Friday, July 13, 2007

They Done Her Wrong

Hmm, maybe every Friday should be "Mothers Done Wrong" day. Seems like there are so many cases of my sisters getting crappy treatment lately.

First, we have a clear-cut case of motherdonewrongism, that is if the mother is telling the truth. Which I wonder only because the story is so unbelievable. It of course reminds me of the case last year where the family claimed they were kicked off the plane because their daughter was crying. It turned out, they were kicked off because they would not strap her into a seat belt, and the whole light had already been delayed 15 minutes. But hey, I'll give the mom of the talkative tot the benefit of the doubt, lest I turn her into a mother doubly done wrong.

Second, we have the strange and puzzling case of Amy Jacobson, a Chicago TV reporter who just got fired after attending a poolside gathering at the home of a suspected wife-killer, with her children, all of them wearing bathing suits. OK, put aside the fact that she took her kids to the home of a could-be murderer -- that's weird, but you can't fire people for bad parenting. She was fired, apparently, because she became part of the story when a competing station filmed her there at the house. Apparently the station had warned her about getting too close to the sources, and this was one of many incidents over the years. So her crimes are becoming part of the story, getting too close to a source, and inappropriate attire.

Jacobson, on the other hand, says she was just conniving for a coveted interview of the guy. For convenience, we'll call the guy Scott Peterson, Midwest Branch (SPMB). She says she was driving her kids to go swimming somewhere else when SPMB's sister calls and invites her to come by, apparently suggesting that their kids can swim together.

If it happened just like she said, then I might have done the same thing. Every body's trying to interview this guy, and find out more. You get invited to his house, for a pool party, a seance, a swinging party, whatever -- you don't give the source a lecture about how you can't really be their friend. You show up. You ingratiate yourself. So, you get the opportunity when you have your kids with you, sure, you drop everything and show up, with the kids. At least that's what the reporter in me says. The mother me might not agree, but again, she didn't get fired for her mothering choices.

Sure, it's unusual for reporters to socialize at the homes of suspected murderers, because they don't usually get invited there. In my past reporting job, on the other hand, we got lots of invites to socialize with the sources. That's because our sources were the heads of companies that wanted publicity. And yeah, moral conundrums came up: I got invited to be in the company's box at a professional sports event, to have dinner on one of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's yacht, etc. And we almost always accepted, because it was a chance to get to know the executives better and earn their trust by spending time with them.

BUT, once again, I have to wonder if it happened just like she said. Because what are the chances that you and your kids are ALREADY in the car, wearing your bathing suits, when someone calls you and says get your kids, put on your suits, and come over? Seems fishy.

On the other hand, why on earth would she want to go swimming at the home of SPMB's house except to pursue the story? It just doesn't make sense. It's not like there aren't plenty of other places to swim.

So, my final judgment on Jacobson is that she shouldn't have gotten fired for this particular incident. She was hustling for the story and it's not her fault that someone taped her. The fact that she was wearing a bikini and had her kids with her are sexist reasons for calling her unprofessional. It was, after all, her day off. However, it sounds like she has a history of being less than ethical, so I can't really leap to judgment on the station for firing her either.


In an update on chez nous, yesterday I consulted both the doctor and our home inspector and have an allergy plan of attic:

1) another steroid eyedrop prescription, this time to be tapered off instead of just stopping when bottle is empty. ironically, i haven't yet gotten around to picking up the (surely expensive) prescription and already my eyes feel almost completely better. now that's a speedy drug!

2) bleach wash and dehumidifier for the basement. we bought one last night, in fact.

3) venting ceiling fan for upstairs bathroom. also purchased last night, but we gotta get an electrician in to install.

4) if that stuff doesn't work, we're having our great home inspectors, Accuspect, come back to do mold tests. if an upstairs air sample comes back with tons of mold spores in it, then we'll look at the more drastic measure of gutting the bathroom.

Have a nice weekend! I am excited about all the projects we're going to tackle. By the way, those of you who live in the area, we really like visitors who like to sit in our yard and hold/watch the baby and watch Nutmeg play. We even feed visitors like that bratwurst, beer, ice cream, etc.


Notta Wallflower said...

I saw the story about the mom and toddler getting kicked off the plane. Frankly, I don't buy the mom's story - not totally. I've seen much worse behavior from children go without rebuke on an airplane. However, maybe the flight attendant had had a bad day already and reacted unfairly. Too hard to say without being there.

If H and I were in the area, we'd come by for a visit. Damn, a beer and brats sound good, but I would settle for ice cream. :-P

Bert said...

Great entry. And... I want beer and ice cream! We'll have to visit in the fall or spring! Or, perhaps next summer when eating beer and ice cream will make sense. :)