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The Gosselin Twins Get Some Payback

How to mortify your mother on national TV.

by
Bethany Mandel

Bio

January 17, 2014 - 6:58 am

Wow, this was painful. The oldest of the Gosselin twins, Mady and Cara of Jon & Kate Plus 8 fame, publicly humiliated their mother on national television this morning. While I normally would never cheer such behavior, Kate deserved it for clearly dragging her daughters onto TV, where they spent their entire childhoods, to force them to proclaim that they loved being reality TV stars and would happily become ones again.

The New York Post’s headline for the trainwreck, “Kate Gosselin’s Twins Freeze Up on ‘Today’ Show” doesn’t do the moment justice. They clearly didn’t freeze up in a moment of panic; there was genuine and palpable hostility between the daughters and their mother. Growing up in front of cameras may not have been the healthiest of environments, but it certainly acclimated the girls to the spotlight. The 13 year-old twins were asked to lie on national television about the impact of having their childhoods, and later their parents’ very messy divorce, play out in public. To their credit, they refused to bite. The Post lays out just how tense the moment was:

“This is their chance to talk. This is the most wordless I’ve heard them all morning,” red-faced mom Kate Gosselin said.

“I don’t want to speak for them. But Mady go ahead, sort of the things that you said in the magazine – that years later, they’re fine. Go for it Mady.”

Mady responded: “No, you just said it.”

The Gosselin girls spoke to People magazine earlier this month, explaining that their parents’ decision to put them TV wasn’t a damaging experience.

But given the chance to repeat that line, Cara and Mady went virtually silent.

Savannah Gunthrie asked the girls how their family, bruised and battered by divorce, was doing. It was this question the teenagers refused to answer. Later in the segment Mady did speak up, rather unconvincingly, about the damage (or lack thereof) that being reality TV stars did to their upbringing. Given which questions the girls refused to answer, and which they did, it appears that they may not lay the blame for their childhoods at reality TV’s doorstep. Having family vacations televised probably wasn’t quite as damaging as watching, along with the rest of the country, as their parents divorced and then galavanted across tabloid pages with their new flames.

Bethany Mandel is a graduate of Rutgers University with a BA in History and Jewish Studies. Previously she worked as a teacher in rural Cambodia, as an online fundraiser at The Heritage Foundation and most recently the Social Media Associate at Commentary Magazine. She is currently a work-at-home mother. She has appeared on CNBC's The Kudlow Report, Huffington Post Live, BBC World's World Have Your Say, and is a regular guest on "Powers to the People" on Talk Radio 1380am WNRR. She was chosen by The Jewish Week as one of its "36 Under 36" in 2013, an annual list of individuals reinventing Jewish life. She lives with her husband Seth Mandel, an assistant editor for Commentary Magazine, in New Jersey.

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All Comments   (2)
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Yeah, I didn't see the alleged hostility either. Sounds like more media manipulation. Shocking, I know.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
I disagree. They do not strike me as 'angry' or 'resentful'. Kids slow to talk in an interview ? Teenagers acting a bit contrarian ? Please note how gleeful one was in affirming a desire for another tv show.

In addition, please note that twins are often a bit 'closed' in their own twin relationship. The ten other children may have exacerbated that pre-existing predilection of these two.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
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