Thursday, July 17, 2008

OK! Feels the Heat

It looks like we are not the only ones who think OK! Mag's treatment of Jamie Lynn Spears' teen pregnancy was a disgrace. In this Newsweek interview with the mag's editor, OK! defends itself against the outcry that their article on Jamie Lynn glamorizes teen pregnancy.

And just how does OK! defend this drivel? Here are the relevant quotes from Newsweek's interview with OK!'s editor:

On whether their article glamorizes teen pregnancy:

I think what we've done successfully in this story is point out that Jamie Lynn is an exceptional situation where she's a young girl but she's already made a handsome living. She's not worried about paying her electricity bill. I think we talk to her about going back to work and what that would be like. I don't think we pretend for one minute that this story is anything but what it is and I hope what we've done is reflected the reality of the story in a fair way. We didn't go down there to slap this girl on the wrist and tell her off.
On the message their article sends to teenaged readers:

I think it's a very sensitive subject. I can totally understand why people have concerns about it. I can tell you too it's nothing Jamie Lynn hasn't had to deal with herself on a daily basis. This young girl has made some very hard choices ... She can only talk about her own circumstances but she certainly is not a spokesperson for teen pregnancy. I think what we try to do in this story really carefully is say that this is Jamie Lynn's story. This is not a girl at a high school story. This is a story about Jamie Lynn and her exceptional story in really, really unique circumstances and how she's making decisions. That's what this is about. We don't set out to be the moral authority. We try to present the facts and let our readers decide.

So what do you think of this defense?

I will tell you what I think. First of all, where in the Jamie Lynn article does OK! emphasize that her situation is exceptional because she's a girl who makes a handsome living? I missed that part. Where in the article do they talk about what it would be like if she went back to work? Where do they "reflect the reality of the story in a fair way"? I missed that part too. Is presenting unmarried, teen pregnancy as a blissful experience of puppies and rainbows a fair portrayal of reality? Is that what they mean by "presenting the facts"?

OK! Mag give us a break. Your objective is to make big bucks, period. If in the process you contribute to the overblown media obsession with pregnancy and childbearing, it's no skin off your back. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen, but don't give us lame explanations that make no sense whatsoever.

1 comment:

CFVixen said...

It sounds like a lot of spin to me. The entire article was all about Jamie Lynn's joy in motherhood. The girl is 16!!! She has no idea what motherhood is about. And we all know she isn't going to be the one raising that kid anyhow.

But teenagers reading that crap aren't going to connect that Spears' lifestyle and resources are 180 degrees different than their own. All they see is BABY = UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, ATTENTION, AND HAPPINESS!!

OK! and other magazines of their ilk should be ashamed of themselves.