Saturday, January 15, 2011

Exploitation of Children Is Sick: Talking To You Kathie Lee Gifford!

Watch this video, then read my comments on said video.

Since I was a small child, I've always been taught that doing the right thing isn't something worth being praised for, the reward for it should come from knowing that you did the right thing.

Zach Hirsch was a popular high school senior. He's what you could consider your model All-American Boy. He's almost your stereotypical popular jock, has tons of friends, and by all accounts from this video seems like a great guy.

Then one day at school, Zach saw Graham, an autistic high school freshman sitting all alone at a table in the cafeteria, so he decided to go up to him and talk to him.

This leads to a wonderful friendship between the two and had a major impact in Graham's life, as he's now more social.

If the story ended there it would've been great. Zach did the right thing, good on him.

Then Zach's mother just HAD to write to Kathie Lee Gifford, who's segment "Everybody Has A Story" is a weekly segment on the Kathie Lee and Hoda show, which is really just a low-rent Today Show extension that tries (and fails) to compete with Kathie Lee's former show, Live With Regis and Kelly. (Kathie Lee and Hoda average a one share, while Regis averages a 2.8 share. Also ahead of Kathie Lee and Hoda: Oprah, Judge Judy, Jerry, Maury, Dr. Phil, Rachael Ray, Steve Wilkos, Entertainment Tonight, and reruns of Seinfeld, Family Guy, Two and a Half Men, The Office, and Criminal Minds.)

This segment appears to be popular because they do it every week, I'll break it down for you. The show brings out an extraordinary story, they talk to the principles involved (in this case, Zach, Graham, and their mothers) then Broadway actress and singer Kate Baldwin sings a song written by Kathie Lee about the subject, then Kathie Lee asks if they enjoyed the song she wrote for them.

Now listen to the song again and ask yourself this: if you were in the situation that Graham was in, would you want a song written by some middle-aged woman who knows nothing about your situation but feels the need to write a song about it to be sung on National Television?

I wouldn't because sans the Autisim, I knew what it was like to be in his position in middle school. It sucks, it stinks, and did I mention that it sucks? No one wants to be the outcast, especially at this boy's age.

But it just HAD to be exploited by Kathie Lee, who at 15 probably would've been the first person to not only ignore the poor kid, but maybe even make fun of him. (Don't you get the sense that 15-year-old Kathie Lee Gifford would've patronized him if she went to the same school and pretended to like him then after word got around school that the two were an "item" she'd tear the poor kid down and call him a loser in front of the whole class?)

The entire interview Kathie Lee straight out patronizes him, then listen to the interview after the song. You'll notice that Zach gets really uncomfortable, and Graham is crying. Of course in her pompousness, Kathie Lee thinks its because the song "moved him" but thankfully Graham is one smart kid and says it was because the song was "sad."

Was there an apology there? Did she follow that up with "well why was it sad to you?" even though the answer to that is painfully obvious to anyone with a brain? (Which of course is all of you my loyal readers, thank you for reading this again!)

No, just another patronizing, "Oh well maybe we'll jazz it up a bit" followed by laughter from everyone save for Graham (if you're wondering about Zach, even though he said he enjoyed the song, I think he was just being polite, I'm sure you could tell that he did not enjoy being there one bit.)

After all that I noticed that this is nothing more than a promotional video for Kathie Lee. She mainly talks about herself, its a way to get a song that she wrote performed on National Network Television by someone with a good voice (only good, not great), and the most disgusting thing about it is its EXPLOITIVE! Its almost as bad as using a sweatshop with under-aged workers to manufacture clothes with your name on it sold at Wal-Mart! (Anyone remember that controversy with Kathie Lee back in the 90's?)

Now ironically I found this video because of a rant against it by Howard Stern, who's practically Kathie Lee's mortal enemy and has been for more than 15 years apparently. His rant was probably better than mines but points out the same things I am.

Now if you actually enjoyed this segment, then God help you. It was manipulative trash and you know it.

And if you watched it live and enjoyed it, you should've been watching Maury instead. But because you didn't, you probably missed this:

Now this I don't mind exploiting. I'm sorry but if you feel the need to go on National Television to find out who the father of your child is, then you're really seeking attention.


  1. You r an idiot. I work with kids and teach them
    ' a candle does not burn brighter when the candele next to it is blown out' I am sorry no one ever taught you that. Kathy Lee has a dear friend with a school for autistic kids. She is no stranger to it and no stranger to good deeds.

    1. As an autistic person myself I would have been mortified if I were in Graham's shoes. Kathy Lee is self centered, egotistical, and all about her image. She talks to Graham like he's mentally challenged or more like a puppy. She goes on about herself constantly and exploits the life of her own children by constantly talking about them on the air. I am a very private person with Asperger's and I would have nothing to do with her after turning eighteen if she were my mother. Growing up and having your life made public is not a normal way to grow up. Angela, I think your comment is the only one I have read praising Kathy Lee and her narcissistic ways. What she did to Graham is humiliating. Shame on both of those boys mothers for allowing this so they can have their fifteen minutes of fame. Real Christians trust that God will see their good deed. Kathy Lee has to make a big show of it and it's always all about her. Shame on you that you are too blindsided by her celebrity status to see her for what she really is.