Kathie Lee Gifford puts her foot in it a lot. She recently asked Martin Short how his deceased wife was doing, and she just comes across as careless in general. Maybe that has something to do with all the wine she drinks on the job. Kathie Lee has a new interview with Family Circle in which she asserts that neither she nor Hoda are alcoholics despite how much they drink on television. She also says offhand that she must be doing something right as a mother because “my kids [son Cody, 22, and daughter Cassidy, 19] haven’t been arrested, in rehab or kicked out of school.” A lot of people took offense at that, and claimed that Kathie Lee was implying that drug addiction was the result of bad parenting. They’re laying into her on Facebook and sharing some sad stories of loss and addiction. Here are some comments from Facebook, along with a statement from an addiction professional:
Kathie Lee, I think you owe thousands of parents an apology for your rude comment. How dare you assume that you are a better parent because your children have not been in a rehab or been arrested. Really? Addiction is a illness that no one asks for. I hope you understand that no matter what kind of parent you are people young and old make mistakes that can be deadly to themselves. Shame on you, shame on you! May you never find out what it is like with your kids or grandkids………shame – shame – From Pamela
Wow, Kathie Lee Gifford, you really put your foot in your mouth on this one. I’ve already stopped watching The Today Show because of how Ann Curry was treated, and about to stop watching Kathie Lee and Hoda because of your uneducated remarks about drug addicts. I raised one daughter who graduated with two majors and has been very successful. I have raised another daughter who got involved with drugs and spent the last year in a drug rehab. Parents are not always to blame for their children’s successes or failures. Until you’ve walked in the shoes of parents of addicts, you need to keep your opinions to yourself or learn a little bit about the disease. – From Debbie
I have 3 lovely children that I raised all the same, my daughter, Jaycie died of an accidental drug overdose and battled the disease for 7 years, my other 2 boys are both in college leading full productive lives…..the disease does not discrimanate and I hope that it never effects you personally because you would have to eat your words….you are uneducated on this matter and need to make a public apology, your ignorance has hurt alot of people and you need to own it!!!!! I would appreciate it if you would read the petition that I have started and consider signing it and promoting it…Thank you, Sincerely, Susan – From Susan
Here is my son’s memorial page. Lost to addiction on 9/23/10 – a son, brother and Father! A beautiful soul with a disease. Think before you speak Kathi Lee – addiction is a disease and your words hurt. From Patty
Shame on you kathie lee for insinuating that parents are to blame if their children do drugs or are drop outs. Do you think if a husband cheats on his wife that it is the wifes fault? OH YES we all still remember you and Frank many years ago with your own situation. How would you feel if people blamed the wife. I DO NOT blame the wife, but some ignorant person who thinks like you do just might. Think about that please as you pray tonight to ask forgiveness for making good parents feel horrible about themselves. Forgive us if our children aren’t as perfect as you think yours are. – From Paul
It is shocking that someone like Kathie Lee would seemingly kick suffering parents when they are desperately trying to save their children’s lives. Enough misinformation already. Addiction is a disease which affects over 30,000,000 Americans, approximately the same number of Americans suffering from diabetes. If bad parenting were causal of addiction, as Kathie Lee suggests, this number may be even higher. – From Ben Levenson, the founder of Origins Recovery Centers.
I was actually ready to defend Kathie Lee on this, since she was just speaking carelessly and you have to read into what she said to get the meaning. Then I read the whole interview and it’s clear that’s what she meant. She made another statement in which she says that parents are responsible for their adult children’s behavior:
Q. What’s the biggest mistake parents make?
A. Letting kids be selfish brats. That’s why too many adults are grown-up children who still throw tantrums, have road rage and hurl profanities at each other. I’d rather not contribute to the problem, so I’ve tried to teach Cody and Cassidy the art of sharing and the true meaning of “please” and “thank you.”
I agree that kids need to be taught respect and manners, but that doesn’t translate to the assumption that all people who act rude had bad parents! You do what you can as a parent, and then your child grows up, leaves home and makes their own decisions. Kathie Lee’s kids just left home, she has no idea what she’s talking about when it comes to how they’ll do out in the world. Kathie Lee needs to put down the chardonnay and think before she speaks.
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