Gosselin Twins Interview Should Frighten Every Parent

jon-and-kate plus 8 twinsSome viral news is impossible to avoid in our social media age.

I somehow missed “What Does the Fox Say” and just about every cat-themed clip on Facebook, but I couldn’t help learning two of the eight child stars from “Jon & Kate Plus 8” had an early senior moment during an interview.

After the fifth reference to the incident I decided to take a look. Parents should be very, very afraid of what the interview and its nonstop coverage portend.

The clip in question finds Kate Gosselin and her 13-year-old twin girls being interviewed on “The Today Show.”

“What would you want to say about how your sister and your family are doing?” the host asks the twins. The girls draw a big, fat blank, while Mama Gosselin desperately tries to make them respond.

It’s a train wreck moment on many levels. The twins, who practically grew up with cameras around them, didn’t ask to be reality show stars. Now, with the spotlight fading, they must defend their lives, their mental state and perhaps their ability to be part of future reality projects.

We all know reality stars can cling to their 15 minutes of fame if they play their cards right.

It’s one thing to watch a teen actress like Chloe Grace Moretz in the spotlight. She’s chosen her path and appears more than prepared to answer questions. These girls are a different story.

What got me fuming, though, was both the massive media coverage the clip received and how the HLN anchor Jane Velez-Mitchell treats the twins. She begs viewers to watch the poor girls’ body language extra carefully before rolling the video, for starters.

Is this the future? Anchors unwilling to give kids a semblance of protection as long as the story is juicy enough? Why did “The Today Show” have the kids on in their first place? Does the show ask politicians questions this probing?

Some newspapers were no better in how they handled the interview. Here’s the headline for the Newark Star-Ledger’s story on the subject.

Awkward! Kate Gosselin’s twins freeze out mom on ‘Today’ show

Children have enough to worry about growing up in our culture, from a crush of violent images to the sexualization of toys and games. Now, some may be in the media’s cross hairs if they happen to get a few moments of fame. Your kids may not be reality show stars some day, but their lives could intersect with the news via an accident or other unplanned event, and who knows the treatment they will receive.

They deserve better.

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