Sunday, May 22, 2011

Kashing In On Kids (Bad Spelling Intentional)

Frank Sorrentino posted rants on You Tube going off on son Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino of Jersey Shore fame. This is just the latest installment of parents cashing in on their kids. Why do these fame-whoring parents do it? There are several reasons, I'm sure.

Frank Sorrentino was quick to defend himself when he went off on son Mike Sorrentino in some You Tube clips. It seems that his words came from a place of pain, and instead of trying to smooth things over, Frank is using his slice of reality pie to make some much needed cash.

The deal is that Frank, an out-of-work diabetic, needed some money for medical expenses. So he reached out to Mike for some financial assistance. Mike didn't return his call, which made Frank mad. So he decided (or so it seems) that the best revenge is to publicly trash his son, which in turn earned him some fame and money.

Taking this story at face value, I have a few takeaways. These aren't based on facts, merely my opinion. First, there was probably a reason Mike didn't call his dad back. His dad may have been out of work many times before and asked for cash from Mike. Mike probably thought the best course of action was to ignore his dad, rather than create a conflict...especially if he knew his dad was seeking some fame and fortune from his success.

Secondly, Frank had plans for this opportunity. He may have known his pleas for cash wouldn't pan out, so he quickly created his You Tube videos, grabbed his fame, and tried to run with it as fast as he could by asking for a reality show of his own. This, in and of itself, shows his intentions are not exactly as clean as he wants us to believe.

Plus, Frank has a bone to pick - he said his kids once told him he's got no talent, so he wants to prove them wrong.

Note that Mike served dad Frank with legal papers because of the unauthorized use of his likeness on his website, TheConfrontationSite.com. However, even a lawsuit can't take away Frank's newfound fame...and this will only make it grow.

Frank Sorrentino's not the only fame-seeker out there, of course. We've got Michael Lohan, Jon Gosselin and that woman Rocky who showed off her kid on I Know My Kid's A Star and later appeared on Tough Love, among others.

We'll never truly know what inspires these parents to use their kids as pawns for fame, but it's fairly obvious that the reason it continues is because it works. That's really the problem here - although Michael Lohan and others aren't exactly popular in the public eye, they are famous. And that does create opportunities. I mean, even Ashley Dupre, mistress to Elliott Spitzer is going to be on a reality show. We're clearly sending out the wrong message here - do something dumb, exploit someone or sell out your kids, and we'll reward you with fame and fortune.

On a related note, has anyone even considered what will happen to the kids of the Teen Mom girls? If they stay on the MTV reality show when they're old enough to be conscious of what's going on, doesn't anyone realize this could negatively impact their lives? What about the kids of The Real Housewives of New Jersey? They're young and impressionable - is anyone thinking about their safety and well being?

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