I am obsessed with the Duggers, a Fundamentalist Baptist family in Arkansas with seventeen kids (whose names all begin with the letter J) and one on the way. Parents Jim-Bob and Michelle don’t allow their children to watch television, but of course have no problem earning a livelihood from the medium. They first came into the American zeitgeist with a special on the Discovery Health Channel, 14 Kids and Pregnant Again. The Duggars’ huge brood, weird names, and prairie sack dresses made them a hit. Since then they’ve had more specials, a brief TV show, an upcoming “spinoff” featuring oldest son Josh’s wedding, and a new book  in which they give parenting advice.
And what would you expect next from the people who announced their eighteenth pregnancy—to the world and to their own children—on The Today Show? A televised birth, of course. People magazine  just announced that the birth of little J’eighteen, a girl due in January, will be on TV. There’s no word on whether it’ll be on Discovery Health or some other misbegotten network, but I suspect ol’ Jim-Bob would put it on a live feed on the internet if he could get somebody to sponsor it.
I say now that I won’t watch, but I probably will. Who’s joining me? Come on, I’ve been waiting for her uterus to prolapse for, like, years now.
From “The Cleaver,” by Lilit Marcus