Did 'Jon & Kate' Con America?
Jon & Kate Plus 8 were a semi-popular bunch of reality characters on TLC once upon a time. This also means they are real people. They were well known among mommies, kiddies, and a few young adults that watched for all the wrong reasons - do a shot when Kate yells at John type stuff. With the years taking their toll, and the privacy of their young adults soon coming into question, the show was bound to change.
Yet, the change that came was swift, insane, overblown, and a tabloid's dream. It thrust the once obscure parents into a melee of rumors and accusations. Each person in your town had a reason to be on Team Jon or Team Kate (or even Team 8). There were many opinions and twists to the story, but also many who, until the drama escalated beyond the show, could care less.
This being real reality, it all just sucks. Those poor kids have never really known normalcy. The chance they'll be completely well adjusted isn't as good as other adolescents who haven't grown up with the world knowing how their holidays and zoo dates were spent. It's going to be a bit weird if not downright difficult for them to grow up with security and anonymity.
But conspiracy theorists shall ponder - what if the entire thing was staged, an inside job?
The government killed Kennedy, UFOs are secret military projects, and Jon and Kate masterminded their meteoric rise to infamy and fall from TLC warm and fuzzy grace. It's a bit ridiculous to ponder that the feelings of their 8 babies can be ignored for the sake of a conspiracy theory, but it's also sickeningly genius in this age of "reality" stars.
They would both be silently admired for the ballsy tactics that worked, should this prove to be true. Face it; Jon and Kate have a new saga attached to their story that brought more publicity than their entire series. Jon's wild post-marital behavior alone sparked some must-see moments on TMZ, The Soup, and ET. Kate is now shopping around a talk show, allegedly. Both of them escaped a marriage that apparently wasn't working anymore, despite seeming so normal to those of us that were produced by the same kind of dysfunction (happy anniversary mom and dad, by the way!).
They didn't just quietly dissolve things, let the show fade away, and try to pursue normal life. No - they were aware that the brand was worth money. Their family had become a brand and was at a lucrative crossroads.
Note - the children helped create the brand, but they are no longer a major part of it. Spin it as hard as you can and suddenly this looks like a way for the Gosselins to do a few things:
a) End the show
b) End the marriage
c) Save their kids from being on camera
d) Draw attention (good or bad) away from the children by focusing it on the behavior of the parents
Sure, we all would like to see mommy and daddy laughing and being friends after an unsuccessful marriage. But the betrayal of the nation of reality leeches that we've become would be too much. Kate and Jon are over, and they are angry at each other. That's what we need to see - we'll side with the mother that tries to maintain her duty of raising children the modern way - as a single woman. When we tire of law, order, and rules about bedtime, we can always follow vicariously through the eyes of a tiger on Jon's Ed Hardy shirt as he tries to create a new reality show with Michael Lohan. If these two were trying to blast themselves into the stratosphere with the best hopes of becoming celeb-reality royalty, they've done it. Will we always take them seriously? No. But will we now question their idiocy for genius? Why not? I'd rather think that they conned America instead of whored out their real pain and suffering, awful as either option sounds.
No matter what the truth, all good things must come to an end, especially when kids are involved. That show needed to end, those kids needed to be taken care of without having the nation designate their own "favorite" Gosselin, and Jon and Kate needed to find a way to create enough cash flow to put their offspring through college. It's a recession, props to all of them for making it, no matter who came up with the idea.
Image © Discovery Communications
Story by Kate Kostal
Starpulse contributing writer
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