Saturday, September 29, 2012

Discussion Thread: ‘Kate Gosselin: How She Fooled the World,’ Chapters 5-7

Are you there God? It's me, Kate.

We will do a “book club” style discussion of a few chapters at a time as we read the book together. You are free to read with the group or skip ahead. You are also free to discuss whatever you like, however if you want to partake in the book club discussion, this thread is here to discuss the designated chapters. Robert Hoffman’s book “Kate Gosselin: How She Fooled the World” is available on Amazon for Kindle. The Kindle app is free for multiple platforms, including PCs.

5. Bad Blog

Kate obsessively reads what is said about her on the internet, from Google news alert to the Gosselin blogs. Undeniably the first online presence to ever call Kate out was the Reading Eagle, a small but respected local newspaper. Staff member Dana Hoffman kept a blog on the site detailing Kate's misdeeds. Kate's people eventually called up the Reading Eagle and asked them to shut down her blog. Within hours the paper removed it from the site. Kate keeps files on her computer with information from blogs and even on their moderators. The file folder for Dana's blog was entitled "Bad Blog."

In January 2008, Kate also asked Discovery to remove Television Without Pity's Jon and Kate forum (which in fact was closed eventually, in June 2008), and the Discovery Health Channel forum. 

Kate's house is in a rural neighborhood and surrounded by farmland. She once drove the kids three hours to Maryland to trick-or-treat in her bodyguard Steve's neighborhood. 

When Jodi and Kevin spoke publicly about what they saw, Kate fired off an email to Discovery with her three favorite words: "Can we sue?"

6. The Good Mom (Note from Admin: Nice play on The Good Son!)

According to a member of Kate's family, Kate has been diagnosed with bi-polar, but refuses to take medication. 

Hoffman once observed Kate with the kids when she was having a very stable, happy day. She and the nanny, Judy, took the sextuplets to get donuts, later they went to the park and spent a long time there, then met up with another mother and her daughter for a play date back at the house. Hoffman also observed her chatting up and flirting with a park employee. 

7. Kate's God Complex

Kate talks incessantly about God and credits God with everything from the salary of their show to her house to her grifted plastic surgery to allowing her to do a commercial. In one entry she writes:

“I asked her how that works as far as our rate going up from Disc Health network and the ‘fringe benefits’ as I call them…. She said that the amount we are paid per show will not take away from what they (AMP) will provide for us. She used the examples of the kids  beds… she said those things come out of their (AMP) budget from the network.  So that is almost mind boggling to me we will be paid for each episode and receive fringe benefits!!!!! Lord, how great thou art!!!!!”

Kate felt God was "urging" her to quit her nursing job. 

Kate said that if Discovery wasn't going to pay for the beds she wasn't going to allow them to film the episode about beds. Jen (producer Jen Stocks) was annoyed by this.

As for Jon, Kate wrote:  “I pray that his complacency would leave him and would turn into passion for the Lord! Lord PLEASE help Jon to desire these things!!!!!! Help him to become a man of integrity!!!!! Lord please!!!!! He could be the perfect man if he could get these things under control and let God take control!!!!!”

Alexia foods sent four cases of fries. Other food was sent by others or offered at reduced prices. Fans, friends and family sent gift cards and cash, including $250 from Kate's parents, and Kate attributed it all to God.

Kate writes this about the children: “Lord I am begging you to help me be a loving caring kind and slow to anger mommy. Please stop me somehow from hurting my kids and help me to be slow to anger!!!! I love them SOOO much. Help them to obey me!!!!! And not get into trouble!!!!! Please Lord, amen!!!!”

Friday, September 28, 2012

Discussion Thread: ‘Kate Gosselin: How She Fooled the World,’ Preface, Chapters 1-4

We will do a “book club” style discussion of a few chapters at a time as we read the book together. You are free to read with the group or skip ahead. You are also free to discuss whatever you like, however if you want to partake in the book club discussion, this thread is here to discuss the designated chapters. Robert Hoffman’s book “Kate Gosselin: How She Fooled the World” is available on Amazon for Kindle. The Kindle app is free for multiple platforms, including PCs.


Robert Hoffman fell into the job of covering the Gosselins by chance and circumstance, not having ever seen an episode of the show. He just needed work to support his family, which includes three kids of his own, and US Weekly needed someone on the Gosselin beat. He quickly befriended Jon, and over the years spent a lot of time with Jon and the kids. He only had one direct conversation with Kate, when the two dogs got out into the road when Kate was gone. He held onto the dogs until Kate got back. Hoffman says he mainly wrote this book for Collin, whom he had grown quite fond of. He describes Collin as a sweet little boy with a beautiful heart and endless love to give. He dedicates the book to all eight of the children.

1. Once Upon A Time

Kate was a focused, though shy child who stuck to schoolwork, was driven to accomplish her goals, and was a preacher’s kid who practiced her faith daily. She grew up in the country on a big property with a barn. Her childhood, at least from the outside, seemed All-American.

2. When Katie Met Jonnie

Kate has written at length, both publicly and in her diary, about how she felt about Jon. She was head over heels in love with him from the day she met him, and sings praises about what a good father he is. She also seemed to appreciate the good job he did taking care of her after her tummy tuck surgery, and then going home to take care of the kids while she continued recovering at the Glassmans. She also describes him as brilliant. At least for awhile, their relationship as she describes it seemed quite loving and her admiration for his parenting, patience and intelligence is clear.

Kate shares this tender moment in her diary:  “Yesterday, all six followed daddy in to our room while he was changing after work…from the kitchen I heard him say ‘ hello my little Gosselins’ and it made my heart melt! He so loves his kids and he said it in such a sweet tone!!!! I really had to smile at that comment!”

Kate makes reference to Bob, Beth’s husband, offering Jon a job because he also recognized his brilliance.

3. Jon & Kate 101: How Did We Get Here?

As previously reported, Kate contacted the Reading Eagle to cover the story when she was pregnant, not the other way around as she claims. Despite putting up a fa├žade of wanting to protect the children from the press, in fact Kate aggressively pursued the media attention.

4. Sign Here – Or Else!!!!!

Kate was not happy with first drafts of TLC’s non-disclosure agreement. She didn’t feel they were broad enough. She wanted to be sure it was clear no one could talk about the family at all, not just the filming and not just about negative things. The agreements extend “in perpetuity.” The contract includes, “The undersigned understands and agrees that the any monetary damages will not be sufficient to avoid or compensate the Producer or the Gosselin Family for the unauthorized use or disclosure of the Confidential Information and that injunctive or other equitable relief would be appropriate to prevent any improper actual or threatened use or disclosure of the Confidential Information or other breach of this Agreement.”

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Kate's secret journals detail abuses toward children has gone blue for the time being, in honor and memory of the all too many victims of child abuse

“I really, really lost it! I pulled Collin up by the hair, and I spanked them so hard!”

According to author Robert Hoffman, who says he is in possession of notes and diaries that Kate used to write Multiple Blessings and Eight Little Faces, Kate wrote entry after entry about disiplining the kids.

The entries include:
  • Kate used a wooden spoon she called "The Spanker" to discipline the kids for transgressions as minor as climbing out of their cribs or potty training issues.

A wooden spoon was indeed spotted more than once in the pocket of their car door.

  • Kate, in her own words "lost it" when Collin ate some M&Ms without permission.
  • Kate “felt like I may hurt his children.”
  • Kate preferred the kids out of sight when she was upset where they would be "safe"
  • When Collin threw a tantrum, Kate says she “sent him to his crib and whipped him into it very hard...I never felt that I may really seriously injure a child, but today was that day.”
This is not the first time someone has talked to the press about concerns about child abuse. In 2009 an ex-staffer who worked with the family for six months gave an interview in which she said that Kate drank "a bottle of wine" by herself several nights a week, and regularly hit the kids with a wooden spoon. On one occasion, Kate took one of the boys into the bathroom to hit him. 

"You could hear Kate forcefully whacking the child and the child screaming at the top of his lungs," the ex-employee reported. 

Kate has never denied the allegations in the interview.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Paparazzi photos from fall 2009 show how intrusive filming was

The newly released disturbing photos were taken during filming of the final episode of Jon and Kate Plus 8.

All photos used with express permission of the photographer.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

TLC busted over 'Breaking Amish'

Eileen O'Neill: "We are the No. 1 nonfiction company in the world, so we're not going to do anything to take away from that."
Reality T.V. Kids: "Oops."

TLC's hottest new show next to Honey Boo Boo child is about a good ole fashioned Rumspringa! TLC touts the show Breaking Amish as a group of young Amish leaving the community for the first time. But some impressive sleuths have helped made headlines after digging up some interesting information on the cast. In particular, cast member Kate (no relation to our Kate)

is reported by those who have seen her to drive a car, dress non-Amish, and work in a Ruby Tuesdays in Lebanon, PA.  She was also shopping around modeling photos on a web site more than two years ago.

Other reports say that Rebecca and Abe, portrayed as strangers who just met, have a child together, and  Jeremiah has been living outside of the Amish community for as many as 14 years, and is divorced with three kids. Oops, TLC! Time to bring out the damage control team hibernating since Kate Plus 8 was canceled! 

Pass the Swiffer!
Most of the commenters here who watched the show posted that they didn't really like it. Maybe you all unconsciously sensed something unauthentic about it.

The same day all this is hitting the fan, good ole Eileen O'Neill, president of Discovery, gave another disingenuous interview in which she acts like, who me, what, people are upset about Honey Boo Boo? Oh well that's their opinion! Eileen goes on to claim she would never let her reality t.v. subjects be uncomfortable (which is why I guess she sued the pants off Jon when he left the show?) and that she is very proud of "Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo." No really, she used the word "proud."

Of this:

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Kate posts up-close photo of Mady's legs

The up close and personal picture of Mady trying on Kate's heels sparked outrage from the moment Kate put it on her Twitter account, and now the poor child is getting attention for it on Radaronline and The Daily Mail.

The New York Times explored the issue of posting children's photos online in this revealing article from 2009. A must read.

Popular Mommy blogger Eve Vawter also wrote an excellent article about the issue on, quoted in part here. We like her common sense:

"Kids try on their mom’s shoes. This happens every hour of every day in every house with kids. I did it, you did it, our kids have done it. There is nothing wrong with that. But posting a picture on the internet, of your 11-year-old’s bare legs, her toenails pedicured and painted, clad in peep-toe satin and glitter heels, it’s just plain creepy. Kate Gosselin doesn’t know every single one of her Twitter followers personally. She doesn’t know who is glancing at the photograph and saying “Cute, my kids did that” or who is uploading the photograph to some terrible child exploitation website. And by posting this picture, she is inadvertently sexualizing her 11-year-old kid.

It can be argued that child sex abusers can find any photograph of a kid “sexy.” That even the most innocent picture of a kid fully dressed and standing there can be exploited by child predators for nefarious purposes. And all though I agree there is nothing wrong with a kid trying on her mom’s high heels, looking at the picture of Mady it’s obvious to me that posting it on the internet was a bad idea. It isn’t a picture of a kid being silly and playing dress-up, it looks like a slightly menacing sexualized photograph of a girl standing, her legs apart, teetering helplessly on too-big heels in a darkened room. And Kate Gosselin didn’t need to post it, but I suppose it can also be argued that Kate Gosselin uses any excuse to exploit any of her eight children for attention and publicity, whether good or bad, to feed her gaping maw of a fame hole."

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

All rise. Court is now in session.

One year ago today, the series finale of Kate Plus 8 aired ....

One year ago today, Kate insulted America when she was just trying to insult Jon ....

And one year ago today, Kate opened her web site for business (and it's still "coming soon") ....

Sunset Boulevard.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Kate runs in Y102's 'Yes I Can' 5K in Wyomissing

Although promotion for this great cause has been shamefully sparse, we do know the race kicks off at 10 a.m. on Saturday and benefits Special Olympics of Pennsylvania. To donate check out their web site here.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Review: TLC finally gets it right with 'Abby & Brittany'

The well-adjusted conjoined twins are 22 now, and ready to give the public another glimpse into their lives, but on their terms.

Abby & Brittany airs Tuesdays nights on TLC. Check local listings.

Abby and Brittany Hansel have only appeared in a handful of documentaries since their birth in Minnesota in 1990, and were last seen on T.V. when they were 16, but even those brief appearances stole our hearts. We were also impressed with their parents, Patty, a nurse, and Mike, a landscaper, who always treated their spunky but sweet girls normally. They pushed them to do regular activities like bike riding, sports and eventually driving and college, and protected the girls from too much media attention, while still recognizing how special and inspiring their story has been to the public.

Now Abby and Brittany are all grown up, finishing college, and have decided to tackle a TLC series of their own. Their show, Abby & Brittany, plays like usual TLC fare: a half hour of bright, chirpy music, couch interviews spliced with everyday activities, lots of humor, and light on anything too depressing. In fact the series is written and directed by Beth Glover, who produced every episode of Jon and Kate Plus 8. The first episode follows the girls around during a typical week, with grocery shopping, cooking, coffee shop breaks, dinner out and finally a birthday party with lots of friends.

The true charm of the show is unexpected, and found not so much in Abby and Brittany themselves (although the girls are still as spunky as ever and certainly quite charming), but rather in watching the young people around them so openly embrace and accept them. The girls are remarkably popular and outgoing, and live in a big house with several pretty, similarly outgoing girlfriends their age. Friends describe the twins as kind, warm-hearted and fun, but with distinct personalities.

Some obvious questions go unanswered thus far, namely dating, marriage and children. But the viewer gets the sense that's because Abby and Brittany are in charge this time, and will talk about the heavier stuff only when and if they are ready.

For all the media talk of bullying and "mean girls," here are two very unique young people who have been completely accepted by their peers, and it's a beautiful thing to watch. Patty and Mike declined to separate the girls at birth because they feared for their quality of life, and now that they are all grown up, it's never been more clear these two fine parents made the right call. Not only do Abby and Brittany have a very full and happy life, but are teaching others life lessons that can't be found anywhere else. Remarked one of their roommates: "They are the epitome of teamwork, love and respect." And get this, the twins want to be teachers. Who better to teach kids tolerance?  (Interesting tidbit: Instead of Bethel University charging the twins two separate tuitions, the twins paid "one and a half" tuition. Seems fair.)

Perhaps TLC has finally hit on a story worth telling, on one of the few reality shows that has a higher purpose beyond just exploiting a family's differences. A message of teamwork, love and respect.