Really Sick Reality TV



I never heard of the Duggar family until one of the 19 kids confessed to fondling some of the others, setting off a torrent of apologia from pundits like Mike Huckabee. I vaguely recall seeing “19 Kids & Counting” in the titles as I browsed through the Direct TV channel guide. But I had no interest in the topic.

Kids are not one of my major interests at this stage of my life. And, to tell the truth, I would find one kid more than enough to deal with.

I can’t stomach “reality TV,” anyway. I have never even seen an episode of “Big Brother.” I have no interest in the Kardashians or Bruce Jenner’s gender transformation. “Naked and Afraid” does not titillate me, and the idea of  “Naked Dating” fails to get my hormones buzzing.

But now that the stuff has hit the fan, it is becoming apparent that “19 Kids & Counting” is some kind of right-wing propaganda show promoting “family values” and decrying such evils as birth control and  “gay” sex.

I won’t burden you at length with my notions about sex, but I wish someone would enlighten me on the nexus between reproductive impulses and religion. (How sex and sin came to be conflated beats me.) It also seems logical to me that since God created gays, there should be a place for them in our world, and if they love each other, they should be encouraged to live happily together, not be reviled and persecuted.

What seems really sick to me is “reality” shows like that “19 Kids” program.

The surge of peeping-Tom programs on TV makes me wonder whether viewers are suffering from sexual repression, or from some other inadequacy in their own lives. But I’ll leave that to Dr. Phil to figure out.

As for 14-year-olds fondling other children, that’s a very delicate issue to contemplate. I bet it’s a lot more prevalent than you and I know.

I would consider this a private matter, not a hot political topic – and certainly not a matter to be thrashed out on television and in the press.

I am sure the justice system has appropriate procedures, and I would hope they include psychiatric counseling for the predator and the victims.

Certainly, the bleatings of people like Huckabee are among the least helpful responses.

Click for Huckabee’s response to the Duggar scandal.

Click for more on the scandal.