Redesigning Reality

Submitted via email by Eye of Providence.

Back in February 2008, Jon and Kate Gosselin were in big trouble.

People were starting to tune in to watch their TV show not for the cute kids and Kate's supposed supermom status, but more for the snark and the rubbernecking that came with Kate's prima donna attitude towards Jon and life. People had started to read, via online archives, old negative news reports about their life before cameras. People online were starting to dissect whether Kate was a good parent or an abusive baby exploiter. Information was surfacing about why Kate's parents weren't around, and too much fan mail was pouring into Jon and Kate's email box that was pro-Aunt Jodi and not Pro-Kate.

The Gosselins were on the edge.


What Has Become of TLC?

Submitted by email from Beagles 4

I remember growing up in the 60's and 70's when we were told that the programming on television was all acting. Nothing was real and our parents told us so. Television was mainly wholesome entertainment like sitcoms, made for TV movies, cartoons, Sesame Street, and game shows. The evening news was all that was real and we were sheltered from watching this. "Hell" was considered a bad word to hear on TV.

In the early 80's, television consisted of the same type of shows, although, with more selection, and included more educational programming like Nova, nature shows, and documentaries to aid in learning science and history. This was interesting educational programming. Nature programs provided children with a chance to see animals and other things that up untii then had only been found in books. Also more news shows like Dateline, Primetime, and 20/20 were aired for adult viewers. These shows were very interesting and informative.

In the mid 80's and early 90's, daytime talk shows became predominant. Phil Donahue and Oprah Winfrey were tasteful and among the first to do these shows. The competition became rampant, in this time period , with others like Maury Povich, Ricki Lake, and Jerry Springer, to mention a few. These shows had people air their dirty laundry on national television for the world to see. These newer shows became trashy and that drew large audiences. Topics such as paternity tests, family dysfunction, and morally incorrect topics became repetitive, but viewers were attracted to others' lifestyles. The trashier, the better, it seemed.

As the mid 90's rolled around, trashy daytime talk shows seemed to be replaced by reality tv shows, like Survivor, as viewer favourites. These showed that people would do anything, including risking their lives, for the almighty dollar. Viewers became addicted to these shows where people ate insects (among other things), did dangerous stunts, and basically put life and limb on the line for money, as we all watched in anticipation each week to see who would win. Suddenly, there were an abundance of reality shows. Gone were many well written sitcoms and made for TV movies.

TLC/Discovery once offered a type of programming when families could sit together and watch decent shows. It was an escape from the reality programs that were taking over the airways. It consisted of programming that had educational elements, hence the name The Learning Channel.

With so many television stations emerging, leading to more competition to get high ratings, TLC began to follow the reality TV trend that was so popular. This channel no longer focused on learning and began integrating reality shows on obesity, as well as disorders that showed people who were drastically different from the so called norm. This started as educational, but then became a freak show where people were coming forward and revealing their stories for the world to see. It seemed TLC gave more air time to more shows that showed the weirder the condition or the heavier the person TLC gave more air time to these shows. Also included were their weekly programs from makeovers to people having children in abundance.

Here are a few examples of today's TLC mix of reality trash television."What Not To Wear" which uses sarcasm to belittle a person's wardrobe and teaches viewers that a 5 day make-over that includes a two day shopping spree, and learning to dress well will change their life for the better. If this were the case, we wouldn't need therapists."Flip That House" which shows that buying a home and renovating it in a short time can allow you to sell for a high profit. There have been many people influenced by this, because it looked easy on the show, and lost all their money."The Duggar Family" which shows how easy it is to raise an abundance of well behaved, Christian children which has led to every large family in America wanting to tell their story on TV."Jon & Kate Plus 8"—now this one is my primary concern and the reason for GWoP. A struggling, young family who can't conceive children and with medical intervention end up with 2 sets of multiple births. The sextuplet birth is the primary reason for this show. As we have viewed this over the past few years, we've seen how bad reality programming has gotten. Jon & Kate have turned their miracle births into a media circus. This is a program that entails exploitation of children at their most intimate moments. We have witnessed Kate Gosselin turn into a greedy, whiny, self-centered monster. She has become the face of the perfect mother in many eyes. With the show, endorsements, book writing, church speaking, and multiple television and magazine interviews, she and her family have now become well to do. However, many of these have led many people to believe that the family is needy. She acts like she is the only woman who has ever had 8 children.

Kate is self-centered, selfish, belittles her husband, and neglects her children. She does all this to make money. She has become the advisor and role model for the mother of octuplets. She is the woman that many of us love to hate or love to love. Kate Gosselin, the coupon clipping, overwhelmed mother of 8, is now one of the most sought out nobodies in America. This is one woman who has taken the media by storm and TLC is the one network who allowed this to happen. There's no point in going on about her since each of us has his/her own opinion.What has become of TLC which was once loved and watched by families for its educational programming? It has become as trashy as any programming can get. It has taught some that having loads of children will bring them a TV show and lots of money. What will this be teaching our children? This is becoming a network that will have to be blocked for child viewing. TLC makes shows like the Simpsons and Family Guy not look so bad after all. Before TLC changed, these were the shows we didn't want our kids to watch.

What are we learning from TLC now?-It's alright to make people, who are different, into circus freaks-It's alright to show sarcasm and belittle people for their looks and choice of wardrobe

-It's easy to flip a house and turn a large profit
-It's alright to have babies in large quantities, and the more born in a single pregnancy, the better
-It's perfectly acceptable to pimp out your children as a merchandising tool and call that a job
-It's perfectly acceptable to belittle your spouse, neglect your kids, yell and scream, hit, claim poverty while moving up the financial ladder, scam viewers/public to get what you want, rant and rave how hectic life is when living in a country that offers so much, while riding on the gravy train

It's sad to see that the youth of America are learning a whole new meaning to work ethics and child rearing as TLC continues to air these programs. I can't believe moral ethics have been set aside by TLC in order to achieve high ratings and therefore more money. This programming has to stop before society becomes more corrupt. Wake up TLC. As quoted by the famous Kate Gosselin "Helloooo…"