Like many of you this past week I was more than a little appalled at the allegations that the “balloon boy’s”  parents concocted the story that closed the Denver airport and cost thousands of dollars in police and rescue services.  Yet I remain transfixed and continue to follow the “breaking news” developments on this train wreck because the behavior here is so counter intuitive to how most of us operate.

I tend to behave better when people are watching me.  When confronted with situations where I otherwise might go ballistic on one of the kids or Dave, if I am in the company of others I usually think twice and act more, (shall we say) gracefully.  My family has been saved from Mommy’s wrath, knee jerk reactions and poor judgment more than once by the presence of strangers.

Yet there exists a certain breed of reality TV star who behaves worse when everyone is watching.  Think Big Brother.  Wife Swap.  Jon and Kate.  Real Housewives.  Shall I go on?   I realize these type of people are exponentially more interesting to voyeurs viewers like me, but I must say society has broken down when people aspire to become one of these “stars”.  And it’s even worse when they pimp their kids to become part of the circus.


Kate Gosselin gave an interview to the Today show last week and said,

Over the weekend I told [the kids] that we’re not filming at this point. And actually, times eight, there was wailing and sobbing. They love our crew, they love the interaction, they love the events. There is nothing harmful about it. They are angry.

Does this ick you out as much as it icks me out?  I’m trying to find one tangible benefit of filming these kiddos as their parents go through an ugly divorce chock full of allegations, infidelity, and junior high school regressions.  Let me know if you can think of one because if you can, I’ll send you onto the Heenes so you can find a good reason why these parents, if found guilty, should be allowed to keep custody of that poor child who they co-opted and upset enough that he vomited on national television.  Twice.

I’ll go out on a limb.  While most of us would do better if we were constantly watched by the public eye, these self absorbed excuses would do better if they never were.  The best thing we can all do now is ignore them.

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