I'll take the bad with the good.
First the good -
I was laying here last night feeling sorry for myself. My throat feels like mince meat and I have a little fever. My "joyful countenance" is sort of ravaged after this recovery. There was a knock on my door at 7:30. It was "Harris", my neighbor from down the hall. Like me, he's older than the average Freshman and kind of quiet. In any case, he was standing in my doorway holding a television and a cable hook-up. I had mentioned to him, in a passing conversation, that I grew up QF and watched the Duggars, and he'd seen me down in the common area watching it on the big screen, and he guessed that I'd want to stay in my room tonight. Then he stayed to watch with me - he sat on the floor, no funny business. (grin) The best part was when he said he would bring me ice cream tonight. Isn't he sweet?
Now the bad -
Watching 19 Kids and Counting last night made me very angry. TLC glosses over some very important points when depicting the drama and trauma of Josie's premature birth. Some will argue that it's good that TLC didn't show some of what I'm about to highlight but I see it as false marketing. TLC is marketing the Duggars as a brand- as something that you or I might want and emulate. They're selling this life as something sweet and pure and admirable. But I ask you, TLC - what is admirable about placing your life, and the life of your child, in danger to recklessly procreate? Michelle knew, with each and every pregnancy, that pre-eclampsia could rear it's head again and take her down. She had it with Jana and John-David. They talk about it in the book and Michelle has acknowledged it in episodes of the show. Any woman who's had it once is warned about it again and with Michelle wishing for twins each time she gets pregnant, it seems she didn't quite get how serious it was. Until now. Yet, she's still "trusting her womb" to God. Will you film 20 Kids and Counting, when Michelle is delivering a still born and possibly putting herself into an early grave? Will you even discuss that eventuality in your show? Or will you show how America's Favorite Family soldiers on with faux dignity and manufactured grace through the worst time in their lives? Think you won't do it? You did it tonight.
There's nothing dignified about having a premature baby. I don't say that with malice toward the mother or the baby but with malice toward those who film the spectacle or profit from it. Having a premature infant, especially one as tiny as Josie, is intense enough without the dour violin concertos and solos telling us to feel worried. We don't need a soundtrack or Jim Bob pontificating on how this will change their lives forever because we knew that this was going to happen. Why didn't you know? Why didn't you care enough to see that this wasn't a possibility, but an eventuality. They fired the gun too many times and this time there was a bullet in the chamber. If you're going to show the sunny side, show the rain!
You call yourself The Learning Channel? Then educate. You say it's reality tv, then show the reality. Show the world how Josie had to have a tube threaded down her throat at birth just so she could maintain an airway to breathe. Show how much pain she was in. Show how Michelle's doctors, educated male AND FEMALES, saved her life and are keeping Josie alive through science and the art of medicine. You want to advocate this lifestyle, then show the abject terror and tears of parents who've just watched their premature infant have a bowel obstruction. As much as I don't want to see it, you're advocating this lifestle and you owe it to the world to show the truth. Show the exhaustion on Anna's face and explain how those babies at home didn't see their mother for weeks because of their parents' choice to consider them "not enough". Show the reality when their home, should Josie come home (and I hope she does), becomes a regimine of handwashing and therapy and sterilizing every surface to keep baby Josie from catching RSV.
I realize I'm contradicting myself. My heart wishes this family were never put on television as an example. In that respect, I don't hope that any of this would see the light of day. However, what infuriates me is that, knowing it's going to be televised and what-not, that all this REAL DRAMA and HEARTACHE will be manipulated into a completely fabricated version of life. Life through Duggar glasses. Take off the glasses, TLC. Start looking at this family and it's choices through the glasses of reality because you're encouraging this spectacle and it's not right!