11/1/09

Gawker and Radaronline.com: Nobody Shows up as Public Rejects Misuse of Religion by Celebrities Jon Gosselin and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

New Yorkers are remarkable people with a strong sense of propriety. That was proved tonight as our local people ignored an evening of confessions with Jon Gosselin and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.

BREAKING NEWS: Jon Gosselin Changes Mind On Appearance; Sparse Crowd Shows Up

Jon Gosselin had a last minute change of heart and showed up for his confessional with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach at the West Side Jewish Center in New York Sunday night.

Gosselin's appearance was announced days ago but the Jon & Kate Plus 8 star got cold feet as the 7 PM Sunday start time approached and he almost didn't make it. He eventually did, looking nervous and more than 30 minutes late. He blamed the NYC Marathon traffic for his delay.

Maybe he shouldn't have bothered. The hall that had been booked for the event was only about one-quarter full, one eyewitness told RadarOnline.com. "And of that, there were about 75 media people there and only about 50 members of the paying public."

Tickets were advertised for $25 in advance or at the door, but with so few fans attending, they didn't even bother to collect at the door, the source said.

Gosselin spoke for more than an hour....
But wait. It gets worse. Gawker, not happy that people voted with their feet went out of its way to seriously disrespect the rabbi and his celeb. Really - have they no respect for the clergy?
Jon Gosselin's Public Shot at Forgiveness With Celebrity-Obsessed Rabbi Shmuley

"I feel guilty," Jon Gosselin laments to "America's Rabbi," Shmuley Boteach. Rabbi Shmuley talked to Jon on his bima about asking the world for forgiveness. We dispatched. Our Black Ops spy to the scene. One word: Wow. This is absurd.

Jon Gosselin is an incredible, oblivious ass, and this Rabbi is a ridiculous fameball crook.

Forget the fact that Gosselin—not Jewish—sought out a Magical Jew to help him sort out his problems, and forget the fact that this Rabbi, who was once a punchline on 30 Rock, who has nine children, who is a fame-mongering celebrity in his own right, embraced this with open arms. Just go to the game tape and you'll see. [Video - spy quality]

Gawker Black Ops video intern Sergio Hernandez, who went armed with $20 for admission and a FlipCam, described the scene as such:
Gosselin was 40 minutes late. A strange British woman who was inappropriately underdressed for a synagogue told us he was "stuck in traffic" and "delayed by the New York City marathon," and there was buzz that Gosselin had actually canceled his appearance. He did, eventually, show up to a stampede of paparazzi and entertainment cameras (by my count, at least Entertainment Tonight, Extra, TMZ, and FOX News were all there).

The event was, ostensibly, a discussion about the effect of fame and celebrity on religious and moral values. Jon opened by saying he wasn't a fameseeker and neither asked for nor invited his newfound celebrity (but nonetheless thanked the cameras in the room for showing up.)

Then Shmuley brought up Jon's divorce and basically tried to get him to blame his marital problems on fame and the pressure from TLC to draw in more ratings. Gosselin, for the most part, was pretty gracious about not villainizing Kate too much; he talked about going to therapy and learning about the mistakes he made during their marriage.

But Shmuley, who peppered the discussion with way too many smug, self-referential jokes, basically tried to excuse Jon's post-divorce, uh, behavior, with Kate's emasculation. Of course, you'd think if Shmuley and Gosselin hated all this attention so much, they might've, you know, not prostrated themselves in front of a few dozen cameras and charged $20 a person for it? But what would be the fun in losing out on that?

Especially interesting that Shmuley tried to paint TLC as the Bad People, because, you know, he's kinda been in bed with them before. And did they cancel Shalom In The Home? Well, it aired two seasons, and hasn't been on the air since 2007. So: you tell me. Again, a crook. Also: a misogynist, a snake-oil salesman, and a publicity whore. Come to think of it, that might be both of them. I'm not sure which behavior here begets the other, but whatever it is, wherever it comes from, this can't be good for The Kids, The Jews, and I don't know, Anybody Who's Ever Devoted Faith To Anything. This is really, really sad.

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