Jon & Kate Plus 8: Entertaining or exploitative?

Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse  June 19, 2009 10:44 AM

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The problem I have with reality shows is that they're rarely realistic. But when the shows involve kids, I really have a problem: At what point does the show cross the line between entertainment and exploitation?

The hub of family-focused reality TV is the cable channel TLC, formerly known as The Learning Channel. Some of their most popular shows offer a peek into the lives of large families like the Duggars (18 Kids and Counting), the Hayes (Table for 12), and, of course, the Gosselins of Jon & Kate Plus 8.

Jon and Kate have been in the media cross-hairs lately, as the more sordid aspects of their private lives became public. Once "news" of their respective affairs hit the tabloids, it seemed like every formerly off-camera moment in their lives became up for public debate. For example: Kate was recently photographed spanking one of her daughters, and thus yet another controversy was ignited.

But is trying to be a supermom in front of the camera while having a ton of help (and personal problems) off-stage really "reality"? And is watching the Gosselin family "fall apart before our eyes" offering us an important glimpse into another way of life, or is it just voyeurism? (For the record: Jon Gosselin tells People Magazine that he thinks his show doesn't exploit his children.)

Brian of Looky, Daddy! writes: "There is a fine line between chronicling the daily harm that comes both to and from children and exploiting it. Sometimes I wonder on which side of that line I am."

I'm not on reality TV, but I blog about parenting. I blog about juggling full-time work and parenthood. I blog about career and finance issues. And, in doing so, I write about my kids -- to an extent. I don't publish easy-to-identify photos. I might use something they did to illustrate a point, but they're never the point of the post themselves.

Do you blog (or, for that matter, post videos of your kids online)? Which side of the line do you think you're on -- and have you ever crossed it?

Lylah M. Alphonse is a Globe staff member and mom and stepmom to five kids. She writes about juggling career and parenthood at The 36-Hour Day and blogs at Write. Edit. Repeat. E-mail her at lalphonse@globe.com.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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81 comments so far...
  1. These reality shows are definately exploitation if a person is using the dictionary to define what exploitation is. All of them.
    None of these shows are reallity. To have a television crew in the bathroom while children are being potty trained--please, the authorities should have shut it down then. To have a film crew notified when your son is going to 'pop the question', give us a break. This is not anyone's idea of reality. This is a television set and staged for television.
    If these shows had started right now where they are, they never would have gotten past the first or second episodes--people would have been outraged. But because 'reality' shows have been around for a while, we have become desensitized to what we are truly watching. Shame on us. Shut all these shows off now.

    Posted by smallotwnmama June 19, 09 04:22 PM
  1. I personally think that everyone should just boycot this show. It's not REAL reality anyways, as evidenced by how contrived and staged the teaser commercials are, not to mention the actual show itself. At a time when there are so many better/more important things in the world to worry about, how can anyone spend time watching this tripe.

    For crying out loud - why not spend the hour you plan on WASTING watching this garbage doing something meaningful, like volunteering at a homeless shelter.

    Posted by Rose June 19, 09 04:28 PM
  1. I think this could be groundbreaking territory for reality shows. The JON & KATE PLUS 8 concept can morph into WHEN A MARRIAGE FALLS APART...then, after that, they can follow the lives of both Jon and Kate as separate reality shows...meanwhile, they can highlight a nanny during this mess, then do a whole show about her (or him), as well. Then, maybe isolate one of the kids, and follow THEIR lives from grade school to high school to college...and beyond.

    The potential exploitation possibilities are endless!

    Posted by mattal1958 June 19, 09 05:23 PM
  1. The problem with "reality" tv is that its hard to believe what is real and what is fake. Taking Jon and Kate Plus 8 as an example. I enjoyed the show from the very beginning, as last year approached things seemed to get more and more unrealistic. Saying they are a struggling family yet they seem to go to all these allustrious places, which would cost a fortune...in reality. As this year came around, the show just went to a really weird and awkward place. Reality tv isnt having Emeril pop up at your house or the orange county choppers pop up at your house....that doesnt happen in reality. At least not in my world.
    Yet I still tune in. I dont make it a point to watch it, but i do dvr it and watch it later...im not "excited" about it anymore as i was in the beginning. I loved watching the little kids, but disliked Kate's attitude towards her husband. But no ones perfect, so I was able to look past that.
    The tabloids took a wholesome show and made it into a 3 ringed circus. What once was wholsesome and semi-realistic isnt anymore. It makes you feel "weird" to watch it after you had this image of who you "thought" they were and then they turn up on Us Weekly ( even though i know better enough that tabloids are garbage to begin with ).
    I dont know....but i bet you i'll still watch it.

    Posted by J June 19, 09 05:24 PM
  1. Both.

    Posted by mmennonno June 19, 09 05:30 PM
  1. Jon & Kate should be ashamed to be continuing this show. If their marriage is really falling apart - they need to get off the air get help & reconnect with each other. If their marriage ISN'T falling apart and they are just doing this as a publicity stunt - that is equally disturbing. I cannot bear to watch this show anymore.

    Posted by sosad June 19, 09 05:43 PM
  1. Realty shows are STUPID! I'm glad I don't watch them, but I am so tired of hearing about the stupid show John & Kate plus 8. Who the hell gives a care about these baby breeders. Greedy baby breeders. The world has gone nuts, but America is really insulting the intelligence of viewers by continuing with stupid programming. Then every night, all you have are murder police/detective shows. No wonder there is so much violence. Why not start having some EDUCATIONAL programming on the big 3 channels. Not everyone can afford cable.

    Posted by Bostonforever June 19, 09 06:15 PM
  1. Okay. That's it. On YouTube, I watched psycho-bitch Kate Gosselin deny her daughter water, then indulge in a big gulp herself. On principle alone, I will never watch the show again. Further, I have strong doubts about the wisdom of a network that advances a situation that is rapidly surpassing child exploitation and storming toward child abuse. Just what exactly is the audience "learning" -- how to make a buck while treating your children with contempt? I am a deeply sickened ex-viewer, who grieves for the children.

    Posted by Susan June 19, 09 06:38 PM
  1. Having all those kids in such a short span is stress to any marraige - add a "reality show" to the mix and you have potential disaster. And this marraige was not rock solid before either of these events, would be my guess.

    She is loving her 15 minutes of fame - he seems to loathe it and if they have anything left in common, it's that they both love the money.

    I cannot believe that you are being truly, 100% yourself when a camera is following you around: then, there's the "special guests", the nice trips, all the product placements - the entire family dynamic has to be impacted by all this. What reality?

    The parents signed up for this. They are working with TLC, and publicists to get themselves into People Magazine and on the national talk shows, for visibility and to promote the books and show. I think they are awesomely naive and believe they will live to regret it all.

    The kids? they did not sign up for this. I'm sure that a few years from now, they will love seeing footage, pictures, print of themselves on potties, of their parents misbehaviors, etc etc. Hope there is money set aside for therapy sessions.

    Remember the Loud Family on PBS - the first reality show, The American Family - 1970s. This was an amazingly popular show in its time, about an imperfect family that winds up crumbling on national television. And how about those Dionne quints? History does have a tendency to repeat itself. I guess Jon and Kate never got this memo.

    Posted by Ava June 19, 09 06:53 PM
  1. Uhm, Lyla, you **did** exploit your kids when you used them as a PR tool on TV, in your efforts not to take a pay cut. Remember that, Lylah? You wanted pity, and played your kids in public for it.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, Deborah. I haven't seen the broadcast, so I don't know how it was edited. But what I told the reporter was that I was happy to take a pay cut, and in fact voted to take a pay cut -- just not a 23% one. And I mentioned how a pay cut does make it difficult to pay tuition and mortgage and bills, and that it's important for the New York Times and the union to find common ground that would allow the Times the savings it needs while still treating the people who produce the paper fairly. Not sure how that's exploitative -- I'd have those same issues, minus tuition expenses, even if I didn't have kids. But I do appreciate your input. -- LMA

    Posted by reindeergirl June 19, 09 07:04 PM
  1. I am a big fan of the show and sometimes i think that YES it would be very hard raise 8 kids, but at the same time putting them on television is not the greatest way to deal with their solutions. These kids are just darling and i personally would be devistated if they grew up all snobby and acting like most famous people do. Like i said i am a HUGE fan of the show, but i would be happier for the family if the cameras just evacuated that house.
    The reason the marraige is splitting apart is because of the television. It would be hard to talk about your marrraige and try to work things out with cameras everywhere. I do believe that john is having an affair with that one girl. I mean come on they had sex in her bed and her brother heard it. NOT GOOD. I dont believe that kate is having an affair with the body guard though!!! BUT, why should kate get the kids???? She hits them and is MEAN! John should get the kids while KATE COOLS DOWN!


    Posted by MADDIEknowsBEST June 19, 09 07:15 PM
  1. Everyone seriously needs to boycott this show, and let the ratings dwindle for TLC. This is not the original Jon and Kate Plus 8 show, it is a soap opera, centered on these two selfish and immature parents. TLC should be ashamed of themselves for supporting them, and giving in to Kate's every whim for the last five years. The kids are also more bratty, probably because they are having everything handed to them on a silver platter - this is far from reality!!!!!

    Posted by Mary Evans June 19, 09 07:18 PM
  1. I have watched the show for years and at first they showed reality in their everyday lives. Then they started going places and saying they were "just trying to show the children these places exist" now it's camera publicity of the rich and famous. I now wish they'd quit the show and live thier issues out in private. About the hitting, it's a form of punishment and not considered abuse. I am questioning many of the actions of Jon and Kate as well. Jon has also done things wrong and from interviews I believe he needs a break and a chat with Kate. Thanks.

    Posted by Rachel June 19, 09 08:10 PM
  1. These parents are ridiculous--Jon has lost it--He looks like an idiot with 2
    earring studs- He has 8 kids!! His condo in Trump Plaza is not child friendly so he needs to think with his head for a change--Not his kids fault he has lost it-- Not a fan of Kates but she at least works hard and makes money--
    I am sure she is regretting being so bossy but, you know, if he were this much of an idiot in marriage--he deserved it!!

    Posted by Josie Jones June 19, 09 08:14 PM
  1. I can't believe what people will do for their 15 minutes. Wrose, I can't believe people even bother to watch such tripe. I guess I shouldn't be surprised now that Octomom has been given her own show. Aren't people able to get any pleasure from a good book but have to watch garbage on TV?

    Posted by XENOPHONIC June 19, 09 09:04 PM
  1. Jon for the next Bachelor. Kate for the next Bachelorette.

    Posted by Bill Gobbins June 19, 09 09:12 PM
  1. I agree that this show is exploiting eight beautiful children. My kids are banned from viewing it. It is bizarre and unrealistic. What started as a cute day-by-day show has turned into a nasty show with money motives.

    My husband and I are raising a large family and pulling it off as do countless large families in America. Our kids are by no means perfect, yet their privacy is protected. The same cannot be said for these children. How sad for them.

    Posted by Kay June 19, 09 09:17 PM
  1. While Jon & Kate are making some "life changing decisions," what can you do to help them? Check out: JonandKatePrayers.com

    Posted by Rick Garner June 19, 09 09:21 PM
  1. this show was good in the beginning because it documented "life with 8 kids", but now i think it's way beyond that. Now, it should be called "All about Kate", she loves the attention!!

    Posted by Julie June 19, 09 09:28 PM
  1. When the McCaughey septuplets were born, the Dionne quintuplets (who were exploited by the Canadian government back in the '30's) wrote them an open letter begging them not to use their children to make money, not to turn them into a freak show. The Dionne sisters' lives were ruined by greedy, selfish adults. And that was before TV. Now the ruining of 8 children's lives by greedy, selfish adults can happen much faster, in front of a much larger audience. I guess that is progress.

    I am very, very grateful I do not have cable. Reading about these people in the newspaper constantly is bad enough.

    Posted by BMS June 19, 09 10:51 PM
  1. Yes, everyone should boycott this show and all the other dumb reality shows. Come on, America, is this what you want your children to see?
    This people should ride off into the sunset and take their obnoxious faces and children off the airways. Kate is wound up so tight, she looks ready to crack. The husband who is younger than she was obviously not ready to take on 6 more kids. Why people get involved in these fertility treatments is beyond me. If you want mulitple births buy a dog or cat and breed them.
    You all drain the rest of us taxpapers with your broods of children.

    Posted by Metrowest June 19, 09 11:02 PM
  1. When your kids are what pay your bills, it's exploitation. Jon and Kate keep the show going because it's how they make money.

    I do post pictures of my daughter online and bog. But I've never made a penny off of it.

    Posted by C June 19, 09 11:49 PM
  1. Like all "reality" TV shows, I'm fairly certain that this one is planned, scripted and edited to the point where little reality actually remains. I have watched the show in the past and got a kick out of the kids, but now it's just a gong show. This whole situation with Jon and Kate seems very contrived to me - and the plan seems to be working, since this has become big news all over the media. We'll see with Monday's show when the big announcement is made - if this is a real family in turmoil, I'd expect the cameras to stop rolling and the show to end in order to try and heal...should be interesting indeed.

    Posted by Cindy June 20, 09 12:10 AM
  1. Jon and Kate I hate! I'm sorry to say but I no longer like this show. It's for all the obvious reasons of course but my main gripe is that I feel like they've violated my trust. In the beginning, I enjoyed how they worked together as a family and put their kids best interest at heart, but now it's just about Kate's new bikini, Jon's new bike and the many C-celebrities that need their extra 15 minutes to promote their shows. It disgusts me. I will not watch another episode of Jon and Kate. Okay, I lied. I'll probably watch next Monday's episode because I'm a bit curious about their "announcement." However, after that is done, I will wipe my hands clean and wash the bitter taste of Jon and Kate out of my mouth. Jon and Kate is a living testimony of the adage, "the love of money is the root of all evil." My advice to them is to take what you have and flee as far from the "evil" I mean the media as possible.

    Posted by Monica June 20, 09 01:27 AM
  1. I agree with most of the above comments. I have watched the show from its beginning and very much admired both jon and kate. i have no problem with why they chose to do the show and make money from it.

    However, i do have a huge aversion to what this show has become. the gosselins have already earned enough money to buy a lovely home, to send all their children to private schools, many other lessons/sports camps, and tuition for them all to attend any college and post graduate program they choose. how much is enough?

    Posted by auntq June 20, 09 02:29 AM
  1. Producers and channels will keep putting these exercises in voyeurism on TV as long as people keep watching - and there's nothing people like to watch more than a train-wreck, which is the Gosselin family. Personally, I find all the shows about people with irresponsibly large families obscene. The production companies are bankrolling these families' obsessive breeding habits, and it has to stop.

    Posted by Jay June 20, 09 07:01 AM
  1. Mommy just bought a new Land Rover. Daddy is apartment shopping in NYC. I wonder, how much money has been put aside for the children in trust funds that the greedy parents can't get their hands on?

    Exploitation? You betcha.

    Shame on TLC and shame on those who think that these poor kids emotional harm being shown world wide is entertainment.

    Posted by Kris June 20, 09 08:10 AM
  1. Why is Kate using S&M foreplay on her children? Spanking belongs in the bedrooms of *consenting* *adults*, and these kids sure aren't adults yet!

    Posted by Leslie June 20, 09 08:39 AM
  1. Time to pack it in. Be careful what you ask for. You got it and it's not good for any of you. You WERE a lovely family. May God bless you.

    Posted by Pat Baker June 20, 09 08:52 AM
  1. would love the BIG announcement to be:
    "WE'RE QUITTING THE SHOW TODAY, AND FOCUSING ON OUR MARRIAGE AND BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN" - that's what needs to happen here. Maybe check back with their audience in about 5 years and give us an update ;)

    Posted by Cheryl June 20, 09 09:28 AM
  1. You know, I totally understand why people feel like enough is enough with the show, and I'm starting to agree. But I think what's so hard about this, is that they are real people and they did love each other once. What's been so hard for me to watch is how stubborn and angry they both are - when they really did love each other once. Whether on the air or off, they're going to have to deal with this and the years of repercussions their actions are going to bring. I wrote an article about it - I have a lot to say...check it out: http://www.betterwaymoms.com/articles/59-jon-kate

    Posted by Sarah June 20, 09 09:40 AM
  1. These shows are pretty bad. The only 'reality' shows that should be produced are ones involving celebrities competing against each other. These people are used to being under public scrutiny and usually their winnings in these competitions go to charity. Any other kind of 'reality' show is just a quick and easy way for producers and networks to make great amounts of revenues for very little expenses.

    Posted by realitykilledthevideostar June 20, 09 09:52 AM
  1. These shows are pretty bad, but re they really any worse than the rest of the garbage on television?
    Do yourselves and your kids a favor, sell the TV and get some good books instead.

    Posted by Brendan June 20, 09 11:52 AM
  1. Remember the film The Truman Show?

    What an awful train wreck that we cannot pull away from watching here.

    Posted by jenny June 20, 09 12:03 PM
  1. Hopefully their announcement will be that the show will not go on and that they will be working on their family. The show does not show Kate in a good light, bossy, controlling, and now turning to greed, they need to go back to when things were basic, get rid of the cameras, go back to real work. We watched the show because of the cute kids, not the BS drama. This has turned into a very sad situation, and if they split, there will be 8 messed up kids, no child wants to see their parents break up, this is one of the most horrible things they could ever go through.

    Posted by YOUNGEST OF 8 June 20, 09 12:09 PM
  1. One of the Boston.com tv editors once wrote that TLC stands for "Torturing Little Children". True that.

    Posted by lilmonkeybean June 20, 09 12:16 PM
  1. If the ratings are good then the show is worth making. I've seen the show a few times and it is pretty good. It's because of the different personalities on the show and they're not afraid to show it on TV. I wouldn't miss the show if it was off the air but I'll watch it once in a while. If the TV stations are making money from the show then let them keep making the show. It's still a democracy as far as I know.

    Posted by d_st June 20, 09 12:21 PM

  1. All these so called reality shows are ridiculous. Why are these people considered celebrities, they have no talents or skills. Stop watching them. They are as far from reality as you can be and expose our children to horrible values and beliefs. Parent your children don't expose them to this crap.

    Posted by mars June 20, 09 12:30 PM
  1. Jon and Kate are just bringing up their children, I don't think anyone expects them to be the Brady Bunch. It is difficult to manage 3 children, when you have six 5 year olds and 8 year old twins, then criticize. I'm sure Jon and Kate have many days that are a struggle, most parents do. If Jon and Kate don't see eye to eye sometimes or just need a little space of their own, who is anyone to butt in.

    Posted by Gail June 20, 09 02:46 PM
  1. This is TOTALLY Exploitative. Should be called "Pimp my Kids". I don't watch b/c I get mad.

    Posted by Mom in Lancaster June 20, 09 02:56 PM
  1. I have seen the show one time. It was one time too many. Reality TV in general is boring and of NO interest to me at all. This show in particular is horrid. No one should watch. The kids are exploited. The mom is a money hungry witch. It is a sad testimony to life in the USA today that this show has been on for so long. Please cancel it. I hope Jon divorces her and gets the kids. I can only hope they some money has been set aside for them. if not, both parents should be held criminally liable.

    Posted by Georgiapeach234 June 20, 09 03:01 PM
  1. Kate is an awful woman. she pushed her weak husband into a life he did not want and is exploiting her children. She needs a few year behind the bars (along with some select TLC execs). Jon and the kids need to be emancipated from her evil domineering ways.

    Posted by libraryman2 June 20, 09 03:45 PM
  1. Yes, this is nothing but TRASH. I do not watch it, and only wrote because of all the damn hype on tv and even in the local news. Spare us of the crap of these people. Noone wants to see Angela and Brad breeding or adopting more children for their very fragile egos, or Octomom, and least of all vicious Kate and her whimp of a husband. Good grief, let's get rid of these ridiculous reality programs. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    Posted by Readabookinstead June 20, 09 04:18 PM
  1. New news about Jon and Kate. The unhappy couple are off to build motorcyles at Orange County Choppers while the kids are trotted of to the Roloff farm to grow pumpkins.. Then after a short vacation they are all brought together on Judge Judy and have the verdict delivered to them.
    What bullshit, what nonsence, what trash. When will the insanity end?

    Posted by Garmelk June 20, 09 04:37 PM
  1. Can somebody tell me who are Jon and Kate? Why are they celebrities? Are they celebrities? I have heard a lot about them lately but I still don't know who they are................

    Posted by Bill CashDollar June 20, 09 05:49 PM
  1. Garmelk posted, "When will the insanity end?" I say, who cares about these people and their ridiculous situation. I am reminded of a long-ago showm I believe the characters' last name was Loud, during which that family fell apart and divorced. It's hard enough to bring up a family without cameras around, let alone with. I think these shows are more exploitative than entertaining. Certainly, I am not entertained, and anyone to whom I have opined that I am sick of this couple agrees with me.

    Posted by Linda June 20, 09 05:54 PM
  1. Neither one of them have jobs, yet they live in a giant house and live a lavish lifestyle. That says it all about how much "reality" there is in this show. Jon doesn't have a job, yet he his looking at apartments in Trump Tower? What would their lives be like if they had to work and earn a living to support their family instead of having EVERYTHING handed to them. Memo to Kate, your not a rich housewife, you just play on on TV.

    Posted by Mike Martin June 20, 09 06:28 PM
  1. This show is DONE. TLC should be ashamed of what is going on. These two have not done anything but take handouts and become totally different people. Greedy and ignorant. Kate should look in the mirror and see what she has become.....absolute Bitch. I hope they lose everything and start all over.....What comes around goes around....Karma baby!

    Posted by Mike June 20, 09 08:04 PM
  1. Remember everytime you watch this show it is more money into Jon and Kates pocket. Big house, new cars, motorcycles, fancy trips...hmm 8 kids, wonder if any has bet set aside for college???

    Posted by NHMOm June 20, 09 08:23 PM
  1. TO JON AND KATE:

    PLEASE WORK IT OUT FOR THE KIDS. DON'T BE SO SELFISH. PUT THEM BEFORE YOU. SACRIFICE YOUR WANTS (SEX & MONEY) UNTIL THEY ARE GROWN AND THEN YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU NEED TO DO TO MAKE "YOU" HAPPY BUT FOR NOW, YOU BROUGHT 8 KIDS INTO THIS WORLD WHO NEED A MOM AND A DAD AT HOME RAISING THEM AND NOT OUT DOPING IT UP AND SPENDING MONEY. GET OVER YOURSELVES!

    Posted by mom June 20, 09 09:18 PM
  1. I have been a fan for years.... Now it mades me Sad. When i heard
    they were having problems, i decided not to watch the 1st show of the season. I will watch on monday to hear their big news. When i look at Jon i see a very guilty person especially in his eyes.

    Posted by gwynn June 21, 09 12:09 AM
  1. Jon and Kate Plus Eight has been an enjoyment for me. Just to watch these children grow up with two loving parents. Jon & Kate should turn to the Lord instead of allowing the enemy to destroy their family. If there was nothing special in their marriage then I doubt the Lord would have blessed them with these children. They need to remember the Lord doesn't give you more than you can bare. I will miss seeing them but they also have to remember that the love of money is the root of all evil. I will have them in my prayers and I will be praying that they reopen their hearts to the Lord because even though we abandon him he doesn't abandon us. God Bless the Gosselins

    Posted by Nadia Mora June 21, 09 01:12 AM
  1. TV seduced fools....

    Posted by CK June 21, 09 09:18 AM
  1. Mom, are you serious? With all the hype and publicity, how do you ever think those kids would have a normal life. I haven't watched the show, but saw tiny clips on other shows. Kate has been rude and nasty. Her daggers pointing at John. No wonder he cheated on her. This marriage is cooked.
    The mere fact that they were so stupid to go through fertility when they ALREADY had two children is selfish, mindless, and a drain on society.
    People should think long and hard before they bred like cats and dogs.
    You sound like a kind person, but these two have many emotional problems, so kids may be better off with them divorced.

    Posted by Stopthenonsense June 21, 09 11:29 AM
  1. N, please! This has become a big disgrace for TLC, a little for Jon, and a lot for Kate.
    It is hard to fully blame "regular" people becoming corrupt by the way money, houses, and trips have been showered on them, the way TLC has done to them. I think most of us would change from that.

    Posted by Jenn June 21, 09 11:57 AM
  1. While I clicked passed this show for years, I knew its premise until the recent onslaught in the print/electronic media concerning the parental melt down.

    I agree with the overwhelming consus among the commentors before that there is nothing 'real' about reality shows, except for those about 'celebrities' who live for such illusion.

    Now that I know a little about the program, I don't understand how the initial premise of the show wasn't a violation of the 'Coogan Law" (named after early film child star Jackie Coogan) to prevent parents from exploiting their children for $$$. This whole show from the get-go was about exploiting having multiple children, when it appeared neither parent worked.

    Posted by Christopher T. Wood June 21, 09 12:16 PM
  1. You guys are nuts. I'm loving every minute of the show and it is now immensely more entertaining than it was. I'm looking forward to watching the whole divorce play out on tv.

    Posted by Duffau June 21, 09 02:55 PM
  1. I was really shocked when i actually saw Jon pinch Cara on one show..I was shocked...he also has yelled at the kids..its not all Kate..both of them are stressed out..i feel that they need to let the cameras go ... knowing they get all the free stuff makes me mad as i have watched it from the beginning and they both get on the kids..but the remarks Kate makes to Jon on every interview really makes me mad..she cuts him down on everything..I dont think this marriage is going to last..I love the show, but cut out the interviews in person and voice over it instead.. Kate does make Jon look stupid..JON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i hated that she did that in front of all to see and hear....divororce is on the way..poor kids..i will still watch tho..i want to see how it all ends..

    Posted by tammy June 21, 09 05:59 PM
  1. Jon & Kate started out as a nice family show. It showed how hard it was to have multiples and to cope with the situations which arise.

    Unfortunately, Kate has always seemed to be a SuperBitch! She never allowed her husband to "Man-up" to situations and seemed to consistently put him down! My God, a man needs to be a man!

    Yes Kate, we all know how hard you work and bless you for giving birth to those beautiful babies! But even as a woman, I can only say that if I were John and you treated me that way, I would be looking for love elsewhere!

    Posted by Barb June 21, 09 11:31 PM
  1. I don't have cable, but i saw "Jon and Kate Plus 8" once, while staying in a hotel. I was horrified. Imagine if your parents shared those embarrassing home movies with everyone in the country. My husband, one of 9 kids, doesn't see the point.

    Between this, shows about people who weigh over 900 pounds, and the midget show, TLC should rename itself "The Freakshow Channel."

    Posted by Liz June 22, 09 02:00 AM
  1. Kate needs to decide right now if becoming a celebrity is more important than being a full-time mom and wife. Jon obviously wants out of the show and he's smart for doing so. The kids are what's important here.

    Posted by LittleTimmy31 June 22, 09 07:00 AM
  1. Jon and Kate are bad enough, but for true divas in training, nothing's worse than that superficial b*itch Kimora Lee and her spoiled daughters on Life in the Fab Lane.

    Posted by sparky June 22, 09 10:08 AM
  1. The kid's reality now is not what their reality would have been haad they had 'regular' parents. So what is true reality? Theirs now? Or what it 'would' have been?
    The reality is twhat it is. Now they have to learn to 'cope' instead of just 'grow' into adults.
    As others posted, I hope $ has been put aside for education and counseling. They'll need it when the spotlight does finally stop shining.

    Posted by peanut June 22, 09 11:04 AM
  1. I never even watched the show.

    Posted by Membersonly June 22, 09 11:13 AM
  1. Jon Kate
    Life is short and if Jon did cheat then he will pay with the hurt he caused his family. Kate has shown to be very ruff in the way she talks to Jon that is wrong. Kate should try to have Jon live down stairs by himself and try to work it out for all the kids they have together!!

    Posted by Michelle June 22, 09 12:15 PM
  1. Is anyone really watching this show right now because of the kids??????

    Posted by Melissa June 22, 09 12:55 PM
  1. I think it time to cut the show. I did like watching the show when the children were little but now they're 5. Kate treats her husband like a child, then she sits there and says I don't know the answer to what went wrong. Kate has always put her husband down and I can't believe that TLC has put up with it as long as they did. I wish Dr. Phil could have her on his show and see what she says about her husband then.

    Posted by misty June 23, 09 09:54 AM
  1. I used to really look fwd to this show but now I'm DONE with it! Watching it now makes me feel sick. If Jon and Kate cared about their family as much as they say they do, they would take this show off the air and at least attempt to work things out. It's all about the money.

    Posted by Jake June 23, 09 09:59 AM
  1. I used to Love to watch this show but soon it turned from humble parents to greedy parents , lets be real; they started getting to fame struck .I feel for the kids they are so innocent.
    Kate was very controlling..Remember the show when she was in Toys are us.He should have walked out then , she was very disrespectful to him.
    Another thing on the show when they first started the house had all kinds of scriptures and showed when they were in Church..
    I don't see any of that now...We should all pray that they can work this out

    Posted by Rochelle June 23, 09 10:12 AM
  1. How about taking a permanent hiatus from this show as TLC announced it was taking a temporary one. If TLC is having trouble getting enough footage to put together a show, what makes you think that when they do get enough, it is going to be anything worth watching. Come on TLC, enough already. Save some face, show some dignity and give these kids a chance for some privacy. Their parents certainly don't care. Now Jon needs enough to pay for his million dollar apartment in Trump Plaza and Kate needs enough money to keep her pathetic lifestyle still going. I for one, will never watch it and if you read the blogs, this show will be down the tubes in a matter of weeks

    Posted by Charl June 23, 09 11:00 AM
  1. I watch the show a few times because I was curious but from the beginning Kate was very domineering, demanding, rude, and nasty to Jon. She always talked about wanting great memories for the kids but I never saw any great memories being made. She was always fussing and fuming about anything and everything. The best example was when they were at Disney; the kids were eating their ice cream and it was melting all over. Kate grabbed the ice cream away from the kids because she couldn't stand them making a mess. Take a few lessons from the Duggar Family!

    Posted by Carol June 23, 09 01:21 PM
  1. I wouldn't watch TLC now if you paid me..
    They're totally responsible for exploiting those children,
    and now the kids come from a 'broken' home..
    what will happen? TLC will now air episodes from 'kate's time with the kids' and 'jon's time with them'.. good lord..
    boycott the entire network; they deserve to be penalized and shut down for paying people who have litters of children big bucks for NOTHING!

    Posted by cameron June 23, 09 02:24 PM
  1. This type of reality TV can do without. I can not stomach Kate's issues with OCD, vanity, fame and greed. I feel sorry for those eight children. I think both Jon and Kate should be ashamed of themselves for dragging those kids into this media circus of total dysfunction. This type of media exploitation and manipulation, I can do without. I will BOYCOTT this show. I don't care how "juicy" it gets, I will always believe that it is somewhat staged for ratings and to feed the Gosselin ego and of course the motivation I believe behind all of this for all concerned, GREED!..I am tired of hearing about Jon and Kate. Is anyone concerned about the "Eight"?

    Posted by Rhonda June 23, 09 06:39 PM
  1. Everyone.....write TLC and just say if they dont take kate off then we will boycott all TLC shows

    Posted by dale dixon June 23, 09 11:31 PM
  1. My concerns are for their children. They talk about putting their children first, yet have failed to protect them. We know what state they live in, what their house looks like, the scenery of their town, not to mention the childrens names. I can’t help but worry for their safety and it brings me back to Dylan and Shasta whom were taken by a sex predator after he watched them for 3 days. They have exposed their special gifts from God, for money, which is hard to stomach as a mother. The soul of a child is the lovliest flower that grows in the garden of God.
    I wonder how Eileen O’Neill, the president of TLC , can look at herself in the mirror knowing what their net work is doing.

    Posted by Ruthie June 24, 09 01:28 AM
  1. I never cared for the show or for the parents. Something seemed wrong almost from the start. My first clue came when Kate and Jon began cutting away family and friends. Their house moves were not just UP but also OUT. And they never worked. Their living came from their children who were cute but clearly learning many of the wrong lessons. Shame on TLC for allowing all of this to happen while the marriage was falling to pieces. The network had to have known. It was even clear on camera. Kate's domination of Jon and Jon's air of defeat were tell-tales. I feel badly for the kids, but not for two big brats who had the title of "mom and dad" but did not earn it.

    Posted by Trekker 88 June 24, 09 02:04 AM
  1. I watched the show once, but never again due to the way she treated her husband. I see no reason for those children to be on TV at this time. The couple is saying that they need to keep doing the show for income (it's their job). I'm baffled! Can't one or both of them go out and get a real job? There have been and will be many families that raise 8 children. It depends on the lifestyle that you are expecting. These are things that people need to think about before having several embryos implanted in them. More is not always better in materialistic items or how many babies we can pop out at once.

    Posted by scarlet02081 June 25, 09 03:03 AM
  1. My family are huge fans of John and Kate plus 8! John and Kate are wonderfull parents and have deaply inspired me in doing the best to raise my own family. Our hearts go out to them in this horribale time from them, family and friends. I beg the public to give the Gosselins respect and privacy while they deal with this very private matter. The children are at the heart of this matter our thoughts and prayers go out to the whole Gosselin family.

    Posted by Kimberly Pinkham June 25, 09 07:51 PM
  1. I love the show and I do hope that Kate will keep the show going by herself. After reading the new article on Jon and his love life the REAL Jon has emerged. This show is reality and so many other women and their children are going thru the pain and suffering of their partner leaving for a younger woman. Kate is beautiful, talented and totally devoted to her children. She will be an inspiration to women everywhere.

    Posted by Terri July 15, 09 06:11 AM
  1. Shame on all the adults in these children's lives who have not stepped forward with lawsuits or whatever was needed for all these years to put a stop to the exploitation of each and every one.
    No parent needs this amount of money to raise eight, eighteen or twenty children and if they want to have this amount of money and this lifestyle--then earn it without your children being exploited.
    Quit watching the entire network and let them feel the backlash of continuing to exploit children on all of the 'reality' shows.

    Posted by smalltownmama July 15, 09 10:16 AM
  1. I'm tired if people having baby's for there gain. This show is a joke! It make it seem like the more kids you have you will be on tv and get anything you want paid for by tv. The parents are not thinking of the kid even thought they say they are.I will not watch these show. I'm tired of seeing there faces on news stands.thisis a joke!

    Posted by mother of 2 August 10, 09 12:34 PM
 
81 comments so far...
  1. These reality shows are definately exploitation if a person is using the dictionary to define what exploitation is. All of them.
    None of these shows are reallity. To have a television crew in the bathroom while children are being potty trained--please, the authorities should have shut it down then. To have a film crew notified when your son is going to 'pop the question', give us a break. This is not anyone's idea of reality. This is a television set and staged for television.
    If these shows had started right now where they are, they never would have gotten past the first or second episodes--people would have been outraged. But because 'reality' shows have been around for a while, we have become desensitized to what we are truly watching. Shame on us. Shut all these shows off now.

    Posted by smallotwnmama June 19, 09 04:22 PM
  1. I personally think that everyone should just boycot this show. It's not REAL reality anyways, as evidenced by how contrived and staged the teaser commercials are, not to mention the actual show itself. At a time when there are so many better/more important things in the world to worry about, how can anyone spend time watching this tripe.

    For crying out loud - why not spend the hour you plan on WASTING watching this garbage doing something meaningful, like volunteering at a homeless shelter.

    Posted by Rose June 19, 09 04:28 PM
  1. I think this could be groundbreaking territory for reality shows. The JON & KATE PLUS 8 concept can morph into WHEN A MARRIAGE FALLS APART...then, after that, they can follow the lives of both Jon and Kate as separate reality shows...meanwhile, they can highlight a nanny during this mess, then do a whole show about her (or him), as well. Then, maybe isolate one of the kids, and follow THEIR lives from grade school to high school to college...and beyond.

    The potential exploitation possibilities are endless!

    Posted by mattal1958 June 19, 09 05:23 PM
  1. The problem with "reality" tv is that its hard to believe what is real and what is fake. Taking Jon and Kate Plus 8 as an example. I enjoyed the show from the very beginning, as last year approached things seemed to get more and more unrealistic. Saying they are a struggling family yet they seem to go to all these allustrious places, which would cost a fortune...in reality. As this year came around, the show just went to a really weird and awkward place. Reality tv isnt having Emeril pop up at your house or the orange county choppers pop up at your house....that doesnt happen in reality. At least not in my world.
    Yet I still tune in. I dont make it a point to watch it, but i do dvr it and watch it later...im not "excited" about it anymore as i was in the beginning. I loved watching the little kids, but disliked Kate's attitude towards her husband. But no ones perfect, so I was able to look past that.
    The tabloids took a wholesome show and made it into a 3 ringed circus. What once was wholsesome and semi-realistic isnt anymore. It makes you feel "weird" to watch it after you had this image of who you "thought" they were and then they turn up on Us Weekly ( even though i know better enough that tabloids are garbage to begin with ).
    I dont know....but i bet you i'll still watch it.

    Posted by J June 19, 09 05:24 PM
  1. Both.

    Posted by mmennonno June 19, 09 05:30 PM
  1. Jon & Kate should be ashamed to be continuing this show. If their marriage is really falling apart - they need to get off the air get help & reconnect with each other. If their marriage ISN'T falling apart and they are just doing this as a publicity stunt - that is equally disturbing. I cannot bear to watch this show anymore.

    Posted by sosad June 19, 09 05:43 PM
  1. Realty shows are STUPID! I'm glad I don't watch them, but I am so tired of hearing about the stupid show John & Kate plus 8. Who the hell gives a care about these baby breeders. Greedy baby breeders. The world has gone nuts, but America is really insulting the intelligence of viewers by continuing with stupid programming. Then every night, all you have are murder police/detective shows. No wonder there is so much violence. Why not start having some EDUCATIONAL programming on the big 3 channels. Not everyone can afford cable.

    Posted by Bostonforever June 19, 09 06:15 PM
  1. Okay. That's it. On YouTube, I watched psycho-bitch Kate Gosselin deny her daughter water, then indulge in a big gulp herself. On principle alone, I will never watch the show again. Further, I have strong doubts about the wisdom of a network that advances a situation that is rapidly surpassing child exploitation and storming toward child abuse. Just what exactly is the audience "learning" -- how to make a buck while treating your children with contempt? I am a deeply sickened ex-viewer, who grieves for the children.

    Posted by Susan June 19, 09 06:38 PM
  1. Having all those kids in such a short span is stress to any marraige - add a "reality show" to the mix and you have potential disaster. And this marraige was not rock solid before either of these events, would be my guess.

    She is loving her 15 minutes of fame - he seems to loathe it and if they have anything left in common, it's that they both love the money.

    I cannot believe that you are being truly, 100% yourself when a camera is following you around: then, there's the "special guests", the nice trips, all the product placements - the entire family dynamic has to be impacted by all this. What reality?

    The parents signed up for this. They are working with TLC, and publicists to get themselves into People Magazine and on the national talk shows, for visibility and to promote the books and show. I think they are awesomely naive and believe they will live to regret it all.

    The kids? they did not sign up for this. I'm sure that a few years from now, they will love seeing footage, pictures, print of themselves on potties, of their parents misbehaviors, etc etc. Hope there is money set aside for therapy sessions.

    Remember the Loud Family on PBS - the first reality show, The American Family - 1970s. This was an amazingly popular show in its time, about an imperfect family that winds up crumbling on national television. And how about those Dionne quints? History does have a tendency to repeat itself. I guess Jon and Kate never got this memo.

    Posted by Ava June 19, 09 06:53 PM
  1. Uhm, Lyla, you **did** exploit your kids when you used them as a PR tool on TV, in your efforts not to take a pay cut. Remember that, Lylah? You wanted pity, and played your kids in public for it.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, Deborah. I haven't seen the broadcast, so I don't know how it was edited. But what I told the reporter was that I was happy to take a pay cut, and in fact voted to take a pay cut -- just not a 23% one. And I mentioned how a pay cut does make it difficult to pay tuition and mortgage and bills, and that it's important for the New York Times and the union to find common ground that would allow the Times the savings it needs while still treating the people who produce the paper fairly. Not sure how that's exploitative -- I'd have those same issues, minus tuition expenses, even if I didn't have kids. But I do appreciate your input. -- LMA

    Posted by reindeergirl June 19, 09 07:04 PM
  1. I am a big fan of the show and sometimes i think that YES it would be very hard raise 8 kids, but at the same time putting them on television is not the greatest way to deal with their solutions. These kids are just darling and i personally would be devistated if they grew up all snobby and acting like most famous people do. Like i said i am a HUGE fan of the show, but i would be happier for the family if the cameras just evacuated that house.
    The reason the marraige is splitting apart is because of the television. It would be hard to talk about your marrraige and try to work things out with cameras everywhere. I do believe that john is having an affair with that one girl. I mean come on they had sex in her bed and her brother heard it. NOT GOOD. I dont believe that kate is having an affair with the body guard though!!! BUT, why should kate get the kids???? She hits them and is MEAN! John should get the kids while KATE COOLS DOWN!


    Posted by MADDIEknowsBEST June 19, 09 07:15 PM
  1. Everyone seriously needs to boycott this show, and let the ratings dwindle for TLC. This is not the original Jon and Kate Plus 8 show, it is a soap opera, centered on these two selfish and immature parents. TLC should be ashamed of themselves for supporting them, and giving in to Kate's every whim for the last five years. The kids are also more bratty, probably because they are having everything handed to them on a silver platter - this is far from reality!!!!!

    Posted by Mary Evans June 19, 09 07:18 PM
  1. I have watched the show for years and at first they showed reality in their everyday lives. Then they started going places and saying they were "just trying to show the children these places exist" now it's camera publicity of the rich and famous. I now wish they'd quit the show and live thier issues out in private. About the hitting, it's a form of punishment and not considered abuse. I am questioning many of the actions of Jon and Kate as well. Jon has also done things wrong and from interviews I believe he needs a break and a chat with Kate. Thanks.

    Posted by Rachel June 19, 09 08:10 PM
  1. These parents are ridiculous--Jon has lost it--He looks like an idiot with 2
    earring studs- He has 8 kids!! His condo in Trump Plaza is not child friendly so he needs to think with his head for a change--Not his kids fault he has lost it-- Not a fan of Kates but she at least works hard and makes money--
    I am sure she is regretting being so bossy but, you know, if he were this much of an idiot in marriage--he deserved it!!

    Posted by Josie Jones June 19, 09 08:14 PM
  1. I can't believe what people will do for their 15 minutes. Wrose, I can't believe people even bother to watch such tripe. I guess I shouldn't be surprised now that Octomom has been given her own show. Aren't people able to get any pleasure from a good book but have to watch garbage on TV?

    Posted by XENOPHONIC June 19, 09 09:04 PM
  1. Jon for the next Bachelor. Kate for the next Bachelorette.

    Posted by Bill Gobbins June 19, 09 09:12 PM
  1. I agree that this show is exploiting eight beautiful children. My kids are banned from viewing it. It is bizarre and unrealistic. What started as a cute day-by-day show has turned into a nasty show with money motives.

    My husband and I are raising a large family and pulling it off as do countless large families in America. Our kids are by no means perfect, yet their privacy is protected. The same cannot be said for these children. How sad for them.

    Posted by Kay June 19, 09 09:17 PM
  1. While Jon & Kate are making some "life changing decisions," what can you do to help them? Check out: JonandKatePrayers.com

    Posted by Rick Garner June 19, 09 09:21 PM
  1. this show was good in the beginning because it documented "life with 8 kids", but now i think it's way beyond that. Now, it should be called "All about Kate", she loves the attention!!

    Posted by Julie June 19, 09 09:28 PM
  1. When the McCaughey septuplets were born, the Dionne quintuplets (who were exploited by the Canadian government back in the '30's) wrote them an open letter begging them not to use their children to make money, not to turn them into a freak show. The Dionne sisters' lives were ruined by greedy, selfish adults. And that was before TV. Now the ruining of 8 children's lives by greedy, selfish adults can happen much faster, in front of a much larger audience. I guess that is progress.

    I am very, very grateful I do not have cable. Reading about these people in the newspaper constantly is bad enough.

    Posted by BMS June 19, 09 10:51 PM
  1. Yes, everyone should boycott this show and all the other dumb reality shows. Come on, America, is this what you want your children to see?
    This people should ride off into the sunset and take their obnoxious faces and children off the airways. Kate is wound up so tight, she looks ready to crack. The husband who is younger than she was obviously not ready to take on 6 more kids. Why people get involved in these fertility treatments is beyond me. If you want mulitple births buy a dog or cat and breed them.
    You all drain the rest of us taxpapers with your broods of children.

    Posted by Metrowest June 19, 09 11:02 PM
  1. When your kids are what pay your bills, it's exploitation. Jon and Kate keep the show going because it's how they make money.

    I do post pictures of my daughter online and bog. But I've never made a penny off of it.

    Posted by C June 19, 09 11:49 PM
  1. Like all "reality" TV shows, I'm fairly certain that this one is planned, scripted and edited to the point where little reality actually remains. I have watched the show in the past and got a kick out of the kids, but now it's just a gong show. This whole situation with Jon and Kate seems very contrived to me - and the plan seems to be working, since this has become big news all over the media. We'll see with Monday's show when the big announcement is made - if this is a real family in turmoil, I'd expect the cameras to stop rolling and the show to end in order to try and heal...should be interesting indeed.

    Posted by Cindy June 20, 09 12:10 AM
  1. Jon and Kate I hate! I'm sorry to say but I no longer like this show. It's for all the obvious reasons of course but my main gripe is that I feel like they've violated my trust. In the beginning, I enjoyed how they worked together as a family and put their kids best interest at heart, but now it's just about Kate's new bikini, Jon's new bike and the many C-celebrities that need their extra 15 minutes to promote their shows. It disgusts me. I will not watch another episode of Jon and Kate. Okay, I lied. I'll probably watch next Monday's episode because I'm a bit curious about their "announcement." However, after that is done, I will wipe my hands clean and wash the bitter taste of Jon and Kate out of my mouth. Jon and Kate is a living testimony of the adage, "the love of money is the root of all evil." My advice to them is to take what you have and flee as far from the "evil" I mean the media as possible.

    Posted by Monica June 20, 09 01:27 AM
  1. I agree with most of the above comments. I have watched the show from its beginning and very much admired both jon and kate. i have no problem with why they chose to do the show and make money from it.

    However, i do have a huge aversion to what this show has become. the gosselins have already earned enough money to buy a lovely home, to send all their children to private schools, many other lessons/sports camps, and tuition for them all to attend any college and post graduate program they choose. how much is enough?

    Posted by auntq June 20, 09 02:29 AM
  1. Producers and channels will keep putting these exercises in voyeurism on TV as long as people keep watching - and there's nothing people like to watch more than a train-wreck, which is the Gosselin family. Personally, I find all the shows about people with irresponsibly large families obscene. The production companies are bankrolling these families' obsessive breeding habits, and it has to stop.

    Posted by Jay June 20, 09 07:01 AM
  1. Mommy just bought a new Land Rover. Daddy is apartment shopping in NYC. I wonder, how much money has been put aside for the children in trust funds that the greedy parents can't get their hands on?

    Exploitation? You betcha.

    Shame on TLC and shame on those who think that these poor kids emotional harm being shown world wide is entertainment.

    Posted by Kris June 20, 09 08:10 AM
  1. Why is Kate using S&M foreplay on her children? Spanking belongs in the bedrooms of *consenting* *adults*, and these kids sure aren't adults yet!

    Posted by Leslie June 20, 09 08:39 AM
  1. Time to pack it in. Be careful what you ask for. You got it and it's not good for any of you. You WERE a lovely family. May God bless you.

    Posted by Pat Baker June 20, 09 08:52 AM
  1. would love the BIG announcement to be:
    "WE'RE QUITTING THE SHOW TODAY, AND FOCUSING ON OUR MARRIAGE AND BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN" - that's what needs to happen here. Maybe check back with their audience in about 5 years and give us an update ;)

    Posted by Cheryl June 20, 09 09:28 AM
  1. You know, I totally understand why people feel like enough is enough with the show, and I'm starting to agree. But I think what's so hard about this, is that they are real people and they did love each other once. What's been so hard for me to watch is how stubborn and angry they both are - when they really did love each other once. Whether on the air or off, they're going to have to deal with this and the years of repercussions their actions are going to bring. I wrote an article about it - I have a lot to say...check it out: http://www.betterwaymoms.com/articles/59-jon-kate

    Posted by Sarah June 20, 09 09:40 AM
  1. These shows are pretty bad. The only 'reality' shows that should be produced are ones involving celebrities competing against each other. These people are used to being under public scrutiny and usually their winnings in these competitions go to charity. Any other kind of 'reality' show is just a quick and easy way for producers and networks to make great amounts of revenues for very little expenses.

    Posted by realitykilledthevideostar June 20, 09 09:52 AM
  1. These shows are pretty bad, but re they really any worse than the rest of the garbage on television?
    Do yourselves and your kids a favor, sell the TV and get some good books instead.

    Posted by Brendan June 20, 09 11:52 AM
  1. Remember the film The Truman Show?

    What an awful train wreck that we cannot pull away from watching here.

    Posted by jenny June 20, 09 12:03 PM
  1. Hopefully their announcement will be that the show will not go on and that they will be working on their family. The show does not show Kate in a good light, bossy, controlling, and now turning to greed, they need to go back to when things were basic, get rid of the cameras, go back to real work. We watched the show because of the cute kids, not the BS drama. This has turned into a very sad situation, and if they split, there will be 8 messed up kids, no child wants to see their parents break up, this is one of the most horrible things they could ever go through.

    Posted by YOUNGEST OF 8 June 20, 09 12:09 PM
  1. One of the Boston.com tv editors once wrote that TLC stands for "Torturing Little Children". True that.

    Posted by lilmonkeybean June 20, 09 12:16 PM
  1. If the ratings are good then the show is worth making. I've seen the show a few times and it is pretty good. It's because of the different personalities on the show and they're not afraid to show it on TV. I wouldn't miss the show if it was off the air but I'll watch it once in a while. If the TV stations are making money from the show then let them keep making the show. It's still a democracy as far as I know.

    Posted by d_st June 20, 09 12:21 PM

  1. All these so called reality shows are ridiculous. Why are these people considered celebrities, they have no talents or skills. Stop watching them. They are as far from reality as you can be and expose our children to horrible values and beliefs. Parent your children don't expose them to this crap.

    Posted by mars June 20, 09 12:30 PM
  1. Jon and Kate are just bringing up their children, I don't think anyone expects them to be the Brady Bunch. It is difficult to manage 3 children, when you have six 5 year olds and 8 year old twins, then criticize. I'm sure Jon and Kate have many days that are a struggle, most parents do. If Jon and Kate don't see eye to eye sometimes or just need a little space of their own, who is anyone to butt in.

    Posted by Gail June 20, 09 02:46 PM
  1. This is TOTALLY Exploitative. Should be called "Pimp my Kids". I don't watch b/c I get mad.

    Posted by Mom in Lancaster June 20, 09 02:56 PM
  1. I have seen the show one time. It was one time too many. Reality TV in general is boring and of NO interest to me at all. This show in particular is horrid. No one should watch. The kids are exploited. The mom is a money hungry witch. It is a sad testimony to life in the USA today that this show has been on for so long. Please cancel it. I hope Jon divorces her and gets the kids. I can only hope they some money has been set aside for them. if not, both parents should be held criminally liable.

    Posted by Georgiapeach234 June 20, 09 03:01 PM
  1. Kate is an awful woman. she pushed her weak husband into a life he did not want and is exploiting her children. She needs a few year behind the bars (along with some select TLC execs). Jon and the kids need to be emancipated from her evil domineering ways.

    Posted by libraryman2 June 20, 09 03:45 PM
  1. Yes, this is nothing but TRASH. I do not watch it, and only wrote because of all the damn hype on tv and even in the local news. Spare us of the crap of these people. Noone wants to see Angela and Brad breeding or adopting more children for their very fragile egos, or Octomom, and least of all vicious Kate and her whimp of a husband. Good grief, let's get rid of these ridiculous reality programs. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    Posted by Readabookinstead June 20, 09 04:18 PM
  1. New news about Jon and Kate. The unhappy couple are off to build motorcyles at Orange County Choppers while the kids are trotted of to the Roloff farm to grow pumpkins.. Then after a short vacation they are all brought together on Judge Judy and have the verdict delivered to them.
    What bullshit, what nonsence, what trash. When will the insanity end?

    Posted by Garmelk June 20, 09 04:37 PM
  1. Can somebody tell me who are Jon and Kate? Why are they celebrities? Are they celebrities? I have heard a lot about them lately but I still don't know who they are................

    Posted by Bill CashDollar June 20, 09 05:49 PM
  1. Garmelk posted, "When will the insanity end?" I say, who cares about these people and their ridiculous situation. I am reminded of a long-ago showm I believe the characters' last name was Loud, during which that family fell apart and divorced. It's hard enough to bring up a family without cameras around, let alone with. I think these shows are more exploitative than entertaining. Certainly, I am not entertained, and anyone to whom I have opined that I am sick of this couple agrees with me.

    Posted by Linda June 20, 09 05:54 PM
  1. Neither one of them have jobs, yet they live in a giant house and live a lavish lifestyle. That says it all about how much "reality" there is in this show. Jon doesn't have a job, yet he his looking at apartments in Trump Tower? What would their lives be like if they had to work and earn a living to support their family instead of having EVERYTHING handed to them. Memo to Kate, your not a rich housewife, you just play on on TV.

    Posted by Mike Martin June 20, 09 06:28 PM
  1. This show is DONE. TLC should be ashamed of what is going on. These two have not done anything but take handouts and become totally different people. Greedy and ignorant. Kate should look in the mirror and see what she has become.....absolute Bitch. I hope they lose everything and start all over.....What comes around goes around....Karma baby!

    Posted by Mike June 20, 09 08:04 PM
  1. Remember everytime you watch this show it is more money into Jon and Kates pocket. Big house, new cars, motorcycles, fancy trips...hmm 8 kids, wonder if any has bet set aside for college???

    Posted by NHMOm June 20, 09 08:23 PM
  1. TO JON AND KATE:

    PLEASE WORK IT OUT FOR THE KIDS. DON'T BE SO SELFISH. PUT THEM BEFORE YOU. SACRIFICE YOUR WANTS (SEX & MONEY) UNTIL THEY ARE GROWN AND THEN YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU NEED TO DO TO MAKE "YOU" HAPPY BUT FOR NOW, YOU BROUGHT 8 KIDS INTO THIS WORLD WHO NEED A MOM AND A DAD AT HOME RAISING THEM AND NOT OUT DOPING IT UP AND SPENDING MONEY. GET OVER YOURSELVES!

    Posted by mom June 20, 09 09:18 PM
  1. I have been a fan for years.... Now it mades me Sad. When i heard
    they were having problems, i decided not to watch the 1st show of the season. I will watch on monday to hear their big news. When i look at Jon i see a very guilty person especially in his eyes.

    Posted by gwynn June 21, 09 12:09 AM
  1. Jon and Kate Plus Eight has been an enjoyment for me. Just to watch these children grow up with two loving parents. Jon & Kate should turn to the Lord instead of allowing the enemy to destroy their family. If there was nothing special in their marriage then I doubt the Lord would have blessed them with these children. They need to remember the Lord doesn't give you more than you can bare. I will miss seeing them but they also have to remember that the love of money is the root of all evil. I will have them in my prayers and I will be praying that they reopen their hearts to the Lord because even though we abandon him he doesn't abandon us. God Bless the Gosselins

    Posted by Nadia Mora June 21, 09 01:12 AM
  1. TV seduced fools....

    Posted by CK June 21, 09 09:18 AM
  1. Mom, are you serious? With all the hype and publicity, how do you ever think those kids would have a normal life. I haven't watched the show, but saw tiny clips on other shows. Kate has been rude and nasty. Her daggers pointing at John. No wonder he cheated on her. This marriage is cooked.
    The mere fact that they were so stupid to go through fertility when they ALREADY had two children is selfish, mindless, and a drain on society.
    People should think long and hard before they bred like cats and dogs.
    You sound like a kind person, but these two have many emotional problems, so kids may be better off with them divorced.

    Posted by Stopthenonsense June 21, 09 11:29 AM
  1. N, please! This has become a big disgrace for TLC, a little for Jon, and a lot for Kate.
    It is hard to fully blame "regular" people becoming corrupt by the way money, houses, and trips have been showered on them, the way TLC has done to them. I think most of us would change from that.

    Posted by Jenn June 21, 09 11:57 AM
  1. While I clicked passed this show for years, I knew its premise until the recent onslaught in the print/electronic media concerning the parental melt down.

    I agree with the overwhelming consus among the commentors before that there is nothing 'real' about reality shows, except for those about 'celebrities' who live for such illusion.

    Now that I know a little about the program, I don't understand how the initial premise of the show wasn't a violation of the 'Coogan Law" (named after early film child star Jackie Coogan) to prevent parents from exploiting their children for $$$. This whole show from the get-go was about exploiting having multiple children, when it appeared neither parent worked.

    Posted by Christopher T. Wood June 21, 09 12:16 PM
  1. You guys are nuts. I'm loving every minute of the show and it is now immensely more entertaining than it was. I'm looking forward to watching the whole divorce play out on tv.

    Posted by Duffau June 21, 09 02:55 PM
  1. I was really shocked when i actually saw Jon pinch Cara on one show..I was shocked...he also has yelled at the kids..its not all Kate..both of them are stressed out..i feel that they need to let the cameras go ... knowing they get all the free stuff makes me mad as i have watched it from the beginning and they both get on the kids..but the remarks Kate makes to Jon on every interview really makes me mad..she cuts him down on everything..I dont think this marriage is going to last..I love the show, but cut out the interviews in person and voice over it instead.. Kate does make Jon look stupid..JON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i hated that she did that in front of all to see and hear....divororce is on the way..poor kids..i will still watch tho..i want to see how it all ends..

    Posted by tammy June 21, 09 05:59 PM
  1. Jon & Kate started out as a nice family show. It showed how hard it was to have multiples and to cope with the situations which arise.

    Unfortunately, Kate has always seemed to be a SuperBitch! She never allowed her husband to "Man-up" to situations and seemed to consistently put him down! My God, a man needs to be a man!

    Yes Kate, we all know how hard you work and bless you for giving birth to those beautiful babies! But even as a woman, I can only say that if I were John and you treated me that way, I would be looking for love elsewhere!

    Posted by Barb June 21, 09 11:31 PM
  1. I don't have cable, but i saw "Jon and Kate Plus 8" once, while staying in a hotel. I was horrified. Imagine if your parents shared those embarrassing home movies with everyone in the country. My husband, one of 9 kids, doesn't see the point.

    Between this, shows about people who weigh over 900 pounds, and the midget show, TLC should rename itself "The Freakshow Channel."

    Posted by Liz June 22, 09 02:00 AM
  1. Kate needs to decide right now if becoming a celebrity is more important than being a full-time mom and wife. Jon obviously wants out of the show and he's smart for doing so. The kids are what's important here.

    Posted by LittleTimmy31 June 22, 09 07:00 AM
  1. Jon and Kate are bad enough, but for true divas in training, nothing's worse than that superficial b*itch Kimora Lee and her spoiled daughters on Life in the Fab Lane.

    Posted by sparky June 22, 09 10:08 AM
  1. The kid's reality now is not what their reality would have been haad they had 'regular' parents. So what is true reality? Theirs now? Or what it 'would' have been?
    The reality is twhat it is. Now they have to learn to 'cope' instead of just 'grow' into adults.
    As others posted, I hope $ has been put aside for education and counseling. They'll need it when the spotlight does finally stop shining.

    Posted by peanut June 22, 09 11:04 AM
  1. I never even watched the show.

    Posted by Membersonly June 22, 09 11:13 AM
  1. Jon Kate
    Life is short and if Jon did cheat then he will pay with the hurt he caused his family. Kate has shown to be very ruff in the way she talks to Jon that is wrong. Kate should try to have Jon live down stairs by himself and try to work it out for all the kids they have together!!

    Posted by Michelle June 22, 09 12:15 PM
  1. Is anyone really watching this show right now because of the kids??????

    Posted by Melissa June 22, 09 12:55 PM
  1. I think it time to cut the show. I did like watching the show when the children were little but now they're 5. Kate treats her husband like a child, then she sits there and says I don't know the answer to what went wrong. Kate has always put her husband down and I can't believe that TLC has put up with it as long as they did. I wish Dr. Phil could have her on his show and see what she says about her husband then.

    Posted by misty June 23, 09 09:54 AM
  1. I used to really look fwd to this show but now I'm DONE with it! Watching it now makes me feel sick. If Jon and Kate cared about their family as much as they say they do, they would take this show off the air and at least attempt to work things out. It's all about the money.

    Posted by Jake June 23, 09 09:59 AM
  1. I used to Love to watch this show but soon it turned from humble parents to greedy parents , lets be real; they started getting to fame struck .I feel for the kids they are so innocent.
    Kate was very controlling..Remember the show when she was in Toys are us.He should have walked out then , she was very disrespectful to him.
    Another thing on the show when they first started the house had all kinds of scriptures and showed when they were in Church..
    I don't see any of that now...We should all pray that they can work this out

    Posted by Rochelle June 23, 09 10:12 AM
  1. How about taking a permanent hiatus from this show as TLC announced it was taking a temporary one. If TLC is having trouble getting enough footage to put together a show, what makes you think that when they do get enough, it is going to be anything worth watching. Come on TLC, enough already. Save some face, show some dignity and give these kids a chance for some privacy. Their parents certainly don't care. Now Jon needs enough to pay for his million dollar apartment in Trump Plaza and Kate needs enough money to keep her pathetic lifestyle still going. I for one, will never watch it and if you read the blogs, this show will be down the tubes in a matter of weeks

    Posted by Charl June 23, 09 11:00 AM
  1. I watch the show a few times because I was curious but from the beginning Kate was very domineering, demanding, rude, and nasty to Jon. She always talked about wanting great memories for the kids but I never saw any great memories being made. She was always fussing and fuming about anything and everything. The best example was when they were at Disney; the kids were eating their ice cream and it was melting all over. Kate grabbed the ice cream away from the kids because she couldn't stand them making a mess. Take a few lessons from the Duggar Family!

    Posted by Carol June 23, 09 01:21 PM
  1. I wouldn't watch TLC now if you paid me..
    They're totally responsible for exploiting those children,
    and now the kids come from a 'broken' home..
    what will happen? TLC will now air episodes from 'kate's time with the kids' and 'jon's time with them'.. good lord..
    boycott the entire network; they deserve to be penalized and shut down for paying people who have litters of children big bucks for NOTHING!

    Posted by cameron June 23, 09 02:24 PM
  1. This type of reality TV can do without. I can not stomach Kate's issues with OCD, vanity, fame and greed. I feel sorry for those eight children. I think both Jon and Kate should be ashamed of themselves for dragging those kids into this media circus of total dysfunction. This type of media exploitation and manipulation, I can do without. I will BOYCOTT this show. I don't care how "juicy" it gets, I will always believe that it is somewhat staged for ratings and to feed the Gosselin ego and of course the motivation I believe behind all of this for all concerned, GREED!..I am tired of hearing about Jon and Kate. Is anyone concerned about the "Eight"?

    Posted by Rhonda June 23, 09 06:39 PM
  1. Everyone.....write TLC and just say if they dont take kate off then we will boycott all TLC shows

    Posted by dale dixon June 23, 09 11:31 PM
  1. My concerns are for their children. They talk about putting their children first, yet have failed to protect them. We know what state they live in, what their house looks like, the scenery of their town, not to mention the childrens names. I can’t help but worry for their safety and it brings me back to Dylan and Shasta whom were taken by a sex predator after he watched them for 3 days. They have exposed their special gifts from God, for money, which is hard to stomach as a mother. The soul of a child is the lovliest flower that grows in the garden of God.
    I wonder how Eileen O’Neill, the president of TLC , can look at herself in the mirror knowing what their net work is doing.

    Posted by Ruthie June 24, 09 01:28 AM
  1. I never cared for the show or for the parents. Something seemed wrong almost from the start. My first clue came when Kate and Jon began cutting away family and friends. Their house moves were not just UP but also OUT. And they never worked. Their living came from their children who were cute but clearly learning many of the wrong lessons. Shame on TLC for allowing all of this to happen while the marriage was falling to pieces. The network had to have known. It was even clear on camera. Kate's domination of Jon and Jon's air of defeat were tell-tales. I feel badly for the kids, but not for two big brats who had the title of "mom and dad" but did not earn it.

    Posted by Trekker 88 June 24, 09 02:04 AM
  1. I watched the show once, but never again due to the way she treated her husband. I see no reason for those children to be on TV at this time. The couple is saying that they need to keep doing the show for income (it's their job). I'm baffled! Can't one or both of them go out and get a real job? There have been and will be many families that raise 8 children. It depends on the lifestyle that you are expecting. These are things that people need to think about before having several embryos implanted in them. More is not always better in materialistic items or how many babies we can pop out at once.

    Posted by scarlet02081 June 25, 09 03:03 AM
  1. My family are huge fans of John and Kate plus 8! John and Kate are wonderfull parents and have deaply inspired me in doing the best to raise my own family. Our hearts go out to them in this horribale time from them, family and friends. I beg the public to give the Gosselins respect and privacy while they deal with this very private matter. The children are at the heart of this matter our thoughts and prayers go out to the whole Gosselin family.

    Posted by Kimberly Pinkham June 25, 09 07:51 PM
  1. I love the show and I do hope that Kate will keep the show going by herself. After reading the new article on Jon and his love life the REAL Jon has emerged. This show is reality and so many other women and their children are going thru the pain and suffering of their partner leaving for a younger woman. Kate is beautiful, talented and totally devoted to her children. She will be an inspiration to women everywhere.

    Posted by Terri July 15, 09 06:11 AM
  1. Shame on all the adults in these children's lives who have not stepped forward with lawsuits or whatever was needed for all these years to put a stop to the exploitation of each and every one.
    No parent needs this amount of money to raise eight, eighteen or twenty children and if they want to have this amount of money and this lifestyle--then earn it without your children being exploited.
    Quit watching the entire network and let them feel the backlash of continuing to exploit children on all of the 'reality' shows.

    Posted by smalltownmama July 15, 09 10:16 AM
  1. I'm tired if people having baby's for there gain. This show is a joke! It make it seem like the more kids you have you will be on tv and get anything you want paid for by tv. The parents are not thinking of the kid even thought they say they are.I will not watch these show. I'm tired of seeing there faces on news stands.thisis a joke!

    Posted by mother of 2 August 10, 09 12:34 PM
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Barbara F. Meltz is a freelance writer, parenting consultant, and author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World." She won several awards for her weekly "Child Caring" column in the Globe, including the 2008 American Psychological Association Print Excellence award. Barbara is available as a speaker for parent groups.

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