‘Jon & Kate’ … Plus the Tabloids and Morning Shows

Jon Gosselin said he hadn’t signed up to have his life pored over by tabloids, and that he couldn’t leave his house without being harassed.

His wife Kate was shown walking to the supermarket while photographers snapped pictures.

The next day, on “Today,” People senior editor Kate Coyne insisted that the media coverage had nothing to do with the couple’s breakup.

Over on “Good Morning America,” they seemed to want to use the media circus as a teachable moment, promising to explore what parents should do at this stage of a marital split that’s best for the children. “The experts weigh in,” said Robin Roberts.

Ah, Diane Sawyer, behind that smile, it’s hard to imagine what must go through your mind at times like these.

As for what’s best for the kids, hmm. Maybe not turn them into props who grow up on television in the first place? Can’t wait for the “E! True Hollywood Stories” on this group around 2023.

“The great Jon & Kate debate is over,” they said on CBS’ “The Early Show.”

If it is, why are you all still talking about it?

The real winner here, obviously, is TLC, which stumbled into a pop-culture/tabloid sensation when its series about a couple raising eight kids saw their marriage begin fraying, throwing off rumors of affairs and launching a thousand US Weekly covers. Hell, I felt compelled to watch (OK, TiVo and zap through) Monday’s big “Divorce, American Style” episode, a small triumph for a series I had previously managed to pretty much ignore until now.

The trick now will be how to continue mining that mini-gold mine as the story inevitable cools. Both parents have indicated a willingness to keep taping segments, mostly because at this point, what else do they have? The program has overtaken their lives and become a cash cow. Besides, the title “Kate Plus Eight … and Maybe a new Man-friend?” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

Meanwhile, here’s some advice to the parents on “Raising Sextuplets,” WE’s new “Jon & Kate” knockoff: Start bickering. A lot. Sure, it’ll be unpleasant initially, but just keep reminding yourself that in the world of tabloid TV, you’ll actually be doing it for the children.

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