I am sure I don't need to tell you who these two people are. Unless you have been living under a rock in the past few months, you've seen and heard about John and Kate Gosselin. They have been America's new tabloid darlings, splashed over every magazine and newspaper in the country.
The question is WHY? Herein lies the debate.
John and Kate welcomed sextuplets over 5 years ago and added to their two child family, making them a family of eight. "John and Kate Plus 8" was born and our voyeuristic TV viewing habits were satiated by viewing the daily lives of this family with eight children. As with every great story, there is a protagonist. Kate, is certainly the main character here. Her husband John and the kids; the bit players in this drama/reality TV show.
The transformation of Kate happened right before our eyes, proof that money and power changes people, and not always for the better. There is the money; which is reported that the Gosselin's receive close to $50K to $75K per episode. At 89 episodes to date, estimates say that's somewhere in the ballpark of 6 million. Nice ballpark. Then there's the freebies; plastic surgery,(tummy tuck for her), hair plugs, products, cars, homes and numerous staff. Put that all together and the world has created it's very own monster, a la Dr. Frankenstein.
I must admit that until last night, I had never watched one episode of their reality TV show. I have however, read plenty about the drama that surrounds John and Kate. WHY? Because I cannot escape it. It's in my morning newspaper, in my mail box every Friday and on my email at least twice a week. I'm talking about US Weekly Magazine. I recently started getting a subscription and in the two months I have received the magazine, (that's 8 issues) Kate has been on the cover of every. single. one. I get e-mail updates from US Weekly and they have all lead with a new titillating detail about Kate and John.
WHY? Is this a story about a hair cut that launched 70 million viewers? Or is this a classic example of "The Britney Factor", as we are watching a train wreck of a marriage implode right before our eyes. Tabloid reports speculate on John's extra-marital exploits with a young teacher and whether or not Kate's banging her handsome body guard. The public can't get enough. She has been accused of being a cold-hearted, bully who is hardly a mother, but extols her skills as a mother daily and John is painted as the lazy, hanger-on who is better with the kids, but visibly unhappy and unmotivated. Then there's the kids. Eight beautiful little souls who will bear the brunt of all this ridiculousness for the rest of their lives, all in the name of the all mighty dollar.
Sometimes I'm not sure if it's OK to invite the press into your life and then complain about the intrusion. One could argue that although the Gosselins have created an opportunity to support and raise their brood of eight fiscally responsibly, as young, attractive adults they have acted irresponsibly and created this tabloid fervor. Others may argue that Kate is a money hungry, evil monster who cares more about keeping her next tanning appointment than worrying about exploiting her kids for profit.
It's a tough debate as long as we keep watching and buying her books. I am sure that pictures of Kate or John with a member of the opposite sex are worth a small fortune on the paparazzi open market. One thing is for sure, this drama has certainly reached a fever pitch and if someone doesn't step in soon, we may be following a blueprint for a tabloid tragedy.
Too bad Jamie Spears is unavailiable.