Saturday, January 31, 2009

Redefining The Word "Expert"

She is already the talk of the town but now she wants more. Unfortunately for her (but fortunately for the rest of us), the talk now seems to be going in the other direction.
Last Monday, Nadya Suleman, an unemployed 33-year-old woman in California, gave birth to octuplets after being the recipient of in vitro fertilisation. It was quickly revealed that Suleman was already a mother of six before this event, meaning that she now has 14 children, all under the age of 8. Her parents bought her a two-bedroom home but then they had to file bankruptcy and move in with her. Her father, an Iraqi native, is now saying that he will return to his native country to find work. So we have a minimum of 16 people and 0 jobs living in one two-bedroom house.
Not to worry, though, the Miracle Mom plans to launch a TV career as an expert in childcare and is looking to Oprah Winfrey and Diane Sawyer to get her started. Does anyone else find this situation more absurd than words can describe?
While the saying may be "practice makes perfect" and it is certainly true that this woman will be getting lots of practice, it is not a given that practice makes an expert. In fact, the irresponsibility that Suleman has demonstrated comes mighty close to showing her to be the exact opposite of an expert in childcare. How well has she cared for the six children she already had? How much care was she showing when she allowed herself to be implanted with at least twice as many embryos as is generally accepted with this process? [That, itself, is sparking an ethics investigation.] How is a woman who describes herself as a "professional student" who lives on government grants an expert at anything?
On the plus side, while I am not a big fan of either Winfrey or Sawyer, I do believe that both ladies have more respect for themselves and their audiences than this. If nothing else, the tide of disgust that seems to be coming from the general public will probably make these two notables extremely hesitant to throw out the millions that Suleman expects. While certain other daytime talk shows might like this kind of fodder, I don't think they pay quite as much.

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