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January 30, 2007

In Support for Melissa Summers

Last night I was searching through the Silicon Valley Moms Blog statistics (that shows how many and who came to visit the blog, including those that clicked over from google searches). Jill and I are the stat addicts of the blog.  I saw a very interesting google search with these key words: "Meredith Vieira   Melissa Summers" . Hmmm, I wondered why someone was googling one of the co-hosts of The Today Show and the blogger that writes Suburban Bliss in the same search?

I imagine that the person who performed that search came over to our blog because I had posted twice on Meredith Vieira back in August. One talking about how Meredith Vieira is a good role model for a mom taking time off for family and then returning to work and then the other had words of support for Meredith Vieira while some other bloggers said she was not really opting out because she had such a big bank account. I thought it was demeaning to unfairly critize a mom like that. Little did I know that the tables would be turning....

Last week was a tough week for me, I had to pull one of my twins out of a duck pond. While recovering from that, I did not have the time to read some of my other favorite mom blogs as usual. After that odd google search, I decided to read Surburban Bliss, CityMama, State of Grace, Maya's Mom and The Zero Boss to find out what is going on. I don't have time for TV in the morning so I completely missed out on the saga of the Cocktail Playdates.  It turns out the media is frothing over the concept of cocktail playdates, where juice boxes are sitting near bottles of chardonnay. Melissa Summers was invited to appear on the Today Show to discuss the issue (blogging baby provided the following link to view the video).

Ok, let me first say this is a non issue.  Moms with bottles of chardonnay are not running rampant on our playgrounds.   Second, Melissa Summers was ambushed and it could have happened to any of my blog sisters so that makes me mad!  Most bloggers are real people who don't have PR agents to help them navigate these murky waters. How could they not explain to Melissa before she organized babysitting (oops, I need to be careful using that word) and all the other things moms need to do to hop on a plane to appear on the show that it was going to be a faux debate? I think Melissa stated it appropriately:

".......If I had known this would be some sort of faux debate I would not have agreed to appear with a f**  psychologist with plenty of television experience as my opponent. This was unfair and you know it and that is why I was never informed this was a debate.   
Would I have had the same discussion with another blogger who thinks it's not a good idea to drink at playgroups? Yes absolutely. We may have been on equal footing in that way. A blogger may have been able to actually say something of value or entertainment because we are not trained in the ways of traditional media. Which for Dr Janet Taylor means saying the same thing over and over without ever really saying anything of value. "

It would be interesting to have an authentic conversation on healthy ways for moms to socialize. The key words are authentic and conversation (meaning a two way discussion). And it is ok if everyone does not agree. But it is not ok to unfairly criticize moms as CityMama stated:

"And people that criticize moms who drink responsibly because we're adults, are just looking for an excuse to criticize, well, anything."

State of Grace discussed that bloggers should be media savvy.  I agree but how about also setting some ground rules for mainstream media (MSM): Bloggers have authentic discussions, so if you want to get someone to stand in for a faux debate, please look elsewhere. MSM is a great source of information. Our blog has received calls from newspapers and, so far, we have had positive experiences. I can not live without my daily dose of my favorite newspaper sites. But lets not confuse the two. Blogs are fresh opinions, and that is also something I can't live without.

And by the way, Melissa, you did look fabulous and handled yourself well.