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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Octo-Mom Please Go Away

A journalist is supposed to be a “truth-teller”. We report. We have to be fair and accurate. Just the facts ma’am. But I’m becoming more and more skeptical.

Not because I don’t think journalists tell the truth. I believe they do, I’m just bothered with what they tell the truth about. Journalists are supposed to find the news, but now they’re just making news. They’re not finding the monsters. Journalists are creating them.

Take Octo-Mom, for example. Bless your heart if you don’t know who she is and I apologize if you do, because I know we’re all getting sick and tired of her. You can’t turn on the news without seeing a news story about her.

She lost her home. She’s getting a new home. Her mother disapproves of her. Her mother’s helping her. She needs money. But wait, she’s not asking for any. She’s not a charity case. But you can donate (if you want to) on her website. She’s not asking for it. But it’s there anyway. Because… I mean, she’s got 8 kids. That’s why she’s the Octo-Mom.

No. She’s got 14 kids (which by the way, I feel bad for the kids who aren't part of the octuplet set. They're sort of an afterthought, no one seems to really care about them. Just about the fact that she gave birth to 8 kids). She just gave birth to octuplets… therefore Octo-Mom. Which is a horrible nickname. It just brings up horrifying images, many that have probably graced a Japanese-Horror film. And it’s dehumanizing, giving her a nickname and not even using her real name: Nadya Suleman. It’s a fact that a good majority of the people who have heard of Octo-Mom don’t know her real name.

So here’s my question: why is this important. I get that yes, she’s the first to have a healthy set of octuplets, so far. But she wasn’t the first to give birth to octuplets, that belongs to Nkem Chukwu from Texas in 1998. But why is it important to know everything about her life? This is supposed to be the news, not Nadya Suleman’s twitter account.

Why don’t you tell me about what’s going on in the world? You know, the important things like, the international state of affairs, human trafficking, breast cancer awareness? Or, hey, if there’s nothing going on then how about you update me on how the economy’s doing or what the weather’s going to be like this weekend instead of stalking Suleman outside of her new home and waiting til she comes home with her octuplets. I’ve never been more disgusted with the local news than when I watched Fox do a live newscast on Suleman and the octuplets’ homecoming, where a crowd of what looked like over 100 people waited for her. As her black SUV pulled in, the paparazzi pounced and chased after it, hundreds of camera flashes going off. One guy even held on the side of the SUV and went along for the ride. They even followed her into her garage and when the door closed, people stuck their phones in the small opening at the top to take pictures.

That’s got to be illegal somewhere, because that’s not right. I don’t care if all this publicity is going to make her money so she can raise her kids. And all those flashes, they can’t be good for the babies’ eyes. I'm sure I sound elitist when I say, she's not a celebrity, so why are we giving her so much attention? But she's becoming a celebrity because of the attention. It sounds mean, but it's not like she's Ghandi.

She didn't make a movie. She didn't cure cancer. She just a had a lot of kids. And personally, I don't think that's enough to make a big deal about her. Because that's all this celebrity craze is: making a big deal. Mostly out of nothing. Which really says a lot about American culture: we're all just a bunch of instigators and gossips. Which personally, doesn't make us look good.

And if we have to talk about her, why aren’t we asking the right questions? Like, if she and her family can’t support 6 kids, let alone 14 kids, why isn’t the state intervening and taking all of her kids away? Where is the money coming from? Or how about some debate on the ethical issues of IVF? And again, why is this important? Why are we making this important?

I know it defeats the purpose by posting a blog about Suleman, but enough is enough. I want my news back. I want just the facts. None of the drama.

Issa Morada

Photo Credit: The Huffington Post


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