co-owns with Kate, where the children live and the parents take turns visiting.  He has threatened to slap TLC with criminal charges if they come onto his property.  He hasn’t said whether this includes a ban on filming the children, but one can guess, based upon his actions, that it’s no longer ok with Jon that his kids star in a reality show.  It’s completely understandable – many people, including child psychology experts, etc, were constantly saying how unhealthy it was for the 8 kids to be filmed on a daily basis.  But Jon (along with Kate, back when they actually agreed on something) was always a staunch defender of the show and the fact that he and Kate had the kids’ best interests at heart.  But now that Jon got himself kicked off the show, it looks like he’s decided that reality tv is no longer a healthy lifestyle for his children.  And that’s fine and even makes sense, but one does have to question his intentions when his legal action to stop the show comes the very day that news is released that he is no longer a part of the show himself.  As a well-written gossip column stated, “Jon is acting like the kid who didn’t get picked to be on a team for the neighborhood baseball game, so he’s taking his ball and going home.”  Whatever his intentions, I am among the many former fans who just want what is best for the 8 kids while the rest of it goes away.  But before that happens, I am very interested to hear the spin Jon puts on his reasons for his actions – all of them.  He is giving a live interview on Larry King Live tonight on CNN, and I’m almost ashamed to admit that I will be watching (the midnight replay of course – there is no way this would ever take precedent over a new episode of The Office).  Then again, why bother watching the interview when I know the “highlights” will be shoved down our throats for the next few days – or at least until Jon’s careless behavior provides enough fodder to make yet another story…

He Said WHAT?

Posted in Current Events on January 27th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The continuing saga of Illinois’ embattled governor just keeps getting more and more interesting.  As his impeachment trial opened yesterday, Rod Blagojevich took to the tv airwaves to defend (?) himself.  I saw clips of a few of his tv appearances, and that’s why I included the little question mark above.  It didn’t seem to me that he was doing a good job of defending himself.  In fact, the ladies on The View noticed the same thing, with them noting, “Seems like you’re doing yourself more harm than good.”  The View ladies then hilariously chided the governor, asking him to say “I’m not a crook” – Richard Nixon-style.  Blago refused.

And of course by now you’ve heard about the Oprah for Senator announcement he made on Good Morning America – Blago has admitted that he actually considered Oprah Winfrey to fill Obama’s old Senate seat.  I’m not even going to go there – there were too many other gems that came out of Blago’s mouth yesterday.  Among them:

On his Larry King Live appearance, Blagojevich launched into a bizarre analogy involving cowboys and steer to describe his situation…  I’m not going to go into detail; it was quite lengthy, but it’s worth looking up on youtube or somewhere if you’re so inclined.  WHAT was he TALKING about?!?

Back to Oprah for a minute.  According to Blagojevich, Oprah has more influence than all 100 United States senators combined.  She does have lots of dough; as well as an uncanny ability to get women to diet and save money.  But she doesn’t have the power to declare war or pass legislation that changes lives…  so no, Blago, not even close on that one.

Also on Larry King Live, Blago was shown clips of Saturday Night Live where they make fun of him, namely his thick mane of hair.  “He looks like one of those Fisher Price toy people with its hair on backwards!”  Too funny!  But Blago didn’t think so.   “What show was that?”  he asked.  But a few sentences later, he talked about how they can make fun of him during skits or whatever and that he didn’t care.  But if he had never heard of Saturday Night Live as he acted, how would he know it was a show comprised of skits?  He was just trying to insult Saturday Night Live by acting as though he had never heard of it!

And throughout the governor’s press junket yesterday, he kept repeating – “The fix is in” referring to the “fact” that the Illinois House is impeaching him because they’re out to get him – not because he did anything wrong.  I agree with Blago on one aspect – his impeachment in inevitable.  In the mean time, I have to admit how fun it is to watch this guy in action and marvel at the fact that he was ever elected to such a major public office.  I think he might be certifiably nuts!

Psychic or Fraud?

Posted in TV Shows on September 24th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I don’t really believe in psychics.  I believe that some people may have a gift where they are psychologically in tune with others and / or nature; leading them to be able to predict happenings or events with some accuracy.  For instance, I used to be able to tell who was calling when our phone was ringing (in the days before caller ID).  It’s not that people called us at regular times or intervals, but I could just “feel” who was on the other end of the line.  Not that I think I’m psychic or anything; I think I just learned the behavior patterns of the people who called our house.  So I believe that people can have what could be called psychic abilities, especially if they practice and hone their skills, but I don’t believe anyone can see the future or anything like that.  And I don’t believe the self-proclaimed psychic Sylvia Browne possesses any special skills other than the abilities to defraud and manipulate people, if you want to call those things abilities.

While flipping channels and feeding the baby the other day, I came across the Montel Williams show.  Apparently Montel is on his way out after 17 years of being on the air.  During the episode the other day, he got teary-eyed as he bid his weekly guest Sylvia Browne good-bye.  It got me to thinking; does Montel believe that Sylvia is psychic, or did he just like his audience’s reception of her?  After a few internet searches on wikipedia.com and youtube.com, I was armed with evidence that Sylvia Browne is a fraud (not that I really needed any, but I found plenty anyway).  Here is the first example where Sylvia tries to tell a greiving woman that her missing boyfriend is in water.  The woman is confused because her boyfriend was a fireman killed in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and no trace of him was ever found.  Watch as Sylvia tries to cover her tracks, backed up by Montel, I might add, with some lame excuse about how the boyfriend might have drowned when they were extinguishing the fire at the World Trade Center.  What?!?  That doesn’t even make sense!

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 Not only that, but she was on Larry King Live a mere 8 days before the September 11 attacks and didn’t say a word about the impending doom.  After the attacks, she claimed that she had dreams full of fire in the weeks before the attacks – yet she failed to mention such premonitions on her September 3, 2001 appearance on Larry King!

One more example is the case of Shawn Hornbeck, a preteen who went missing in 2002.  Sylvia Browne told Shawn’s devastated parents that he was abducted by a dark man with dreadlocks and murdered, and she also provided details about where they could find his body.  Four and a half years after his abduction, Shawn was found with Michael Devlin, a white man who had abducted Shawn – a far cry from the so-called “dark man with dreadlocks” who “murdered” him.  In this case, it’s a very good thing she was wrong – those parents got their son back alive, but one can only imagine the pain they felt when this so-called psychic told them that their son was dead.

There are plenty more examples of this woman’s fraudulent behavior – I’m just not going to waste my time writing them nor your time reading them.  If you want to see more, go to youtube.com and do a search for “Sylvia Browne”.  For fun, you can add words like, “wrong”, “fraud”, or “lie” to your search and see what you come up with.  There is also an interesting site called stopsylviabrowne.com that’s maintained by one of her biggest opponents.  He talks about his experience encountering Sylvia, how she hired a private detective to research him, and his experience at one of her live shows.

Well, enough of that, like I said, I consider the woman a fraud, therefore she’s not worth any more of our time to go through the hundreds of instances that prove she is full of BS.  I don’t know how she can live with herself when she toys with the emotions of the grief-stricken.  I suppose she could tell herself that she is helping to give them closure, but if that’s the case, I would say to her, “Stop fooling yourself lady, you’re causing more harm than good!”