Reality TV Lesson #1: Don't Burn The People Who Edit You


If you've ever considered breaking your contract with the cable network who continues to edit your reality show, consider Jon Gosselin's plight. In the past year, reality television's most notorious father of multiples violated his contract with TLC repeatedly to collect money from The Insider and a few assorted Vegas casinos who paid him to shlub around their pool parties. Gosselin then accused the network of violating child labor laws (after learning that he would be booted from Jon & Kate Plus 8), and now he is paying the ultimate price in the edit room.

In what will surely be titled The Jon Gosselin Case Study in the Reality TV textbooks that can't be very far off in our future, last night's penultimate Jon & Kate realized the worst case scenario for television stars who anger their employers. It was only a year ago, when J&K episodes painted Kate as the controlling, irrational half of the Gosselin marriage and Jon as the sulky dad trapped in a rural Pennsylvania hell. Jon's shenanigans have since caused TLC to flip a 180, editing him as the worst father in reality TV history. Last night, Jon was depicted as a distracted dad who double-fists cellphones and ignores his children's pleas for food in favor of schmoozing the crowds of female fans that accumulate on the fringe of his property. In one shot, Kate complained about the fact that Jon never trained their two dogs. In the next few minutes, Jon was again captured on his cell phone, a distant "What up," captured by TLC's mics. Kate's barbs, which once looked so unfair, now seem well-deserved. When discussing the electric collars on the family pets, Kate explained that "their boundaries were set and they stayed home... Maybe we should have used a collar for other people."