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Kate Gosselin – mom of the plus 8, soon-to-be minus one husband – is set to answer viewers’ questions during a TLC special Monday, in a gimmick that reportedly already has drawn thousands of online queries.
Here’s just one question for her estranged spouse, Jon – more of a plea, really: Why won’t you go away?
Gosselin, once famous for being a dad of eight, is now infamous as a walking gossip item – cavorting, allegedly raiding the family bank account and basically throwing a temper tantrum after TLC cut him out of the billing of “Jon & Kate Plus 8.”
The show, which started as an amiable program about a big family with big challenges – and morphed into a chronicle of the public disintegration of a marriage – thankfully is set to end next month.
But there is little indication the bickering couple is ready to leave the spotlight, even if their children, ranging from 5 to 9, could use a permanent break from the glare.
Kate Gosselin reportedly is eying her own talk show. Jon Gosselin has said he plans to stay on TV – and has met with ex-con Michael Lohan, father of Lindsay, who is said to have tried to sell him on celebrity boxing and a reality show about divorced dads.
Perhaps Jon Gosselin’s most bizarre publicity grab yet came Sunday at Manhattan’s Central Synagogue, the site of a "Values to Heal America" event.
He approached a panel that included Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, surgeon and talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz, Newark mayor and Conan O’Brien sparring partner Cory Booker and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, an author and former Michael Jackson pal.
"What two or three values can I use to raise good kids?" Gosselin asked – which, considering his behavior, would have been funny, except that are eight innocent children involved.
It seems crazy for the likes of Elie Wiesel – and the rest of us – to be dragged into this mess, which is shaping up as the latest cautionary tale of how reality TV can turn nobodies into headline-hungry pseudo-celebrities and change lives in unpredictable ways.
Those who care will tune in Monday to hear what Kate Gosselin has to say for herself. Meanwhile, we put it to you: What would you like to ask Jon Gosselin? Use the comments section to deliver your questions – we’re sure he’ll appreciate the attention.
Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992. Follow him on Twitter.