Monday, October 19, 2009

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes...

"You guys said we did this for a show...!"


Out of the mouths of babes.

What is wrong with people who exploit their children in order to become famous? One of the very first things children learn is, when they do something bad, they must suffer the consequences. But, what about when their parents do something bad, and use the child as an accomplice? Parents are supposed to be the big people. Now this poor little fellow - Falcon Heene -- is being used as a pawn, and he's being paraded on every television talk show from Larry King Live to Good Morning America. He's very confused and probably a little frightened, and he knows he did nothing wrong. As the days progressed, we could see the anxiety building in this little fellow, until he was sick to his stomach -- live and in living color -- on morning television. And then his father, the redoubtable Richard Heene, actually blamed the little boy, saying he was confused. For that alone, the father should be charged.

Where are Child Protective Services? Don't they have them in the U.S.? Why are they allowing children such as this little boy and the Gosselin children to be put in the spotlight until they squirm with apprehension and fear?

The sheriff in Fort Collins Colorado is expected to charge Mr. and Mrs. Heene with felony charges. They deserve it, but now their children will be faced with more anxiety that Mommy and Daddy are bad people and may end up in prison -- just what every child needs.

This would all end of people would just stop watching reality shows that involve children. "Nanny 911", "Supernanny", "Wife Swap", "Jon and Kate + Eight", "18 Kids and Counting" ... and so on. We get to watch these children throwing tantrums, being potty trained, and all the other normal things that children do, and it's supposed to be entertainment. The producers of these shows are to blame, the parents are to blame, and the people who watch these shows are to blame. Would any of you folks want your children involved in something like this, and exposed to the whole world on a day-to-day basis? These children have no voice in the matter. How far does it have to go before the authorities step in and put an end to it? Someone is making a lot of money off this, and they're using children to do it. Make it stop...!

I now relinquish my soap box and return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast.


Katy said...

This probably isn't a wake up call to the reality industry, but just how far are some wakos willing to push their kids in a bid to get a show?

Wile I think the Heene parents are clearly insane, the first thing I thought when I found out about this story was, "think God they didn't build a flying contraption that would have actually held the weight of a child, made him climb in a set the thing floating."

I wish I could say that I think this is a wake up call to reality TV producers and audiences, but I don't think it is.

The Bug said...

Well, I do my part by not watching the shows, but that's not for any high moral reason - I just don't like them.

I agree that it's crazy to keep using children to get money or fame.

SparkleFarkle said...

The "Kate and Jon Show" is the perfect example of why these series using children as the disposable props are so wrong, yet people just don't get it. It's scary to think this programming is considered entertainment. And now, this. Falon's eyes are those of a baby bird who has fallen from the nest: so frightened that he has, then perpetually terrorized by the idea that he won't be able to get back-- knowing that no one is there to teach him how to fly. Heartbreaking to say the least. Reality "star" parents are driving their kids to the cracks they no doubt will let them fall through when the ratings are no longer there, then blame it all on the media. Talk about criminal.

TomCat said...

I think what we need is a new reality show. We could call it Josie Jump Up. :-)

cat said...

I think it's horrible as well. And I don't watch the shows b/c I don't like it and b/c I think it's horrible.

Plus, I have a two year old, I don't need to watch someone else's child for entertainment. I get to play and be apart of the entertainment. :)

susie said...

It's all for the parents benefit. We've become a society where celebrity is the ultimate goal. No substance, just celebrity. And if it takes your kids to get there then so be it. How I long for the days when kids got to be kids. And adults were adults.

Arley said...

Sean and I were listening to it live on TV. All we could think about was if that poor child fell to his death. How would we feel if it was one of our children...and then to find out it was all a hoax. Pure rage!!! I agree with you, I think the parents should be locked up for that BS and have their children taken away. On CNN, they reported the father has a history of violence. When they questioned the wife, she admitted to nothing. There was not enough evidence to take the children at that point. We'll see what happends.

Russell said...

When I worked with Legal Aid I saw a lot of unbelievable parenting -- or lack thereof.

One woman was too lazy to get off the couch when her 7-year old daughter asked her mother to cut off the loose threads on a pair of shorts the girl was wearing.

Instead of using a sizzors, the mother attempted to burn off the loose threads with her cigarette lighter. The result was the girl's clothing caught on fire and the child was severely burned.

Another mother went to visit her boyfriend -- at a strip club. She drove her four children over on a winter night. THEN the mother told her 12-year old son to drive the family car back to their house -- which was 16 miles away.

The boy drove the old station wagon into a ditch about a mile out of town and he and his three siblings were found by a passer-by.

I could go on, but it is too sad. I hope they put these parents in jail for this stunt. Grrrr....!

Carl said...

I was so worried about the kid when the original news broke. I am more worried about him now being with his parents.... What is wrong with some people?


Alissa said...

Jo, it's like you are inside my head. I couldn't agree with you more. When some future historian looks back on this period in our history, they are going to be completely appalled at the things people did in the name of entertainment.

Maureen said...

And just wait, Octomom is filming a show now.

Carol E. said...

I totally agree.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

YES!!! When people watch this garbage which exploits children, such shows mushroom until there is hardly anything else on TV now. I detest so-called "reality" shows and have no idea why anyone finds them entertaining. The whole thing is a cynical ploy by the networks to produce shows without having to pay professional actors, and the fact that people buy into it makes me wonder about the collective brain in our society. indeed.

(I suspect that critical mass was reached in the last season of that appalling show, Friends, when all the major cast members demanded and got a million dollars each per episode.)

the walking man said...


Smalltown RN said...

Yes Reality TV has gone to far and exploiting children is the worst.

I have to admit I have been guilty of watching reality tv....sometimes just to watch the stupidity of some biggest confession here is that I saw the Wife Swap episode that this family was on. The husband and wife were just nuts!!! All I could think about was those poor kids...being dragged out of bed at all hours to go storm all seemed so very odd to me.

I do hope these parents are severely reprimanded and that child services gets involved.

TC said...

I had my doubts about their parenting skills when I heard they take their kids into the heart of storms deliberately.
I agree totally super nanny and wife swap are only to watch if I don't have a book and the internet is down.
I like my unrealistic medical shows, house and grays anatomy! ;-)

Charles Gramlich said...

I thought the balloon boy hoax thing was just disgusting. I agree also about the unfortunate exploitation of children. I don't watch any of the nanny shows regularly but I have seen one here and there. There is actually some redeeming qualities to these shows in that they do actually show behavioral techniques that can work for childrearing. I could see a benefit to new parents watching these shows, if they take account of the techniques used therein

TheChicGeek said...

Hi Jo :D Good to be here!

I agree with you 100 percent! I think these shows should be outlawed...especially where they are using children. So many of these shows are just mindless dribble and pollute the minds of our kids. They watch, they think it is cool to be a brat, to be rude, to lie to get what you want. It's shameful!
Sorry for the just really irks me so much!

Great post! Hope all is well with you :D
Big Hug!

Carla said...

Stunts like this make me furious! After it ended, I kept thinking: what if someone had made a heroic effort to rescue the boy in the balloon...and had gotten injured or killed? Could have happened.

Meggie said...

I too detest those shows that exploit children. I regard it as a form of child abuse, & will never watch.

Alicia said...

I love when you say:

Where are Child Protective Services? Don't they have them in the U.S.? Why are they allowing children such as this little boy and the Gosselin children to be put in the spotlight until they squirm with apprehension and fear?

We do have child protective services in the U.S. Maybe now they will step in on all these reality shows that exploit children!

Thank you for posting about this.

Jo said...

Thank you, everyone, for your thoughtful comments. It was interesting to watch Larry King Live last night, and to hear how everyone seems to agree with my point of view, and with all of the comments that you have made. Maybe this event will be just what is needed to end the silliness...!

Marguerite said...

I agree, Jo, and I think that it's more the parent's fault. They are getting the money for exploiting their children.