A Review of Anderson Cooper's interview with the Brown family
A Review of Anderson Cooper's Interview with the Brown Family of TLC's "Sister Wives" and the FLDS children who were disposed of, like trash by their parents, who follow convicted sex offender Warran Steed Jeffs.
By Chana Bogsted
Just finished watching Anderson Cooper: here's my take on the show as someone who didn't grow up in polygamy and wasn't exposed to it except by what I've learned from reading about it and talking to all of you.
Kody et al are pretty good at presenting themselves. I think most people who aren't familiar with polygamy are going to take them as they present themselves: nice people who just happened to choose 'this lifestyle.' People who get along and work out their differences and all love each other. They dress like "normal" people, talk like "normal" people, so that's what they must be.
The kids from FLDS, however, were able to see the hidden side because they lived it. From years of hearing to "stay sweet,' they understand the emphasis on deceit, on pretending that things aren't what they are, in order to survive. One of the boys, Holden, I think, talked about how his parents would pretend to get along and talk about how happy they were to have other wives to take care of the kids - until the door closed and reality emerged.
I think most Americans are going to take the Browns and maybe the Dargers at face value, because most Americans are pretty naive and trusting. The Browns were very careful to distance themselves from Jeffs and the FLDS so that the public can distinguish between "good" polygamists and "bad" polygamists. If they can get most Americans to identify with them, they may be able to persuade the country that polygamy shouldn't be punished, but child abuse should.
Unless we can get people who have grown up in polygamous families that are more like the Browns' than Jeffs', then I think they have a fighting chance of winning the war of public opinion. Even Cooper, who is very critical of the fundamentalists who don't look and dress like us, the "bad" polygamists, sounded fairly sympathetic.
Sorry I can't give a different review of the show, but this is how I saw it.