The Soapbox: Due Diligence in Reality TV

I only watched an episode or two of the apparently hit TLC reality show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”.  Frankly, the show appalled me and although from an American entertainment standpoint it brought on the chuckles, I saw no other benefit to airing anything regarding this obvious train wreck of a family.  As it turns out, my instincts were correct.  Over the past few weeks headline after headline has been released regarding child molestation, illicit affairs with said molesters, lying to children about who their fathers are and criminal contempt charges for failure to pay child support.  All after several seasons of receiving a paycheck and celeb notoriety for … well for what?

The skeletons in Mama June’s closet keep pouring out, but in the meantime a question should be discussed: How much due diligence are these “reality show” producers really doing on the folks they exploit and thrust into American’s living rooms?  If TMZ can easily unearth these disturbing facts, why couldn’t the TLC producers? It does not seem it would take much probing to find that the matriarch of this family had a criminal contempt charge (complete with mugshot) which would then probe the question, why was she paying child support to begin with? Which would then lead to the uncovering of her daughter’s molestation and the whole thing would unravel quite quickly.

As Americans, mothers and families we should be demanding more integrity in the programming that is being brought to us and our children.  This situation is flat out disgusting. The child victims in this story now have their horrible pasts plastered across the tabloids for all to see; being even further harassed by the media than they were before. Could this have been prevented by a simple background check?

And, the sad truth is this: as long as we keep watching, they will keep producing. So, where does it end? Do we boycott an entire industry as a population? Or do we continue to be entertained and risk innocence being lost in a tabloid?

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