I hate it when I fall asleep with the TV on, I always end up waking up at the crack of dawn to news that irritates me to the point that I can’t go back to sleep. Who knows maybe it isn’t the news maybe I’m just that crabby at 4 A.M., it is possible. Nonetheless, I fell asleep to Anderson Cooper and woke up to the CNN guy who broadcasts before the CNN girl, Jane whatever-the rest-of -her-name-is.
I don’t feel compelled to give either middle of the night CNN anchor a full name because they keep calling Nadya Suleman “Octo-Mom”. I’m not condoning Nadya’s decision making, defending her competence or that of her doctor but calling her “Octo-Mom” is a deliberately dehumanizing gesture on the part of the media and it only serves to feed into the public hate-frenzy surrounding her as did both programs.
At the crack of dawn Broadcast-program showed a clip of Nadya Suleman arguing with her mother. The first time the clip was played long enough for viewer to hear Suleman tell her mother that she needed to “let go” as the clip played on Suleman completed her thoughts by connecting that statement to her decision to have all 8 babies. Essentially what Suleman was telling her mother was that the babies are already here and that she can’t change what’s already happened and Suleman was asking her mother to let go of an issue that could no longer be changed. CNN
Call me crazy but I thought that it was an entirely rational response, Suleman can’t go back and make a different decision. Whether her parents or the public agree or disagree the babies are indeed here and continuing to berate her for her decision making won’t change history and certainly won’t improve anyone’s situation.
But what CNN’s Broadcast-Jane did after that was to only play the clip long enough to hear Suleman tell her mother that she needed to “let go”, without giving the statement any context and making it appear as though Suleman was telling her mother to let go of her grandchildren all together. Naturally Broadcast-Jane’s professional guest panel ripped the statement apart having taken her statement completely out of context.
Later Broadcast-Jane’s program showed a clip of Suleman kissing the cheeks of one the older twins while she held him drinking his bottle. One of members of Broadcast-Jane’s expert panel called the Suleman cheek kissing “inappropriate.” Seriously? I witness what I would deem inappropriate every time I go shopping, an overdose of chubby cheek kissing and raspberry belly-blows would be a very welcomed change!
My question is this, how would the media have depicted her if she would have just sat there? Disconnected, unresponsive…I think we all know that no matter how Suleman responded no one was going to depict her in a fair light, let alone a favorable light. None of the experts seemed to note the body language of the baby she was holding. It certainly wasn’t the first time that child had been held and rocked while he drank his bottle. He relaxed into her like the position was familiar, he made eye contact with her and he looked healthy, well, relaxed and happy, all of her kids did.
If Sulemon belongs under a microscope then so does every low income or slightly dysfunctional person in the country. We condone the Duggers issuing a new baby every year and their up to baby 18, seriously how much does Mr. Dugger earn without television and advertising? How much of their family’s help with younger children comes from older sibling? What about the from John and Kate Plus Eight…when they decided to give birth to all 6 babies did they know how they were going to afford to care for all of them? Didn’t they take incredible risks to the childrens health by not reducing the number? When their babies were born did they have a big enough house for 6 cribs? How many embryos were implanted in Kate to make 6 babies and who paid for her postpartum plastic surgery?
I’m sorry Broadcast-Jane but if kissing the chubby cheeks of babies is “inappropriate” then I’m perpetually out of line and my friend Mary Strohmayer. who is a mother of 5, is a criminal! She comes from a family of 5 rambunctious brothers, has 5 children of her own, is dying to be a grandmother and has nieces and nephews stacked to the ceiling, I know for a fact that she also shamelessly kisses chubby cheeks because I’ve witnessed it more at her house than in any other home I’ve ever been in.
The bottom line is, whether we agree or disagree the babies are here and we all need to let go and move on. If you object to what happened write to your Congressman and have a bill drafted that establishes stricter guidelines for fertility clinics. But to call Suleman’s baby kissing inappropriate and in the same breath ignore the conduct of the scores of people camped out and following Suleman to shouting obscenities and scream about tax payer dollars. What kind of experts are these to object to cheek kissing and over look cruel malicious behavior? What kind of a a hate filled society do we live in and why are we so willing to rip the weak to shreds.
What makes it all even more perplexing is the fact that a massive group of completely rational, financially secure Wall Street bankers just ripped American tax payers off for billions. I don’t understand why tax concerned hate-mongers aren’t shouting at them from Wall Street, screaming for the return of unearned bonus money and their resignations! Frankly I think they are by far more deserving of our public outrage. Watching Bernie Madoff smirking at the media as he makes his way to his penthouse lights my fuse in a way that Suleman’s food stamp mony never will. Isn’t the money going straight back intot he economy because its ALL getting spent on food at her neighborhood grocery store? And the billions given to banks…well part of our economic issue stems from the fact that they’re not loaning out the money so it isn’t helping the economy.
Again, I’m not saying I agree or condone but I think all perspective has been seriously lost, and I think in a number of ways Sulemoan is being demonized by the media as seen on Jane Velez Mitchell’s program. Suleman may be dysfunctional and misguided but you’ll find that among any group of parents, she isn’t hurtful, she isn’t malicious and her children are at ease and well.
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