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Octuplets mom: Saint, cynic, or TV superstar?

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With the news that Nadya Suleman, the “octuplets mom,” is giving her first big interview to NBC’s Today Show and Ann Curry next Monday, you gotta wonder: Does this woman realize what she’s in for? Not from Curry, who specializes in soothing ooze, as is evident from the preview clip The Today Show aired this morning:

My first two reactions: 1. Wow, does this woman radiate a sense of, yes, Angelina Jolie-like, Zen calm, complete with spiritual-babble about wanting to “be present with” her kids. (You better be present, sister—you got a lotta diapers to change!) 2. Wow, could Matt Lauer be any more ditheringly delighted about this scoop, saying “Congratulations!” to Ann Curry twice, as though she had just given birth… which she did, in a sense: birth to a ratings bonanza for NBC.

But even before Suleman hired L.A. publicists to handle her story, the hostility started streaming out of our TV screens about this single mother of now 14 children…

Bill O’Reilly went ballistic.

O’Reilly goes so far as to say these birth amount to “child abuse,” because these kids can’t possibly receive the care they need. (Then he goes off on a rant about how we’re not “living in America anymore” because of these births—what, Bill? What country do you think you’re in now? Babypukeistan?)

I think one posting to an L.A. Times story on this subject summed up a lot of people’s feelings. The post read:

“What trash!! I certainly hope the media isn’t enticed to follow up with any offers.
Let the Jolie-Pitt gang adopt them, they’re looking …. at least they can afford them.”

Which, in its own sarcastic way, cuts to the heart of it: Suleman has turned herself into a media figure by seeking out interviews, so she doesn’t get the right to pursue a quiet, unexamined private life anymore. But many people think it’s OK for Angelina and Brad to adopt lots of kids, because they have the dough to keep the kiddies in mink swaddling blankets, while the apparently lower-middle-class Suleman gets grief because she’s not rich—indeed, the kids are viewed as her meal-ticket to wealth. I’m leery of trying to divine anyone’s motives, but right now, I mostly feel sorry for all 14 kids caught in this crossfire.

How do you feel about the octuplets mom, and the coming avalanche of media coverage?

Bill O’Reilly went ballistic.

O’Reilly goesso far as to say these birth amount to “child abuse,” because thesekids can’t possibly receive the care they need. (Then he goes off on arant about how we’re not “living in America anymore” because of thesebirths—what, Bill? What country do you think you’re in now?Babypukeistan?)

I think one posting to an L.A. Times story on this subject summed up a lot of people’s feelings. The post read:

“What trash!! I certainly hope the media isn’t enticed to follow up with any offers.
Let the Jolie-Pitt gang adopt them, they’re looking …. at least they can afford them.”

Which, in its own sarcastic way, cuts to the heart of it:Suleman has turned herself into a media figure by seeking outinterviews, so she doesn’t get the right to pursue a quiet, unexaminedprivate life anymore. But many people think it’s OK for Angelina andBrad to adopt lots of kids, because they have the dough to keep thekiddies in mink swaddling blankets, while the apparentlylower-middle-class Suleman gets grief because she’s notrich—indeed, the kids are viewed as her meal-ticket to wealth. I’mleery of trying to divine anyone’s motives, but right now, I mostlyfeel sorry for all 14 kids caught in this crossfire.

How do you feel about the octuplets mom, and the coming avalanche of media coverage?