The newest entry in the “Sex is dirty, please watch our show while we prove it” sweepstakes is this clip from ABC News.
It’s an “exclusive” interview with Christine Hubbs, a 42-year-old woman who was recently convicted of having sex with her daughter’s 14-year-old boyfriend and his best friend.
She’s now known as “the Hummer Mom” because she drove her little lovers around in her Hummer, creating the world’s most perfect sexual reference. The interview is very odd and very disturbing. I felt like I desperately needed a shower after watching it—and not because of Hubbs’ crimes.
The first odd thing is that she gave the interview in the first place. She apparently did it to improve her image, asserting that “I don’t want to be portrayed as predator” (Ironically, the chyron slapped across the bottom of the screen during the piece is “preying on neighborhood boys”).
Christine never got the memo that there simply is no way to improve your image once you admit you’ve had sex with minors some 63 times. Sixty-three times—that’s more than most 42-year-olds have sex in two years.
So OK, she does the interview: with full makeup, her hair done, and with perfect TV lighting. All this in jail, of course. And this is where the clip gets smarmy.
Because no detail is left unspoken, no visual is left unseen. We’re solemnly shown the motel where she slept with the first boy, and the car in which she had sex with the second. They actually reconstruct a bedroom scene with vague body shapes moving under a blanket, intercut with interior shots of her house. It isn’t enough that we’re told of her intimate text messages—“You are mine, mine, mine,” “I miss your touch,” etc.—we have to actually see them on the screen, lovingly recreated on a fake phone.
No wonder the clip has to be so long (5½ minutes on the news? That’s usually reserved for things like Pearl Harbor).
Through it all, interviewer and interviewee earnestly talk about sex, yearning, responsibility, and sex. The serious-looking, very highly-paid “reporter” exploits the crap out of a disturbed woman desperate for her 15 minutes. How disturbed is she? She actually thinks ABC cares about her, and actually thinks people will like her better when they hear her tell the story of her own selfishness. She’s delusional.
And what do we learn?
Absolutely nothing. The normal-looking woman is obviously sick, and has learned nothing. Her family is now in counseling. The boys, who were given thousands of dollars in gifts and cash to have sex with a beautiful woman three times their age, are “victims” who will be instructed in exactly how damaged they now are. Husband Tim says he’ll stand by his wife, since their Mormon religion teaches that they’ll be married for “all eternity” (an expression that will acquire new meaning for Christine during the next five years).
And sex is the culprit—the vehicle with which one selfish person ruined a half-dozen lives. That’s what this news clip is about, from start to finish.
There’s nothing new here at all: Christine Hubbs is a Sweeps Week dream come true. Four times a year the TV industry needs people who enable them to put sexual perversion all over the evening news. You can set your watch by it: Addiction to hookers in February. Sex with kids in May. Teen strippers in July. Swing parties in November. It’s porn that Republican senators can love, because at the end, people get shamed and punished.
These aren’t news stories, they’re part of what has destroyed “news” as we know it. This reality TV is a series of morality plays, all with the same point: sex is ugly, sex is evil, sex is powerful, sex destroys.
So, viewers, please, please enjoy our decades-long series about the attractiveness of ugly, powerful, destructive sex. We know you love watching. And criticizing. And watching. And condemning.
You’ve memorized the headline: Sex does terrible things to people—film at 11.