Well, the show aired. Here’s a really good blog discussing the various concerns about the show.
Dr. Phil has an obvious bias against unschooling. That wasn’t a big surprise. I’m more interested in how his guests were treated, and how he had to set everything up in order to get the results he wanted.
That says to me, he knows very little about the homeschooling or unschooling community. He knew he was out of his element, and set it up so that he couldn’t be wrong.
Perhaps he was afraid that if he allowed the unschoolers to bring their kids, it would make them look good, and he wouldn’t be able to say with 100% certainty that his opinion was right. Perhaps he was afraid that if he allowed a general audience to view the program (instead of buses in high schoolers) that they wouldn’t respond in a predictable way and might actually be OK with the idea of unschooling. Perhaps he was afraid that if he allowed the various homeschoolers he invited to actually talk, they might say something to challenge his bias.
I find it interesting that Dr. Phil, who says so often to his guests, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?” and calls his guests “right fighters”, is the one who has to set his show up with so much effort and trickery, so that he can be right.
The irony is overwhelming.
There is a rumor going around, I won’t say where I heard it, and I’ll say that it’s definitely a rumor – that someone is gathering stories about Dr. Phil’s guests who have been manipulated and tricked on his show. It will be interesting to see if that’s really true.
Maybe, if that kind of thing came out, and got a lot of press, all the talk shows will be more careful about how they treat homeschoolers, in particular. Cuz, there’s one thing about homeschoolers – we’re not dumb. We can see through manipulation and Jedi mind tricks with ease.
Hello Media – homeschoolers don’t behave for you like trained monkeys. Remember, our kids don’t go to school. We’ve rejected the system of “do what the authority says or else”. If you want a homeschooler on your show, be honest, up front and treat us right. Even if you don’t like us. Cuz if you don’t, well, we’ll call you on it.