Monday, October 23, 2006

ABC Television Strikes Again!

Apparently ABC TV seems to be trolling the waters "seeking whom it can devour"! I received the following letter - quite similar to the one received by KS Milkmaid. Notice how they make it seem wholesome by using the terms "family hour", "positive experience" and "teach and to learn".

My name is Meghan McGinley and I am a Casting Producer for the ABC Television show, Wife Swap. In case you are not familiar with the show, the premise of Wife Swap is simple: for two weeks, two wives from two different families exchange husbands, children and lives (but not bedrooms) to discover what it’s like to live a different woman’s life. The show airs on ABC on Monday nights at 8pm – family hour! It offers a positive experience for people not only to teach, but to learn about different family values.
I am contacting you because I am interested in casting a home schooling family on the show that feels strongly about the importance of family time. We have explored this avenue on the show in the past, and I have found that the families who home school their children tend to raise them in a very loving environment where family is a priority. I believe that those values are not as common as they should be, and that a close-knit home schooling family with strong morals and values would have a lot to teach another family if they appeared on the show.
I came across your website, and I was wondering if you might be interested in applying for the show. Your story of leaving the city to start your own farm is very unique, and admirable! I was also curious as to if you know of any other home schooling families who might be a good fit for the show. Families who participate in the show receive $20,000, and if you refer a family that appears on the show, you will receive a $1,000 finder’s fee.

Well, my immediate opinion was that anything called "wife swap" couldn't be good! I called a few friends that have television and began to ask what this was all about....I was horrified! But then again, $20,000 can be a huge temptation...what a salary!....$10,000 a many famillies struggling to make ends meet would be tempted to justify their actions in accepting such an offer?

My reply is below - although I must confess that after I hit send I thought of many things I would have liked to add!

Hello Meghan,
I found your letter quite interesting. Not having watched network T.V. for close to 20 years now, I had not heard of this program. I did some asking around and learned enough from the people who had seen your show to understand that you desire to choose women whose values and lifestyles are at complete odds with each other - I guess it makes for high ratings. It is interesting to me that all of the reasons you list as to why you would be interested in casting my family are the same reasons that I would soundly say "No Thank You" no matter what ABC paid. As a mother who feels strongly about the importance of family time, I could not leave my children for 2 weeks and give up that family time. I have never been away from my children for more than 24 hours (and that only 3 times) unless it was to have another baby. Because my family is my first priority, there isn't anything that would interest me in leaving them voluntarily. Because of our "strong morals and values" how could I participate in the impropriety of living in a house for two weeks and sharing time, conversation, meals etc. with a man who was not my husband - it violates God's word and those "strong morals and values". How could I entrust my children, the most precious gifts God has given to me, to a stranger... and allow that stranger to have authority over my children, to speak into their lives and hearts for two weeks, especially since the lifestyle and values that would be foisted upon my children would most certainly not be my own. Neither am I able to refer someone else to participate in something that completely goes against God's word and my own morals and values.

So, my advice to all you homeschooling Mom's....when you see the subject line reading ABC Television Inquiry....reach for the delete button and heave a sigh of relief!

Next post....let's get back to reality and talk about herbs and soapmaking!


  1. Way to go, Cheri! Excellent reply! I hope your words and Christina's give them some food for thought. So what are they doing, making the rounds of the agrarian blogs? Walter over at Sugar Mountain Farm got an invitation as well, which he turned down quite eloquently. Wonder who's going to be next!

  2. I have seen parts of the show a couple of times. It is nothing but a trash show that has little respect for anyone especially the children. What message does that teach? Your mom can be replaced. You can get a better model or not. The spouses don't show respect to each other. The kids just look confused. Do children not have enough drama in their lives? I shudder at the thought of that show. Yuck.

  3. John,

    It seems that way, sad isn't it?

    The whole idea is repulsive....I feel sorry for the kids who loose their Moms for 2 weeks and get stuck with who know what.....and two weeks is plenty of time to wreak havoc in the life of a young child.

  4. What a beautiful response to such an ugly program. I wish more people would use your wisdom in the care and keeping of their families.

    I love reading your stories and think you and your farm are such a breath of fresh air and source of light.

    May God continue to bless and keep you and yours.


  5. Hi Jenn,
    Thanks so much for your kind words. I'm so happy that you are enjoying the blog!


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