Smug Americans Love 'Bad-Parent Porn'
We're addicted to seeing moms and dads face 'public smackdowns'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 20, 2009 1:22 PM CDT

(Newser) – America, it seems, is addicted to “bad-parent porn,” writes Meghan Daum in the Los Angeles Times. Nadya Suleman's new reality show is only the latest incarnation, along with Jon and Kate, of course. (And let us not forget Michael Jackson.) People just love to see moms and dads screw up in a big way. "We express disgust for them and for the media outlets that enable them, and then we read and watch some more."

What is it about these stories that sucks us in? That would take a lot of therapy to figure out—maybe a lot of Americans are angry at their parents or guilty about their own lousy parenting—but "in the end, bad-parent porn appeals to that ugliest and most innate of human emotions: smugness.” We like seeing parents “subject themselves to public smack downs.” Suleman needs a “time-out”; the media and fans of the genre should be “grounded for life.”