Vanity Fair hits the nail on the head with “Jon & Kate Plus 8”

This month’s online Vanity Fair article about Kate Gosselin confirms something I’ve suspected all along: Both she and Jon are addicted to all of the attention.

I am almost embarrassed to admit I own every one of these issues. Sheesh.

I am embarrassed to admit I own almost every one of these issues. Sheesh.

And, I suppose, in some sort of sick way, it’s understandable: Since March of this year, Kate and her husband of extremely poor judgment have appeared on the cover of celebrity tabloids over 50 times (15 times each in In Touch Weekly and Star Magazine alone). Vanity Fair says that number is more than any other celebrity, Brangelina included.

Star Magazine editor Candace Trunzo points to those photos of Jon partying at a bar with college coeds in Pennsylvania as the beginning of the insanity.

“It was the beginning of this incredible phenomenon known as Jon and Kate Gosselin,” Trunzo tells Vanity Fair. “Everybody wanted to talk about them. They had become a real-life soap opera. The show was never as interesting as the two of them in real life.

“They were doomed to be exposed,” Trunzo continues, “because they put themselves out there in the first place. And now they’re addicted to the limelight.”

And are they ever. “The View,” the “Today” show, “Larry King Live,” “The Insider”… it’s endless.

Not surprisingly, the Jon and Kate scandal has drastically benefited these magazines, all of which have been suffering the effects of the slowed economy. Vanity Fair says that unlike other celebrity stories, the Gosselins are easy to produce, partly because the price of paparazzi shots of them run a lot less.

It also helps that Jon and Kate either don’t know how to control their image or don’t want to.

“Brad and Angelina try to be discreet,” explains In Touch Weekly editor Richard Spencer to Vanity Fair, “whereas Jon and Kate, they serve it daily to you on a platter.”

And if you had any doubt that Kate isn’t lapping up all this attention, check this out: During a shopping trip the Vanity Fair writer took with Kate to FAO Schwarz in New York City, a paparazzo sneaked photos of Kate as her purchases were rung up. He explains, “She’s a massive story at the moment.” When the Vanity Fair reporter relays that news to Kate, guess what her reply is?

“At the moment?”

This whole exploration of addiction to fame reminds me of what Kate said on the “Today” show a couple weeks back – about how her kids are upset that the TLC show isn’t taping.

“Over the weekend I told them that we’re not filming at this point,” she told Meredith Vieira. “And actually, times eight, there was wailing and sobbing. They love our crew, they love the interaction, they love the events. There is nothing harmful about it. They are angry.”

Based upon her statement, I’d argue the Aaden, Alexis, Hannah, Leah, Joel and Collin are addicted to the attention, too. And how could they not be? It makes perfect sense: Their parents probably pay more attention to them while the show is filming than at any other time. Plus, they have other people (the film crew) whom they can turn to when their parents are distracted.

Dr. Drew Pinsky should forget about celebrities addicted to drugs, alcohol and sex, and instead focus on those who are addicted to media attention. He’d have more clients than he’d know what to do with – and he’s already got 10 in Pennsylvania.

Jon and Kate Gosselin: From bad to worse

I feel so sorry for Jon and Kate Gosselin’s children – Cara, Mady, Alexis, Leah, Joel, Hannah, Aaden and Collin.

people cover

They have lived out their entire short lives in the spotlight, and the frenetic attention shows no signs of abating.

As if we didn’t already think that the extramarital affair allegations against Jon were bad enough, Kate herself entered the fray, defending allegations made by her own brother, apparently, that she’s engaged in an affair of her own.

Now Kate is talking to People and admitting that her marriage is in deep, deep trouble.

“I don’t know that we’re in the same place anymore, that we want the same thing,” she told People. “I’ve been struggling with the question of ‘Who is this person?’ for a while. I remember where I was the first time I heard her (23-year-old schoolteacher Deanna Hummel) name. It’s one of those things where you can try to make it go away, but there’s blaring, red flashing lights.”

Of course, that’s not exactly acknowledging that she may have contributed to the problems herself, traveling the country with personal bodyguard Steve Neild, sans Jon and the kids.


Why does Kate remind me of an Oompa Loompa here?

Kate told People that as tough as it’s been to adjust to the very real possibility that her relationship with Jon is irretrievably broken, she will get through it.

“It’s a lot like when I was first pregnant with the babies, and it was pure shock and denial,” she confessed. “But over time I imagined six cribs in my house, and six car seats. When your mind is ready to go there, you can accept any number of scenarios.”

But that doesn’t mean Kate has given up hope – though she doesn’t specify said hope is about her marriage.

“I will never give up hope that every member of our family can be absolutely happy again,” she said.


Meanwhile, Kate’s brother, Kevin Krieder, is singing like a canary. In an interview with Us Weekly, he said, “Jon came to our door one day and told [Krieder’s wife Aunt] Jodi he suspects it’s Steve the bodyguard, and he feels that he’s getting the bad rap. He feels that Kate’s not being faithful either.”

At recent public appearances, Us Weekly reports that Kate has been very touchy-feely with Neild.

“She was gently poking him, giving him little love pats, totally unlike the slapping she does with Jon,” the magazine’s source said.

And finally (gosh, isn’t this enough already?), Us Weekly reports that the Gosselins make up to $75,000 per episode on their TLC show “Jon & Kate Plus 8” for a 20-episode season – and that amount doesn’t include all of the perks that come with the job.

You know, of course, I’m referring to the Whirlpool Duet washers/dryers that Kate couldn’t stop singing about (literally, I kid you not) a few months ago. But wait, that’s just the tip of the iceberg – or should I say gold mine? Here’s just a sampling (you might be as surprised as me about some of these – they go back quite a ways):

Free solar panels for “Going Green” episode
Mady & Cara’s birthday at American Girl Place (2 dolls and birthday package for 2 adults & 2 kids): $710
Trip to Florida Keys for Jon’s 30th birthday
1/2 an organic cow from Natural Acres Farm: $1,395.00
Tickets to Walt Disney World: $654.00 per day
Utah house rental (estimate: $5,000), ski lift tickets $72 for six days), ski school lessons ($140 per child)
Upright piano, which they got rid of when they moved into their new $1.1 million home : $5,550-$6,350
Old house recarpeted
Teeth Whitening (for Jon & Kate): $1,310 (average price for 2 adults)
Hair plugs (Jon): $5,200 (average cost)
Grand Wailea Resort (Hawaii) for 2008 vow renewal: Suites range from $725-$1,080 per night.
2 purebred German Shepherd puppies: $1,000-$3,000 per dog

Look, we know that freebies come with doing a show like this. But some of this stuff seems a bit much to me. For example, I can’t believe they got rid of that beautiful brand-new piano. What, an upright isn’t fancy enough for their new home? (Look for a baby grand when the series returns on May 25 – I bet we’ll see one.)

And as far as the puppies are concerned… Am I losing my mind or do I not recall seeing Kate write out a check to the dog breeder in that episode? Maybe she just paid him a small fee because he was getting free publicity.

And, like the Mediaweek editor Us Weekly quoted in the piece says, the Gosselins can no longer pretend they’re just an *average* ordinary family.

“Their lives have changed – they’re not struggling anymore,” Marc Berman of Mediaweek said. “They’re eating at fancy restaurants now. Yeah, they still have eight children, but things are different.

“They’re now a celebrity couple. The emphasis of the show has changed, and they need to address how they’ve evolved. If they don’t evolve the show, I think the audience is going to be upset.”

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