Attacking the traditional family.
On the front page of Thursday’s New York Times, reporter John Schwartz clumsily compared a very prim Fifties sitcom with the reality-show polygamist Kody Brown, who just won a court ruling in Utah in favor of their four-wife life as displayed on the TLC reality show “Sister Wives.”
“In their first interview since the decision in that case, they presented a family whose polygamy is more ‘Father Knows Best’ than fundamentalist patriarchy,” wrote Schwartz, just like a TLC publicist.
Schwartz paints a picture of Kody Brown fighting with all four wives about whether the eldest daughter can get her ears pierced. Earrings are immodest, he says. See how traditionalist they can make him sound? But the wives win out, so Schwartz then repeated the sitcom analogy:
A recent afternoon with the family here suggested that Mr. Brown is far from the domineering figure of past polygamy horror stories like Warren Jeffs, the leader of another fundamentalist group who is serving a life sentence for child sexual abuse. Mr. Brown comes off more as a beleaguered sitcom father facing the challenges of scheduling family time split 21 ways…
“My wives were all fighting me here,” he recalled.
“We’re advocating for our daughter,” Meri clarified.
“Everything is a negotiation,” Mr. Brown said, as the retelling of the story became animated, with interruptions and whoops of laughter. He offered a proposal: “I’ll let you pierce them tonight if you promise you won’t get a tattoo until you’re 26.” She responded, “That’s too long!” He fell back to a final offer: tomorrow, and 25. She agreed.