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« Gosselins Included in "Biggest Scandals Ever" Show on E! | Main | Kate Gosselin on The Dr. Drew Show »

Brown University Lecture: Is Kate Gosselin "Mom or Monster"?

A Brown University lecture asks the question about Kate Gosselin, Kris Jenner and other "momagers" of reality TV kids:  Are they nurturing moms or are they exploiting their children for fame and finances?  (Around here we call that a "rhetorical question.")

The lecture will be given at Brown University in Rhode Island on Wed, March 14 from 7 - 9 PM and is free to the public.  That's six hours away from Wernersville by car but my readers and I would love to be a fly on the wall for that one.  If anyone is able to attend it we'd welcome a report on the lecture and the audience's response.

Readers of this blog know this question is anything but new.  This US Magazine asked the question years ago and my book, Jon & Kate Plus Eight:  Reality TV & the Selling of the Gosselins is chock full of examples that support the "momster" verdict.

Kate's few-left ever-dwindling fans continue to defend her despite many documented instances of her choosing filming and money over the health and well-being of her children, but you know things have gotten pretty bad when a highly respected institution offers a lecture which questions your parenting decisions.  

Al Walentis's book explored the the tabloid perspective, my book explored the psychological perspective, and now this lecture explores the sociological perspective of reality TV and the Gosselin family.  IMO only good can come out of the public becoming more educated about the truths of "reality" TV.

Reader Comments (21)

This lecture just adds to my view that she is soooo done. All she has left is her twitter fans.

March 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterterri

I would LOVE to sit in on that seminar to see what they're talking about.
Kate should be so proud, she's standing head & shoulders with her idol, the other Momster, Kris Jenner for all the wrong reasons. hahaha

She is so done that she's burnt black, the Gala & the Twitter War did nothing to put her name back in the better known tabs. Only Radar Online & a subsidiary of National Inquirer mentioned something, still not enough comments. She had over 11,000 people slamming her on the Yahoo board from her Dr. Drew appearance.

As to the 8 or 10 rabid crazy fans still supporting her on Twitter, their lives must really suck to be so deeply involved with trying to keep Kate relevant. They are all failures in their lives and probably closet lesbians, nobody in their right minds can keep defending this sick, self absorbed woman.
BTW her meltdowns on Twitter is becoming more & more frequent.

March 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTwitter User

terri ---- I agree with you about Kate , all she has left is her twitter fans., what a sad sad life she has if that is her whole nite is to twitter away all nite . Its her only control left , except for her running.

On the other "momager" Kris K , I used to like her but after all of this about her and her "brand" and faking the part of the show for Kim about the marriage, doing it after the fact of them being in Dubai. I ve lost all respect for her. At one point on the show she was actually going to change her name back to Kardashian from Jenner (unless that was scripted just for the show) These woman have all but lost it . I can see wanting the best for your family and wanting them to have a good life, but in one show she said " I could set them up for the rest of their lives" it sounded to brash and shameless. I think she has set Kim up to never be able to have anyone in her life and I think she will always be alone ( more or less like Kate) I dont think Kim knows how to share her space with anyone else. In the end for Kim it will always be about her career and "things" shoes , bags. clothes etc. I think she thinks she wants a family and love but in the end I dont think she can. I think she loves her Mom Bruce sisters and brother but I dont think she can share herself with anyone.

March 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie B

Twitter User, by the "closet lesbians" comment do you mean they only like Kate because they LIKE Kate?
"She had over 11,000 people slamming her on the Yahoo board from her Dr. Drew appearance."
That is really incredible. I would be amazed if that cruise sells enough cabins to make having her there worthwhile, or if enough cabins do sell it will only be because of the twins going along IMO.

March 14, 2012 | Registered CommenterWerny Gal

Twitter fan - yes, I agree, she's done and I find myself more and more wondering why I still want to read about her.

I'm not sure that just because someone likes Kate it makes them a loser or a closet lesbian, anymore than the fact that I dislike her makes me an overweight, hairy-because-I-don't-shave, militant, lesbian feminist who owns 50+ cats and wears Birkenstocks, as some of her fans described her detractors years ago.

I would respectfully ask that we avoid using "lesbian" in a derogatory, "name calling" like context. IMO, someone's sexual orientation should only really matters to you if you want to sleep with them. Werny was much subtler and politic then I, so if I offend anyone I apologize for causing you distress if not for my sentimemt.

March 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersilimom

Werny Gal,
"by the "closet lesbians" comment do you mean they only like Kate because they LIKE Kate?"

YES! We know they are older women and the lengths they go to defend this vile, mean, disgusting narcissist is beyond Fan love. Reminds me of Kathy Bates from Misery.

What I don't understand are the constant tweets asking about updates and pictures of the 8 kids from some of the fans. It's like don't you have your own kids to pay attention to? The kids are private citizens now, leave them alone. All very creepy.

March 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTwitter User

I love your Kathy Bates reference, Twitter User. Just the thought of their love for her makes me all oogly.
-Your fellow dirty birdy

March 16, 2012 | Registered CommenterWerny Gal

Hi Sillimom, I'm all for free love between same sexes, so if my post about Lesbian offended you, I apologize. That was to poke fun at a punch of "holier than thou, applies to you but not to me" freaky fans.

I know you post at 15, and I know the admin there will never address how vile & vicious these fans are, I believe Werny Gal has had run ins with them. There is a group of about 10 that are obsessively nasty with their blogging on various "Haters" and digging of personal info. Now that Kate's slipping further into irrelevance, they are desperately trying to drum up any good PR for her by writing to TLC for a follow up show. Tweeting companies about how good a spokesperson Kate can be for their products......ummmmm ummmmm ummmm, those companies are not that stupid.

Whatever the case, I believe her days are numbered & hopefully this saga that first caught my eye during the divorce will end and Kate will be just a bleep in bad American culture.

March 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTwitter User

Oh Lordee Bee, anyone hoping TLC will do a follow-up show? TLC surely knows about kate's krazy fans (she reportedly got Steve the Boobyguard because of one of them) and letters from them aren't going to make a monkey munch's bit of difference. The fact is ratings were down. The public is over kate.

March 17, 2012 | Registered CommenterWerny Gal

I haven't seen anything posted about the lecture. It wouldn't surprise me that they found ways to support the behaviors. It would have been interesting to know, however.

K8's strange. It seems that she doesn't get it through her thick skull that she blew many actual and potential chances to be a spokesperson due to her own toxic personality and insecurities and feelings of superiority. All she can talk about is being a mom, yet her actions and image show anything but that. She wants a talk show, but has nothing to talk about. She is a one-trick pony. I feel sorry for the kids, but all kids have to put up with something. They should be tough if nothing else. To be to this day unable to be able for Kate to go to Target or the grocery or anywhere in town and strike up a conversation with someone is bizarre. Local posters, is this not still true? Everywhere I go I find people to talk to. It's a great pleasure in life.

March 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMickie out West

I really think much of the public IS over Kate . I thnk she did that to herself on the trip to Alaska. Lots of people got to really see how selfish and OCD she really is . ( Im not OCD in a bad light) She truley acted like a "diva" on that trip and I really think that changed alot minds. Her crying and whining was just too much over the top, and to say to her children "youre either a Gosselin or a Palin" was just down right crazy! THEN the trip where Ashley let her have it , people saw her real true colors there. I really really hope she and her family will never be on a tv series again. So I too agree the public is over Kate.

March 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie B

WG Did you get my post from yday ? Just wondering? sometimes I cant read the words right to post for the approval! lol !

March 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie B

My fault sweet Julie B, sometimes it takes me a while to get on here because I'm so busy. Don't fear, I'll get here eventually.

March 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterWerny Gal

HAPPY SPRING small towners!

March 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie B

Oh my. Did any of you see the twitter fracas yesterday between Kate and Em SomebodyOrAnother about a calendar? Unbelievable.

Someone's sitting in the McMansion worrying about all the money she isn't making.

March 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAeduko

No, she's not. She's in NYC to get her hair done and probably go out to dinner while her boys run around in clothing 2 sizes too big for them so she can make their clothes last longer. I am convinced the bitch is spending the kid's money and has "hers" buried somewhere or banked offshore. It was satisfying to see someone call Katie Irene out on her bullshit on twitter and I will be shopping at Em Tanner's website for some of my birthday and Christmas gifts this year.

Meanwhile, the travel agent promoting the Katie Kreider Kruise twittered a prospective cruiser's real name when they decided not to book a very shady, deceptive cruise with regards to surcharges and how much time will be spent with Katie Irene and the poor twins. The prospective cruiser is now being stalked by a rabid sheeple, has talked to the police, and will probably be talking to Cindy Cardella's boss.

A soap opera writer couldn't make this up. Meanwhile, Katie Irene continues blithely on her way, getting her hair (and brain) fried, taking no responsiblity for anything associated with her precious name. This is going to end badly. My hope is that Jon can protect them from the bulk of the crazy woman's nuclear meltdown we can all see coming on the horizon.

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSusantoyota

I also have been skimming the posts on 15 to see if anyone attended the Brown University course and I have not found any confirmation.

I did, however, find the following posted by Anonymous and it just broke my heart to read it, and of course it got buried. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I am now even more concerned for the Gosselin 8 because any one of the 8 kids might one day also post such a message.

The question asked on 15:
How many children here of narcissists were ever put into foster care?

The response:
Me.. I'm not sure I count. My step mom was narcissist. Everything was always about her. She never cared about us. In the beginning she thought we were cute little girls.. That got old quick.. But she would play the good "mom" in public.. Behind doors I was beat. She controlled our food. Hardly fed us. But in public, we were "rock stars" to her. At home , we were trash. The older I got, the ore she hated me. One day everything went really wrong.. I was 10 years old? Did something wrong.. My dad came home.. Next thing I knew I had a belt around my neck.. I remember seeing my stepmom laughing while I was being choked by my dad.. She kicked my dad in the ass, while laughing and said she had enough.. While I can blame my dad for what he did, I can't.. She stood and laughed like I was an attraction at the zoo.. The same night, I was kicked out of my home into our backyard camper.. From there, I ran a way any put MYself into foster care...

Sorry for the long story. But I almost feel better for telling it

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMickey McKean

The course at Brown University does confirm that viewers are getting wiser when it comes to reality TV.

As Julie B has noted above, there are those who believe that Kim attempted to rewrite history after all the backlash from her pulling the plug on her marriage after only 72 days. I happen to be one of them, especially after I saw the evidence on an episode of ACCESS HOLLYWOOD where Kim and her mother were shot outside a sound studio in LA where Kris Jenner's assistant was seen holding the top Kris was wearing in Dubai, and Kim was wearing an outfit that she had worn in Dubai too (it seems Kim is never shown in the same outfit. must be nice eh?). AH also showed its audience how the limo they were in had blacked out windows, and of course the conversation re her marriage was leading towards her calling it quits. How convenient, right? Again reality TV is not real.

Now a few days ago Kim was flour bombed at a red carpet event. My first thought was Kim sure is taking this attack in stride because I know I would not have been so calm. Now it seems that there are those who believe this is all one of Kim's publicity stunts. Apparently Kim was there with her own camera crew, a change of clothes?!!?!!? and even though the attacker was arrested, Kim is not pressing any charges.

I mention this because I also see Kate starting her own twitter wars which are completely pathetic, so of course they are making headlines at ROL. Poor Kate, she just can't accept that her 15 minutes are up.

March 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMickey McKean

Well well well ... it seems that I was not the only one who saw an episode of ACCESS HOLLYWOOD(I think it was AH) where they mention that it is a possibility that the flour bombing of Kim K was a publicity stunt especially since she had a change of clothes with her and she was not pressing charges. BTW I had forgotten to mention that PETA was not claiming any responsibility for the attack.

This morning I find out that not only did Kim contact TMZ the next day telling them that she would not, now she has decided to press charges (which is of course another way to keep one's name in the news, right?).

According to a blurb found on

Kim Kardashian is selfish, will do anything to keep herself in the news and doesn't have a heart ... so says PETA, in reaction to the news KK is planning to press charges against the girl who threw flour on her at an event Thursday night.

In a statement to TMZ, the animal rights group (which claims it had nothing to do with the incident), says, "If she presses charges, at least people will be constantly reminded of her selfish, callous disregard for the cruel deaths that she causes by wearing fur."

They continue, "How much better it would be if she decided to evolve and enhance her image by donating her vulgar furs and exotic-animal skins to the homeless. The activist acted from the heart, something Kim doesn't seem to have."

PETA concludes their statement by saying, "If anything, Kim should get a life, the very thing that she denies animals."

PETA also tells TMZ they'd be willing to help the flour-tosser with her defense costs, if she asked them.

As TMZ first reported, we're told Kim is planning on pressing charges because she doesn't feel the woman should get away with assault.

Folks, I'm not trying to start a debate about wearing furs, just pointing out the some celebrities will do just about anything to stay relevant. IMO Kim and Kate both like the fame and are willing to do whatever to keep their name "alive".

March 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMickey McKean

Speaking of celebrities ... I am definitely following Lindsay Lohan right now. For those of you who don't pay attention to the entertainment news shows, about a week ago Lindsay went to a bar to wish a friend happy birthday. (Personally I thought this was a mistake if for no other reason than she seemed to have turned her life around and would be off probation at the end of this month so why risk being seen INSIDE a bar?)

My understanding is that there were a lot of paparazzi outside of the club which spooked her and as she was trying to leave the parking lot it is alleged that she hit a guy. At the time he said he was not hurt at all, the cops did show up (it is believed that Lindsay herself called them because of the crowd) but the cops felt there was no reason to stay so they left. Then the paparazzi told the guy who the driver is and then all of a sudden the alleged victim had to go to the emergency room claiming he was injured.

The cops have requested both Lindsay and the alleged victim show up for an interview and so far neither has shown up at the police station.

One witness told TMZ that she did not hit anyone, the story was BS, but per TMZ the victim has since retained Mark Geragos (celebrity lawyer, represented Michael Jackson, Winona Ryder and Scott Peterson etc) and has made a demand for $100,000 from Lindsay. Per TMZ Lindsay said no to the demand. TMZ is now reporting that the cops have inspected the porsche and there is no evidence that it has hit anything ... and yet Mark Geragos is claiming there is a video (when Lindsay would not pay it is alleged that they are trying to SELL the video)

So here is a story of the hazards of being a celebrity who has had drug issues and brushes with the law, she has attempted to get her life back into control by staying clean and sober and play by the rules, and yet it appears that she is a victim of legal blackmail. See if there is a video, or if the victim files a report with the police dept, if it appears that there was in fact a hit and run and Lindsay left the scene, next week she could go to jail due to violating her probation.

Ahhhhhhh yes, the life of a celebrity. Don't we all want to live their lives, warts and all?

March 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMickey McKean

MickeyMcKean, I have to say that thougth went through my mind also about Kim, she is a control freak and was so calm about the whole thing! THAT is not the Kim that is shown to us on her shows! NO way! I used to like her when the show first started and it was about the family and their quirky ways, but as the seasons went on and reality tv is NOT reality tv as we now know, I dont care for her or Kris and the whole thing that means "a brand" , Im all for working and making yourself happy in what you do, but to what and whos expense?
Ok Ok hers wont be the first marriage to break up because they really know eachother, but
now that family seems to think they are "entitled" to do whatever. Im over their shows.

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie B

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