Do you have a spouse? Would you like another one? How about three more?
On Sept. 23, the Today Show interviewed Kody Brown and his four wives. Brown and his “plural family” are the stars of TLC's new show “Sister Wives.” In the nine minute interview Brown and his wives were given free rein to speak about their lifestyle.
Brown explains his lifestyle as “faith based. Part of a faith belief. I followed through with it and this is kind of where it landed.” A clip from “Sister Wives” quotes “20 Years ago I married Meri and then Janelle and 16 years ago, I married Christine. I fell in love and then I fell in love again and then I fell in love again.” Where Brown has “landed” is with 13 kids and most recently four wives living in one house.
The “Today” interview could have easily been mistaken as a promotional press conference. Host Meredith Vieira asked the Browns questions about jealousy and how the wives go about sharing one man. There were no questions about the potential psychological affects of these relationships on their children. The fact that only one of these four marriages is legally recognized was quickly skimmed over. Instead the majority of the segment acted as an infomercial for the cause of polygamy.
Vieira allowed the Browns to portray themselves as victims in a harsh world that doesn't understand. Kody Brown states that “When you're in a closed society, you feel kind of oppressed.” Janelle Brown, one of his wives, added “It's dangerous. We're hoping that we can create more transparency for those in our faith. There is a lot of fear in our culture about the government. Sometimes people in those instances, where there is things going wrong, they're more afraid of the government than they are the perpetrator or whatever is going on. We hope we can open this up.” His most recent wife, Robyn, concluded “There is a lot of bad media about polygamy and this way of life and we're hoping to dispel this and say, hey, that's not us, that's not our family.”
”Today” offered no other side of the story. There were no experts brought in. There was no representation of an alternative side. The interview consisted of nine minutes of drumming up sympathy for polygamy. Vieira states “What defines a family has certainly changed throughout the years. These days families include single parents, step parents, single moms, even two moms or two dads.” Apparently “plural families” are just another item to be added to the long list of alternative lifestyles that the liberal media are trying to legitimize.
The Today Show is not the only news outlet to provide a platform for proponents of alternative lifestyles. The Culture and Media Institute has covered the elite media's kindly disposition toward polyamory.