Now that Dr. Dobson is off-the-air, I am really struggling with getting used to Dr. Juli Slattery as a host. Her training is in psychology--not communications. I have no doubt she is a brilliant psychologist, and I have enjoyed listening to her as a guest, but why she was chosen as a daily host is beyond me.
Interview questions for on-air broadcasts are much different than the kind of questions you ask a patient sitting in a chair in your office for a session. You only get so much time in a broadcast. The questions have to be relevant to what the majority of the audience wonders, you have to make the guest sound like the expert (not yourself), and you have to move. You need to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time.
All that aside, I am shocked at irresponsible interviewing of late. You may have heard the interviews with Chantel Hobbs, author of Never Say Diet: Make Five Decisions and Break the Fat Habit for Goodand the new release The One-Day Way: Today Is All the Time You Need to Lose All the Weight You Want.
Apparently, her broadcasts were the most popular of 2009. I listened to all four of them the other day. Never once did I hear anyone ask her about her choice to undergo a "breast lift and augmentation." She writes about it in her book, Never Say Diet. (She also writes about liposuction and body sculpting, and when she believes they can be appropriate).
Here's what she wrote:
"I honestly did not consider any surgery until I had my last child, more than three years into my transformation. Once I had maintained my weight loss and continued to get even more fit, I realized I had excess skin that had lost its elasticity and wasn't going back, and there was nothing I could do myself to change that. I decided to have a breast lift and augmentation, and this was a difficult decision. I understand that we need to accept our bodies as God created them, but God did not intend for me to balloon up to 350 pounds. There were ramifications from this that I knew could be fixed. I fixed everything I could through clean eating and exercise, then got help from experts for what I couldn't do on my own...
Yes, I discussed it with my husband first and then my mom and daughters. I wanted them to understand the frustration of losing a lot of weight, becoming superfit, and then being disappointed with my body as a result. They...understood this was not simply vanity. But as I moved forward with this decision, I wanted to consider the message I was sending my children. I wanted my girls to know their mom was fixing a problem that she had created herself, that this was not simply a matter of wanting bigger breasts.
My problem is not that she underwent plastic surgery (although I personally don't agree with it), but that Focus on the Family failed to tell its audience this key piece of information while touting her story and books. In my old news days, if I left out such a huge key to someone's story in an interview, I would be hauled into my news director's office for irresponsible journalism. And I would deserve the chastisement. I would have failed to have done my job.
So if you listened to the Focus broadcasts and heard Chantel's story and were inspired to eat better and exercise more, remember--as you look at pictures of her, you will not have identical results...unless you, too, "get help from experts," in Chantel's words, for what you can't do on your own. I think Focus on the Family owed it to its listeners to tell us all this key piece of information. Either somebody didn't do decent research, or Focus just chose not to bring it up. But what message does this really send to young women and moms who are working on losing baby weight--all women, really? "Time to get some plastic surgery, honey, because this belly just ain't going back."
I will be writing a letter to Focus, and I encourage you to as well.
Now back to regularly scheduled posting... :)