Kate Gosselin: a defense

Kate Gosselin is being slammed in the media these days. I’m not a big TV watcher, but I do watch the odd episode of Jon & Kate plus Eight, mostly because I think those sextuplets are cuter than a baby unicorn being nuzzled by a lamb with a teacup-sized otter on its head.

The blogosphere is lately full of people complaining about Kate, though, and I’m sick of it.


Criticizing Kate Gosselin really means that you have no idea how television works.

Despite the fact that it’s called “reality TV”, it should be noted that when you watch these shows, you’re not really seeing reality at all. Kate Gosselin exists for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and from those 168 hours- that’s over 10, 000 minutes a week- the show’s producers select only about 10 minutes to use as Kate’s screen time per episode. That’s 0.001% of her life that we see on this show. Do you think the producers go gaga for sweet moments where she quietly cuddles her kids or husband?

Or do you think it’s more likely that the producers might go out of their way to include clips where she’s doing something attention-grabbing, like maybe acting annoyed, tired, frustrated, and bossy, or reacting to the chaos of having a film crew and 8 kids in the house working on a tight schedule, or showing some other unpleasant (but human) emotion?

I agree that sometimes she doesn’t come off super-well on the show. But if you don’t think I could film YOU for a week and pick 10 minutes that made you look like a total jerk, well then listen, I have a videocamera. Name your week, sucka. I promise that I can capture that 0.001% of the time that you behave badly and edit you into a TV trainwreck, too.

Why would the producers go out of their way to make Kate look bad? Because making Kate out to be a jerk sells magazines and makes the show a topic of conversation. Because conflict drives stories, and reality TV is a story. Because every story needs a villian and the easy choice is often the meeeean woommaaaaan, in this case, Kate Gosselin. I’m not saying she’s perfect. But you gotta admit, she’s an easy target.

All the bloggers hating on Kate (and there are a lot), you might as well be screaming “She’s just not ladylike! And also I don’t like her haaair!” Oh wait, most of you couldn’t resist putting that in there, too.

Listen, I personally know dozens of people who have appeared on television, several on reality shows and many more in televised interviews. Not one of them seemed at all like their “real” selves in those situations. My real friends don’t cry profusely, burst into song, or wear golden bikinis when they’re just sitting on the porch.

Let’s all try to remember that edited TV is NOT impartial. The producers have a point of view and a financial agenda. Remember that their point of view is deliberately skewing your entire experience of “what really happened”.

What you see of Kate on the show cannot possibly be an accurate picture of what she’s really like- it’s just what the producers want you to THINK she’s like. Don’t confuse the semi-fictional characters you see on reality TV with real people, and for pete’s sake, let’s all find something better to criticize than her damn haircut.




6 Responses to Kate Gosselin: a defense

  1. marcys says:

    Thank you for this. The malicious invective all over the place these days is sickening. Read my post today on the Gosselin situation.

  2. chrissy says:

    you hit it right on the money, stamperoo. when i saw the final edits of the episodes of my show, i found that a lot of the cast were represented in a way that wasn’t accurate at all. i haven’t been watching this jon and kate show, but i know how hard it was for some of my castmates when our audience gave them a hard time and called them bullshit (yarrr) Unroll Parchmentnames. i can only imagine what kate is going through. having an entire viewing public hate you is really hard to go through.

    luckily for me, i didn’t really have any problems with the way i was represented. my producers should be given a medal, cuz they coulda really thrown me to the wolves!! i hope the producer’s of kate’s show don’t hate her, or something.

  3. Perfectly stated. I’ve been saying this same thing for months, but no one is listening. The sheep are seeing and hearing only what they want, truth be darned.

  4. […] “mullet” backwards, and it is also the sound of a rallying cry that is congruent with how I feel about Kate Gosselin. As in, YOU TELLUM, KATE […]

  5. Liz says:

    I agree that reality television is nothing real at all.
    However, I think the same needs to be said for JON Gosselin.
    All that seems to be captured of her are scenes of her hitting him and belittling him. And suddenly HE is considered the ‘douchbag’ when he gets fed up with being made a public mockery on international television and leaves?
    Can you blame him? He probably wanted to reclaim some dignity.

    Although, the divorce/separation thing might all be one gigantic publicity stunt, which wouldn’t shock me either.

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