I am so annoyed.
I don't normally watch Katie Couric's talk show. Why? Well, for a number of reasons but mainly because I don't really relate to the topics that have been covered lately and also, because I just don't like her interviewing style.
One thing they teach you early on in journalism, is to keep your stories factual and unbiased. It's clear in most of her interviews that she never received that memo.
Anyway, yesterday I was surprised to see a subject on the show that I could maybe relate to. "Mommy's Little Helper," featured mom's who use alcohol, prescription drugs and Internet addictions as a way to cope with being a busy parent. OK so I'm not an alcoholic or a drug addict BUT I am a busy mom who finds myself saying "I could use a glass of wine," every once in awhile. Since one of my favourite community leaders was on the show, Mom's Who Need Wine, I thought the first segment would be a light and humorous chat about the demands of motherhood and Marile's funny blog, but boy was I wrong.
I found myself wanting to throw my cup of coffee at the television screen. Maybe it was just me, but I felt Katie was so judgmental of Marile, implying that all of the mom's in her community lure their kids to the playground everyday so they (the mom's) could get smashed behind the swings.
It's not that I think drinking is OK or not a big deal. I just felt as a talk show host, she did a poor job of showing both sides of the coin. I really felt her agenda was to create this juicy expose about how this new generation of mom's can't handle being a parent so we're all drunk on our play dates and popping Adderall like it's going out of style. And I think she succeeded at painting that false picture to tell you the truth.
Listen, I'm not defending getting wasted on a play date or having a glass of wine on the playground. I think Katie was right, those things seem excessive and dangerous. But I think what Marile was trying to show through her Facebook page is that sometimes it's OK for mother's to cry out "I need a glass of wine because today totally sucked balls and I'm going to sell one of these kids to the zoo!". She was right when she said that "Mommy needs a glass of wine," doesn't always mean Mommy's gonna have a glass, it's just an expression some use to explain how crummy their day was. Katie obviously missed this point - didn't even try to understand it. In fact, the more I watch the clip, the more I'm convinced she wasn't even listening!
I think what made this interview really suck, was that Katie missed the point of Marile's community. She turned it into a finger pointing, tsk tsk'ing, good mom's don't get frustrated with their kids, and you should all be in rehab - kind of show. Especially when she implied that there's a time and place to have a glass of wine, and it should be when someone more responsible is watching your kids.
Sure, there are parents out there who may be taking the drinking too far, like her other guest who had too much wine on a play date and drove her kids home totally buzzed (luckily she realized she had a problem and quit drinking). I think this whole drinking on a play date idea had the potential to open a great dialogue on her show. And I kept waiting, and waiting, and waiting for the dialogue to happen. But with each guest who shared their story about drinking or parenting with a mental illness, I kept seeing a common thread: Katie was judging, judging, judging and talking to her guests as though they should be ashamed of themselves.
I really felt this episode was all about pointing the finger at mom's who need a release. And while we're on the subject about being judgmental, I must applaud her for the outstanding job she did at implying mother's who suffer from mental illnesses and take prescription drugs are just drug addicts in disguise. I think she did a great job at setting back the mental health stigma back about 10 years.
*On a side note, one of the mom's on the show (the woman in the video above who has adult ADD and uses medication to help manage it) felt really hurt by some of Katie's comments and even felt she was blindsided by the direction Katie took the show in, once she was sitting up on the panel. I saw that she had posted her disappointment in the comment section on Katie Couric's website - and she later revealed on her own Facebook page, the producers took down her comments. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?
Did you watch this episode? What did you think of it?