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die hard is a xmas movie | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Has our penchant for turning everything into entertainment finally ended with the backlash against octuplet mom Nadya Suleman?

This Sunday’s Los Angeles Times ran a story with this disturbing headline and blurb:

Publicists for octuplets’ mother quit over death threats

Brentwood couple say they received threatening e-mails and phone calls soon after they began representing Nadya Suleman and set up a website for her.

I say “disturbing” because, of course: death threats? Cripes. I find the whole Suleman saga beyond bizarre and not worth making merry over and understand why some might feel the same way I do, but threatening death to a publicist is no way to express that.
On the one hand, you do have to wonder at anyone who would take the job of representing Suleman, since the vibe almost from the moment the news of her eight babies was announced has been sour. On the other hand, why the hell not? The Learning Channel has a hit (by cable standards, at least) with its Jon and Kate Plus Eight, which, from all appearances (I’ve never seen it), celebrates raising a litter of kids as a lark — or, if nothing else, its existence suggests that a family of extreme multiple births is something worth producing a TV show about.

But it seems there’s something of a backlash developing around Jon and Kate, too. It feels to me like only a few years ago, the octuplet mom and the obvious train wreck of her life would have been turned into grand spectacle by our mass media, and it would have been gobbled up by audiences. It feels to me that today, however, that’s not going to happen.

Has our penchant for turning everything into entertainment finally ended with the backlash against octuplet mom Nadya Suleman? Have we finally sickened of train-wreck “entertainment,” and does this signal an end to the more mean-spirited of reality shows?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me.)



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