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Thursday
Dec152011

Should Jon Gosselin Be On This List? Still? In 2011?

by guest writer Mickey McKean and Polly Kahl
  
This week the Biography Channel did an episode on America's 10 Most Hated People which was a classic example of how the media can skew "news" to boost ratings.  Per Bio, for over a decade, E-People have been tracking the likeability of celebrities and news makers to calculate their e-score.  A person's e-score is their total appeal on a scale of 1 to 100.  Per Bio the most liked person this year is actor Morgan Freeman.  Sandra Bullock, Michael J. Fox and Betty White are close behind.
 
In order to make the total dislike chart you have to be a newsmaker, celebrity and/or and tabloid staple.  It appears that Bio did not limit it to just the people in the news in 2011:  In fact based upon the list, it's unclear why some of the people are still on the list since they are no longer talked about.  Also, some of these people have completely changed their ways from the time they were so "notorious". 
 
The people who made Bio's most hated list:  (10) Howard Stern, (9) Heidi Fleiss, (8) Paris Hilton, (7) Jesse James, (6) Levi Johnston, (5) Jon Gosselin, (4) OJ Simpson, (3) Nadya Shulman, (2) Spencer Pratt, and (1) Casey Anthony.
 
Here is a transcript of the episode discussion regarding Jon Gosselin.  Clips of four female hosts, two male hosts, one pap and Jon G were shown during this segment.  What they don't tell you is that Jon behaved this way for some months during the height of his marital and television show problems, and that he only behaved this way in 2009. 
 
Coming in at number 5 is a former IT analyst who went through a mid life crisis in front of America, was accused of adultery and who had over 10.5 million viewers who watched his marriage disintegrate on national television:  Jon Gosselin
 
It is hard to remember that golden age many years ago when Jon and Kate Plus 8 was this charming family friendly show ...  this was a sweet little show.
 
In 2007 America fell in love with the Gosselin family on TLC's J&K+8. 
 
Everyone really rallied around Jon Gosselin because they felt sorry for him, they felt Kate was a bully, that she was just overbearing and really just wanted to be famous and that he was the one who was taking care of the kids and there for them.
 
Jon Gosselin messed up because he was the one that we all really liked on J&K+8, in this couple he should win.
 
But in 2009 Jon was in all of the tabloids for spending a lot of time with women who were not necessarily his wife, and even on Kate's birthday he was photographed spending time with another woman.
 
Jon G:  "I just felt like I had to take back some time of my life and I did it.  I felt really good.  I was beaten down for so long that I couldn't even make my own decisions, and when I did I was like holy cow ya know, what is she going to do, divorce me?  Obviously."
 
In June that same year Jon and Kate announced their separation on the show to a record 10.6 million viewers.
 
Almost immediately Jon Gosselin starts dating the 22 year old daughter of his wife's plastic surgeon.  [To stress the point a flow chart was presented:]  "So once again it is that story, boy meets girl - girl has 8 babies - boy leaves girl for girl's plastic surgeon daughter."
 
It wasn't just Jon and Kate's marriage that fell apart; Jon's wholesome image shattered almost overnight. 
 
He had a bachelor lifestyle, young girlfriends, constantly fighting with them publicly, having these all out wars on Twitter, on Facebook, it just seemed inappropriate for someone who had so many kids.
 
Jon went from loving father and henpecked husband to the guy who bought a $45,000 car and hosted parties in Vegas, all while Kate stayed home with the kids.
 
Jon G was having a mid life crisis ... the cubic zirconia earrings and the Ed Hardy clothing, I mean, it was like the douche bag olympics.  Jon's exploits were all over the tabloids by his design.
 
Nelson Blanco, Paparazzi:  "Jon would call us and we would come over and photograph him.  He was looking for that publicity at the time."
 
Can I just remind him that he was famous for having a lot of KIDS.  Not for curing anything ... not for creating a great work of art ... but that is when "celebrity" starts getting into people's heads ... you think you are famous for something else, but actually you are famous for your family.  You are famous for taking care of your children, so when you destroy that you become a philandering jerko ... you have dug a hole in your own boat that you are in ... and now you are sinking ... you are no longer likeable.
 
TLC was not happy with the patriarch of their family friendly series reveling in his new found bachelor lifestyle so TLC renamed the show Kate Plus 8 and kicked Jon to the curb.  After Jon was let go he decided to publicly talk about that he didn't think the show was not good for his children.
 
We are talking about a couple where both parties presumably agreed to get their kids in front of the camera, only once Jon gets fired from the show is he suddenly really concerned about the impact it is going to have on them.  (note IMO the gal here spoke in a mocking tone)
 
The whole thing just seems really hypocritical and America does not like a hypocrit.
 
Jon G:  "Yeah OK, I make mistakes.  But we all learn from our mistakes, it is just that mine are public."
 
The real news about Jon Gosselin?  There isn't any.  He's been living a quiet family life out of the spotlight, formed a loving and mutually supportive relationship with his lovely girlfriend, and been a good father to his children.  He's fought to get his children out of the public eye so that they can have normal childhoods for the childhood time they have left.  He's resisted rising to the bait of the vast majority of the veiled and not-so-veiled insults that his ex-wife has peppered her tweets and interviews with.  He's also shown that he values his privacy and personal dignity more than money, which is unfortunately more than we can say for some people.  
 *     *     *
Thanks to Mickey McKean for this entry.  Thanks also to Concerned For the Kids for your guest entry, which will be posted soon.
Polly
Wednesday
Dec072011

Show Business' Dirty Little Secret

Guest entry by Mickey McKean
 
Finally!!!!  On the December 6th episode of THE INSIDER they did a three minute segment on the recent arrests of Weiss, Murphy and Blankenship:
 
Kevin Frazier, host of THE INSIDER: "The Penn State sex abuse scandal, while troubling, may also have been a watershed moment because it is now given many victims the courage to step forward.  The latest right here in Hollywood.  Let's go in depth on show business' dirty little secret."
 
Alison Triessel, Criminal Defense Attorney:  "People who are interested in young children, young adults, tend to gravitate toward entertainment talent agencies."
 
Kevin Frazier:  "Last week Hollywood rocked with the news that Martin Weiss, a trusted veteran manager of child actors who recently placed clients in big budget features JACK AND JILL and THE MUPPETS,  arrested and charged with eight counts of felony child molestation.  Weiss has pled not guilty, and last month news broke that convicted child molester and registered sex offender Jason James Murphy was working as a casting assistant on such kid friendly films as SUPER 8."
 
The film's director and co-producer, J.J. Abrams, stunned, telling the L.A. Times: "To think that someone like this was among us is unthinkable."
 
Alison Triessel:  "There may very well be other victims."
 
Corey Feldman, kid actor who starred in commercials since the age of 3 told ABC's Nightline:  "I can tell you that the number one problem in Hollywood was and is and always will be pedophilia."
 
Nightline:  "Nobody talks about pedophilia".
 
Feldman:  "It is the big secret.
 
Nightline:  "Is it widespread?"
 
Feldman:  "Oh yeah.  I was surrounded by them when I was 14 years old.  Surrounded.  Literally.  I didn't even know it.  Oh my God they were everywhere like vultures."
 
Kevin Frazier:  "Feldman believes that sexual abuse ultimately led to the death of his best friend Corey Haim.  The two shared their dark past on A&E's THE TWO COREYS."
 
Haim:  "You let me get raped so to speak when I was about 14 1/2 ... and I'm saying this right now ... what did you do man when you saw this going down?  You knew about it."
 
Feldman:  "Do you want to talk about the truth?  OK, well let's talk about the truth ... I was being molested at the same time by somebody else.  What did you do?"
 
Kevin Frazier:  "When Todd Bridges was on the Wendy Williams show, the smiling star of DIFFERENT STROKES claimed he was molested when he was 12 years old."
 
Todd Bridges:  "I was sexually molested by my publicist."
 
Kevin Frazier:  "Bridges on LARRY KING LIVE saying he never got justice."
 
A clip of Todd Bridges on LARRY KING LIVE was shown where Todd said, "I finally came out and told my mother what happened, my father, my father took his side."
 
Kevin:  "But with so many kids working in a business surrounded by grownups, what can Hollywood do to protect its most vulnerable?"
 
Alison Triessel:  "It should be absolutely mandatory that there are background checks, that there is fingerprinting, if you see something you have to act, you have to say something, you cannot cover these things up."
 
Kevin Frazier:  "I have an even better tip to for keeping your child safe:  Keep them out of show business!  Back in October an editor on JON AND KATE PLUS 8 was charged with ten counts of possessing child pornography.  Now thankfully at no time did the editor go out into the field or was in contact with the Gosselin children."
 
End of segment.
 
Note:  It is my understanding that Jon Gosselin has said on Twitter (?) that he did indeed meet Blankenship several times but that Kate said on Twitter she did not.  It is a possibility that when Kevin Frazier and/or his team was working on this story that they only checked with Kate Gosselin for comment.
 
Saturday
Dec032011

Another Child Abuse Arrest in the World of Entertainment

Another adult who was in a position of power and control over children in the entertainment industry has been arrested for abusing a child.   Los Angeles children's talent agent Martin Weiss, 47, is charged with three counts of sodomy of a person under 16; two counts each of lewd act upon a child and continuous sexual abuse; and one count of forcible lewd act upon a child. 

About a week ago an 18-year-old man who was a prior client of Weiss', came forward with allegations that Weiss had repeatedly molested him over a three-year period between 2005 and 2008.  The victim had kept the molestation a secret until now because he feared the disclosure would damage his reputation in the industry and traumatize his family.  He finally came forward out of concern Weiss may be victimizing others.   Weiss told the victim that what they were doing was common practice in the entertainment industry, said police.

Weiss, who faces 34 years in prison if convicted, has worked with several child actors, according to Jezebel, on shows like "iCarly" and "Parenthood" and recent movies like "The Muppets Movie."  He was arrested after his victim secretly taped a conversation in which he confronted Wesiss about abusing him when he was younger.  Weiss's defense?  According to a search warrant affidavit filed Wednesday, Weiss claimed the boy invited the sex and “claimed the Penn State situation was different because ‘those kids didn’t want it.’

The victim would have been ages 12 to 15 at the times of the assaults, and he was obviously repeatedly alone with the molester.  Where were his parents, guardians, or other adults responsible for his safety and well-being during the multiple times he was left alone with Weiss in Weiss' home?  Why would the boy's parents leave him alone at repeated meetings with his agent in the complicated and often unsavory business of entertainment, a business that is often difficult for even the most intelligent and savvy of adults to navigate? 

Earlier this week 28 child actors were listed on the abuser's web site (currently removed from the Internet) and he's had many other underage clients in the past.  How many children have been victimized by Weiss because their parents or other protective adults had stars in their eyes, blinding them to the dangers to children in the entertainment industry? 

Tuesday
Nov292011

Is Kate Gosselin the New Human Barbie?

 

 

 

With tabloid speculation that Kate Gosselin has had a facelift, there once again are a slew of tabloid articles and blog discussions about Kate Gosselin’s changing appearance.

It wasn't that long ago that Kate looked like an average Berks Countian.  She wasn't beautiful, nor was there anything offensive about her appearance.

When Kate was a child it would have been difficult for anyone to anticipate what she'd look like today, except perhaps in her own childhood dreams.  Perhaps she imagined, as many girls have over the past six decades, that when she grew up she would be as "perfect" as our fictional cultural ideal, Barbie.

 

It appears that Kate has given into the pressure many female entertainers feel to keep up with Hollywood standards. Perhaps she has relished the attention becoming “prettier” has garnered her, perhaps being “beautiful” feeds into her sense of entitlement about deserving all the best life has to offer simply because she is who she is, or perhaps it’s a combination of all of the above.  In any case, throughout all the speculation about boob jobs, weight loss, tummy tucks, botched botox, chin implants and facelifts, Kate has looked less and less like her natural self.

In relation to her parenting, Kate has looked progressively less like her children.  What is it like for ethnic-appearing children to witness their Caucasian mother gradually reject what little ethnicity she had?  And how will Kate's role-modeling impact her daughters?  The twins are now eleven, an age when many girls develop an interest in appearing older.  How will Kate allow her daughters to dress and make themselves up as they enter adolescence?  Will Kate be surprised  ~ or dismayed ~ or proud ~ if they want to start looking like her?

This isn’t the 1950s anymore.  Today we know that beauty comes in all colors, shapes and sizes, and the ways adult role models ~ particularly parents ~ teach their children to feel about their bodies can make a world of difference in children’s developing the confidence and self-esteem that will help carry them through their adulthoods.   Attentive parents teach their daughters ~ and show them by example ~ to love themselves for who and what they are, including their appearances. 

True beauty lies in individuality and feeling good about yourself, not succumbing to stereotypes.  Yet as time has gone on Kate has progressively morphed into the Barbie stereotype we try to teach our daughters to not feel pressured into having to look like.

When asked about her appearing as though she's recently had a facelift, Kate stated she felt "complimented" by hearing she looked so "young and rested."   But the fact remains that despite her attempt to spin the speculation into positive press and her chirpy "chin up, tally ho, never give up" attitude, unless Marabel Morgan is your hero, that's not necessarily a compliment.

~       ~     ~

This is an edited version of an article first published as Is Kate Gosselin the New Human Barbie? on Technorati.

Thursday
Nov242011

Happy Thanksgiving To You

Good morning, or should I say Good Afternoon to all.  I woke up fifteen minutes ago, at 12:15 PM.  It's highly unusual of me to sleep in this late, in fact I don't know if I've ever done it before, but late last night I started watching Gone With The Wind on AMC and the rest is history.  What a great film, and what a long film too, especially with commercials inserted.  So the first thing I was thankful for today was my hubby letting me sleep in.  Now it's time for me to tackle that big turkey breast and all the fixins for our big meal this evening.

Happy Thanksgiving to all creatures, great and small.  May everyone be warm, clothed and fed adequately today.  A special Happy Thanksgiving goes to my wonderful friends such as Mickey, Irene, Pamela, Susan, and so many others I've met and become close with on this blog.  I wish the Gosselin children and Ellen and Jon a day filled with peace and love and I wish Kate a day filled with gratitude for her many blessings.  (Gratitude deserves its own special appreciation too.)  I am grateful that Kate has a job related to couponing which does not require the children working.  Having looked at the other blogs to see what they were doing for Thanksgiving posts, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Ziggyflo included Jon and Ellen in her holiday wishes this year, and so I would also like wish a Happy Thanksgiving to Ziggyflo.  Although we don't agree on much, Ziggy, I would like to express my condolences for your neighbor's loss and tell you how much I admire you for taking such good care of your son.  I don't know much about your situation other than the little bits and pieces I've picked up over the years, but it's obvious you love your son to pieces as well as appreciating your blessings, and kudos to you for that. 

Every Thanksgiving, we go around our holiday feast table and each tell what we are thankful for (a tradition I wouldn't mind repeating every day at dinner time, if only my guys would put up with it.)  There are so many things to be thankful for today and my greatest Thanksgiving wish is that everyone appreciates them all.

Okay turkey breast, look out, here I come.

 

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