This is rich. Reading Eagle editor Harry Deitz, in one of his infrequent Editor's Notebook columns, blubbers on today about how Jon and Kate Gosselin decline to grant an interview to the paper:
We'd love to tell their real story... But we don't have the national exposure they seem to want or need. And we don't pay. And TLC keeps them under wraps. So they don't talk with us. But, at one time, they did.
We told their story on Page 1 of the Reading Eagle before the sextuplets were born. April 4, 2004. We ran a wish list of things they would need, including a 15-passenger van, six new car seats, five new cribs, baby swings, strollers, clothes and diapers. We printed the children's names before they were written on the birth certificates....
We told the story of volunteers from their church who were there to help them, and we listed the things that were donated to help the family...But they soon outgrew us.
Then this piece of lazy, inexact writing:
Sometime in the last year or two they moved back to Berks and reportedly bought a seven-figure house on 22 acres in Lower Heidelberg Township.
Now, pick up a copy of today's Philadelphia Inquirer, where reporter Amy S. Rosenberg actually did some real reporting. She went to Wernersville, put in some real legwork, and wrote vivid passages such as this:
That gang was supposedly holed up inside a $1.3 million house on an isolated, winding, hilly road in this borough near Reading -- on a compound with two roaming German shepherds and reports of various roaming paparazzi. Their big black van was parked inside the garage, but at least on this day, there was no sign of anyone in the family of eight nor any paparazzi -- whose presence has spawned yellow tape and chains and "No trespassing" signs on the nearby driveways of irritated neighbors.
And to get to the heart of what the Gosselins really are like, she interviewed neighbors and church-goers and discovered "empathy, apathy and ennui":
Many around this town say they couldn't care less, even as they take visiting relatives for a swing by the house on Heffner Road, or report sightings in the Wyomissing Target. ("Kate wasn't very nice to my friend's daughter. Told her don't make a scene," reports one Little League mom.) Or lay claim to inside information pre-tabloid. "The scuttlebutt around here was going on long before it hit the papers," assured another mom. Some locals did not want to be named publicly, sensitive to the contradiction of making yourself public as you weigh in on the consequences of the Gosselins' going public with their family....
To listen to Wernersville-area residents, the Gosselins, despite being filmed doing ordinary family things like going for ice cream, shopping at Party City, and inviting classmates for a bouncy birthday party, seem isolated, as disconnected as Kate's hairstyle, from the real, real-life Little League and Twistee Treat family culture of the town.
Plus, there's a photo gallery.
Now you tell me? Which paper do you think did a better job with the Gosselins' story today?