Ellen: How’s it going? Mike: It’s good? Ellen: Did Greg ever get nicer? Mike: He did. Ellen: So your friends with all those people. You keep in touch? Mike: We’re so close. Ellen: Really? With all those people? Mike & Sophia: Yeah. Ellen: Do you think it was controversial? Do you think it was unfair? Especially when you see that little boy crying. What was his name? Mike: Jimmy Ellen: He even said, I’m too young for this. Sophia: He was very young. It was tougher on the younger kids. But that’s why the older kids were there. You saw, Laurel, she looked after them. We were not neglected or abused if that’s what you’re getting at. Ellen: When you saw the little kids having a hard time because it must be hard. Were nights, (to Mike) you got emotional, on the first episode I saw. Mike: We went in to this show thinking it’s not like it was going to be easy. There’s going to be stressful times and hard points. I cried on the first day because it was hard. It wasn’t like they were just going to say, “Oh, okay we’re going to send you off and make sure you have cookies and we’re going to give you mattresses every night.” We knew we were going to have to work. Ellen: You were tired and hungry and emotional. (To Sophia) You did not cry so far that I have seen. Did you cry ever? Sophia: I think I did cry. Ellen: At some point you did? Sophia: Yes. You know I was one of the older ones. Ellen: But you were strong. The only one (referring to the episode) I’ve seen is the one that airs tonight. I thought that you were very strong and very innovative to make that money you needed to make to buy the bike. Ellen: Did you change in any way from this? Sophia: I think I became much more independent as a person. My parents know this, I’ve developed much confidence and I think it was the same for all of the kids. Ellen: What does the show prove to you? What’s the point of the show? Sophia: In a nutshell, “Kid Nation” is for kids in the middle of the New Mexican desert trying to create a functioning society. The point is to show that kids do have good ideas and they are human beings who should be taken seriously. Ellen: You all are exceptional kids. All the kids that I saw speak and you two, are obviously really smart. It seems like your parents put a lot of responsibility on you. There’s a lot stuff going on. Had you known how to cook before? Sophia: I had cooked a little bit before. Never as much as I did in Bonanza and never using solely potatoes and rice. Ellen: Do you think most kids were prepared to do this? Go out on your own? We debated this in the office this morning for about an hour. Some of our producers said they’d never send they’d never send my kids out there, I would never. And some said, wait one more year, you will send your kids. Were all the parents pretty cool? Are you close to your parents? Mike: The thing was, people say, how could you send your kid out there. What were you thinking? If you don’t think your kid would be okay out there, don’t send your kid. My mom thought, “Mike I know you can handle it, I know that you are capable, and confident that you’re okay and you’ll be able to handle it. She had that confidence and faith in me. She just knew. There were times when we all wanted to go home, but it happens. It was like, oh I’m going to love this. Ellen: Were there nights that you cried and you wanted to go home? Mike: There were times when we all wanted to go home, but it happens. Ellen: (To Sophia) Did you want to go home? Sophia: At times, I did want to go home but I was not about to let myself go home, because I know that this was about the experience that rolls around every day and for the sake of the hole, you had to stay. Its sort of like a really good book—you’re into it, you have to keep reading because if you leave now, you have to know what happens at the end. Ellen: Were there certain relationships, like the guy Greg at first you must have not liked at all. I mean that guy was a bully. Did you end becoming close? Mike: By the end we were all friends, some people were better friends than others. Greg-I can’t say that he was my best friend after that first couple of days but we were able to put our differences aside. Mike’s mother, Jill Klinge, an attorney and Sophia’s mother Lori Pearson Wise also chime in on why “Kid Nation” is not controversial. Lori explains the contract she had to sign. Ellen: Jill, explain, there’s a contract right? There’s a clause in the contract that basically says if something happens like death, you can’t sue us. They go that far to say if your child dies, you can’t sue. How do you feel about that? Lori: We saw that clause in the contract. We had the contract reviewed by an attorney. My husband and I are both attorneys but we went to an entertainment lawyer and had him review the contract for us and talk about whether it was standard language or not. The bottom line for us was, if we felt that there was any chance that our son was going to get killed or seriously injured, he wouldn’t have been going on the show. So the fact that there was a clause in the contract to that effect really was not the point. We had to assure ourselves through other means that nothing like that was going to happen to our child. Once we were satisfied that he was going to be perfectly safe, then it really became a non-issue. Ellen: Lori, was it hard? I mean for 40 days you didn’t see them at all. You’re able to talk to them on the phone? No? Jill: Shakes her head no. Ellen: Not at all. Are there reports? Do people call you? Jill: Yes, every three days a producer slash counselor would give us a call. I asked her, you know my child is one of the oldest children on the show, so perhaps I have less concerns because my son has been away many times before. So I asked her to stop calling me every three days. (Audience laughs). Listen I’m Italian and Jewish when I see a long distance phone call coming in and I worry I think that there’s a problem. I said please don’t call me unless there’s a problem, but she kept calling anyway just to tell me that everything’s okay. I really didn’t worry. I was relieved that my kid was away for six weeks. You know quite frankly…I have two other children, two dogs, three cats. I don’t have a safety inspector sitting in my kitchen, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a medic, a dietician, you know. I don’t have these people in my own household. My daughter was so well cared for there. She just started recently bicycling, a seven mile trip. I said to my husband, I wish she were back at Bonanza so I don’t have to worry about her. Now I have to worry.8 p.m. Wednesday. CBS.
Sept. 19, 2007, 4:52 p.m. CST
Almost first. The only reason I clicked was 'cos I am a dick. This show is serious shit eh? We even heard about it over in the UK. The BBC was reporting that they had to shoot in some random state (New Mexico maybe? Is that even a state?) because of lax child labour laws. Is there hell on over it in the U.S too? Sounds mad, and pretty cool for the kids actually.
Sept. 19, 2007, 4:55 p.m. CST
Sweatshop Nation 4 ever!
Sept. 19, 2007, 4:59 p.m. CST
In future. Helps me not ask questions that are already answered. I bet the parents of these kids are total fame seekers. Without a doubt.
Sept. 19, 2007, 4:59 p.m. CST
Babies On Cinderblocks and Old People in Volcanoes.
Sept. 19, 2007, 5:10 p.m. CST
makes a comment about how hot one of the chicks on this show will be when they hit eighteen... Wait for it!!!!
Sept. 19, 2007, 5:11 p.m. CST
It's my duty to pose the question: 40 pubescent kids, no adult supervision, a bunch of cameras...can we call it--Pedo-Vision?
Sept. 19, 2007, 5:15 p.m. CST
You got to be kidding me.
Sept. 19, 2007, 5:49 p.m. CST
I honestly thought it was a "wacky" morning zoo radio parody trying hard for a laugh. When I realized it was real, I wanted to smash my car into the nearest tree.
Sept. 19, 2007, 6 p.m. CST
oh wait, that was from Lord of the Flies.
Sept. 19, 2007, 6:13 p.m. CST
I really want to check this out - this really sounds like it could be groundbreaking television, and hopefully pave the way to break some taboos too - but hell no would I let my daughters do this shit. CAN'T WAIT
Sept. 19, 2007, 6:14 p.m. CST
Learning one of the kids is from Bellevue and mom is a lawyer convinces me not to watch. If I wanna see snotty Bellevue kids I'll go to Bellevue Square Mall! I'll take old Kelsey and that woman from Everybody Loves Raymond over this.
Sept. 19, 2007, 6:24 p.m. CST
I would have LOVED it if my parents had let me do something like this as a kid, that'd be one helluvan experience. I think from watching this we're going to learn that there are a lot of kids out there that have more common sense than most adults.
Sept. 19, 2007, 6:36 p.m. CST
you've got a group of people in the desert with no clue how to take care of and govern themselves. so this is just CBS giving us a veiled political commentary/satire on the plan to create a working government in Iraq, right? oh god, i slay me...
Sept. 19, 2007, 8:08 p.m. CST
Yikes. Actually, the kids seemed to be doing just fine figuring out how to do things together, and then they decided to pit people against each other for dramatic tension or what have you. God forbid it get boring if they decided to get along.
Sept. 19, 2007, 8:12 p.m. CST
Her voice is deeper than mine is.
Sept. 19, 2007, 8:13 p.m. CST
Out of jealousy or something, one of the kids will bash someone's skull in it while they're asleep.
Sept. 19, 2007, 8:13 p.m. CST
Or whoever the "adult" is. Like that Star Trek episode.
Sept. 19, 2007, 8:14 p.m. CST
I'm just waiting for them to drop a rock onto the fat kid.
Sept. 19, 2007, 8:14 p.m. CST
Still wondering how that ended...
Sept. 19, 2007, 8:22 p.m. CST
That would be awesome.
Sept. 19, 2007, 8:23 p.m. CST
They'll have nuclear weapons by the fifth week.
Sept. 19, 2007, 8:24 p.m. CST
Good night, everybody, with your better things to do and girlfriends.
Sept. 19, 2007, 8:56 p.m. CST
Really, if I were a kid, this would be about the coolist thing ever. Funny how the younger kids are really wanting to work hard and the teenagers are slacker bastards. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
Sept. 19, 2007, 9:30 p.m. CST
The problem with the gold stars is that the three tribal leaders or whatever they're called who vote on these things have no chance of getting one themselves. And those three are working their little asses off. BTW, am I the only one who wanted to beat the shit out of that 15 year old asswipe? What a little jerk he was.
Sept. 19, 2007, 9:31 p.m. CST
Is it possible for me to move there? Sign me up now.
Sept. 19, 2007, 10:09 p.m. CST
Yes that'd be totally awesome. Must see TV!<P>I have to admit this show sounds interesting and I HATE "reality" shows.
Sept. 19, 2007, 10:13 p.m. CST
The major difference between this show and Deadwood was that I didn't hear the word "cocksucker" uttered a single time. Come on, Kid Nation. WTF is this?!
Sept. 19, 2007, 10:31 p.m. CST
Sept. 19, 2007, 10:42 p.m. CST
How about a reality show on horsefuckers too, since we're well on the road to hell?
Sept. 19, 2007, 11:46 p.m. CST
by Pops Freshemeyer
I had figured by now that somebody would have said Taylor is like the US American version of the girl from Harry Potter and we've only got 2,700 days until she's legal...
Sept. 20, 2007, 12:45 a.m. CST
Besides not being able to understand almost everything the smaller kids said, what I did hear was painful to listen to. And they kept interrupting the drama with the nondescript adult host and his pathetic gold star and survivor contests. $20000 for some random vote of approval after 2 days? It's too much. It jumped from day to night without any narrative shots, like where they're all sleeping. Besides that I just couldn't get any sense of the layout of the town.
Sept. 20, 2007, 2:26 a.m. CST
by Mullah Omar
Spy Kids have been called in to terminate the program with extreme grounding.
Sept. 20, 2007, 2:31 a.m. CST
With all the controversy, it's a shame that overshadows what a real good wholesome show it is. Finally something parents and kids can watch together without having to worry about violence, language, and what not. Kids can learn from this. From a psychology stand point it shows good social skills. I also found it cute. Like the "Bush" comment had me rolling. Then the kid that wanted to go home, had me in tears. I felt emotionally connected, cause I remember being away from home at a young age. It made me remember what it's like to be young like that. I think after all the uproar, it may become the best new family show on Television.
Sept. 20, 2007, 5:30 a.m. CST
Just to listen to the immortal quotes he would make on this. When they were all yelling over top of each other I was just waiting for them to suddenly break out the conch shell. That would have been hilarious. Raising hands is basically the same thing I suppose. I hope we get rumors of 'the beast' and all hell breaking lose soon after. LOL. I already see some similarities from LOTF. Mike the council guy reminds me of Ralph. Whereas the bully Greg is very similar to Jack. Who knew Golding was right on the money about this kind of thing. Maybe its scripted though to pit those two against each other. Just a hunch. all that rabbit hunting remind you of anything? 'KILL THE PIG! CUT ITS THROAT BASH IT IN!' ... LOL SO MANY COMPARISONS "Childhood is a disease-- a sickness that you grow out of."
Sept. 20, 2007, 5:32 a.m. CST
then you won't think its such a wholesome show you idiot
Sept. 20, 2007, 5:34 a.m. CST
on their heads as a child. If you think this kind of show is justified then you really are cracked. I suppose its one positive aspect is that people can now watch reality shows like survivor and kid nation instead of reading books like lord of the flies... idiots
Sept. 20, 2007, 7:24 a.m. CST
September 19th. Coincidence? Probably.
Sept. 20, 2007, 7:25 a.m. CST
"I'm 96 years old! Leave me alone! Why won't you let me die!"
Sept. 20, 2007, 8:12 a.m. CST
Exploitative, yes, but nonetheless fascinating. It was interesting to see that kids generally made the right decisions. When given the option to have a TV with cable or seven more outhouses, you just knew the little bastards were gonna choose the TV. But they didn't... I just found it kind of amazing how resourceful the kids could be when they had to be. I'm not justifying the existence of the show, I'm just saying that it fascinates me as a sociological experiment.
Sept. 20, 2007, 8:43 a.m. CST
Families were willing to participate; people want to watch; it isn't illegal. Isn't that the way it should be? What is the problem here?
Sept. 20, 2007, 8:44 a.m. CST
Sucks that the littlest kids ended up on the lowest tier.
Sept. 20, 2007, 9:33 a.m. CST
No caring parent would dare to put their young child on this show. No thinking parent would allow their young child to go on this show, even if they begged. No decent human being should award this show a fraction of a rating point by turning it on. And CarmillaVonDoom, legal does not = ethical by any stretch. If you find yourself enjoying this show, it's time for a little introspection.
Sept. 20, 2007, 10:02 a.m. CST
Sweeping generalzations about the decline of western civilization don't count.
Sept. 20, 2007, 10:55 a.m. CST
I watched the show...I found it pretty good...read about it here - http://tinyurl.com/2r4rv3 and leave your comments.
Sept. 20, 2007, 11:19 a.m. CST
I found it to be a great show. The detractors are wrong. The thing is, these families and kids wanted on this show. The kids get paid, more than what they show on TV. Each kid got automatically $1,000 for participating, plus whatever they earn on the show from tasks. I don't see how this is all bad. So there were som incidents like the Bleach and whatnot. Survivor and Hell's Kitchen and other reality shows have their blunders too. Whether someone accidentally cuts themselves, gets stung, gets burned, etc. I'm sure the parents and kids signed a contract, and that the shows producers would ensure their safety to great lengths and if anything happened they have to have medical nearby.
Sept. 20, 2007, 12:19 p.m. CST
Let me explain this in retard language so you can understand better. Survivor and Hell's kitchen of which you mentioned have ADULTS as contestants in dangerous environments with no supervision. Kids nation has CHILDREN as contestants in dangerous environments with no supervision. Now do you get the bigger picture? How about I explain it in scientific terms. An adult's brain is fully grown, and an adult has developed reason, common sense, a moral compass, and learning through experience to the extent that their brains have allowed. A child's brain is not yet grown and is still growing. A child has not yet developed reason, common sense, a moral compass, and have not had any learning through experience to the extent that their small brains have allowed.
Sept. 20, 2007, 12:38 p.m. CST
Obviously. Don't worry, you'll understand one day (granted you get out and meet some girls).
Sept. 20, 2007, 1:33 p.m. CST
Sept. 20, 2007, 1:44 p.m. CST
Seriously guys, unethical to enjoy this show? I'm not trying to impress anyone with my personal taste...sorry. Like I said in my 1st post; if people choose to be involved and it's legal what is your problem?
Sept. 20, 2007, 1:47 p.m. CST
Just don't watch it you dizzy ingrates. If they all want to whore out their kids, so be it. Just like the little beauty pageants that prostitute out Mommy and Daddies little hooker. It's America and people like to sell their kids, no new news.
Sept. 20, 2007, 1:49 p.m. CST
Or are you busy having a fistfight with Drew "Offensive Billboard" McWeeney?
Sept. 20, 2007, 3:03 p.m. CST
Sept. 20, 2007, 3:09 p.m. CST
You really think that the kids on this show, and the adults on shows like Survivor, had no supervision? You really think this is like Lord of the Flies? You're nuts.... Everyone on all of these shows is surrounded by people all the time, producers, directors, camera and sound crew; just because you can't see them doesn't mean they're not there. Shows like this are so obviously controlled, molded, scripted, arranged. They didn't just dump these kids out there, leave, and let them do whatever the hell they wanted. They were probably more restricted than I was at summer camp when I was a kid. I suppose you think all kids should be kept locked in their rooms till they're 18, and not allowed to think for themselves, develop their growing minds, common sense, and moral compasses. You don't need any actual life experience for those things do you? It'll all just happen magically I suppose.... <p> You people so venomously up in arms about how "wrong" this show is, obviously have forgotten what it's like to be a kid, or you were such useless and imbecilic children yourselves that you expect all other kids to be as well. Hell, I would have given my left nut to be on a show like this when I was young, and probably would have managed just fine. Of course, I grew up on a farm, and knew hard work, responsibility and independence quite well. I also grew up when children's safety wasn't "over-regulated".... we didn't have to wear bicycle helmets, we got to play lawn darts, we rode around in the back of pick up trucks, and I was trusted to cook without supervision by the time I was 11. Not all safe or recommended things, but the point is, my parents gave me a bit of freedom and trust, didn't lord over me or constantly hold my hand, but still taught me responsibility, and I'd say I'm more independant than a lot of people I know. Seriously, unclench a bit and pull that stick out of your ass.....
Sept. 20, 2007, 4:22 p.m. CST
Sept. 20, 2007, 4:25 p.m. CST
We'll see what you have to say next week when they broadcast a bunch of 9 year olds slaughtering a chicken on national television. (which they were debating on the scenes for next week's episode).... responsibility is all about a 9 year old chowing down on raw bloody chicken flesh
Sept. 20, 2007, 4:29 p.m. CST
Drew McWeeny needs to stop putting up offensive billboards.
Sept. 20, 2007, 4:47 p.m. CST
The world's far too overpopulated as it is, and I'm not that selfish.... and I have no "void" in my life that I feel the need to fill with that irresponsibility. Why should that matter though? I'm a reasonably intelligent, empathic person.... The kids on this show obviously have parents, and I'd bet that a lot of the people involved in the making of the show had parents. I really don't believe that every single person involved in this show just sat back, watched, and waited for these kids to endanger themselves, it's a ridiculous notion. Are you guys saying that you care more about children than this huge group of people involved in the show? I'm not saying there aren't horrible people and bad parents out there, because there are, a ridulous amount to be sure. I just think you're assuming the absolute worst about this particular event, based on hearsay and paranoia. Anything is possible, but I've yet to hear anything concerning this show that indicates anything abusive or neglectful was going on. And I'm the kind of guy that thinks those folks who doll up their kids Jon-Benet mini-slut style for their little kiddie "talent" shows, need to be publicly neutered. And I won't watch this show anyway, because I hate the scripted, heart-tugging nature of these so-called "reality" shows..... Still don't think these kids suffered, though.....
Sept. 20, 2007, 7:37 p.m. CST
Credit Bill Maher (also childless, as far as I know.)
Sept. 20, 2007, 7:39 p.m. CST
Talk about an uproar.
Sept. 21, 2007, 12:44 a.m. CST
Bin Laden finally finds a nation to push around!
Sept. 21, 2007, 1:21 a.m. CST
by Phantom Einstein
And we all know that camera crews are EXCELLENT role models, so shut your bellyaching you cocksuckers. I loved kid nation.
Sept. 21, 2007, 4:15 a.m. CST
by The Selecter
I suppose it was ok if you enjoy Survivor, but I thought it was kinda dull. At least it provides an outlet for parents to start their kids on the track to Hollywood and that lifestyle, or at the very least, some D-list notoriety.
Sept. 21, 2007, 8:26 a.m. CST
I was childless once and, so, I know how you feel. You don't have kids and therefore are ignorant of the experience. Please understand I'm slamming you, I'm just pointing out that once you get kids, your perspectives change quite a bit. Kind of like maturity. It can't be described. Being a parent who actually cares about his kids, I find it offensive that someone would allow their kids to be put into an exploitive experiment that involves them being separated from their parents for days or weeks. If they were mid-to-late teens, possibly, but not a friggin eight year old. As for the Bill Maher quote. That's the perfect example of the ignorance that I speak of. Here's a dude equating parenting to dogs squeezing out pups. I'm sure his parents would beg to differ.
Sept. 21, 2007, 8:38 a.m. CST
Just in case you haven't gotten your fill of kids crying, or feel like watching what you're complaining about.
Sept. 21, 2007, 11:50 a.m. CST
Quite a few of us do like this show and find it really good. To the ones that don't and feel you need to slam our views of this show. It only shows your immense immaturity. It's a TV show, just like all shows reality or not, they all have their precautions. You could argue the difference between this and the adult reality shows, but the bottom line is things can happen on either set. It would be entirely negligent if there were not supervisors, medical, etc provided. I trust these shows know what they are doing. They have to protect their ass legally in every way. I think they know a hell of a lot more about production, safety, and practices & standards than you and I. I see this show as a good learning tool, cause it teaches kids to work together for a common goal and build character and responsibility. That's something most adults can't even grasp. Point in case, when the kids chose the outhouses over the TV, that was a really smart move for all. So detractors can slag away all they wish. I'll dismiss them as immature, ignorant, and overall incredibly stupid.
Sept. 21, 2007, 2:31 p.m. CST
You're right, if I were a parent, I wouldn't let my 8-year old do this either, I wasn't ready for something like that at my age, and wouldn't want to be seperated from them for that long either.... 11 and up seems more reasonable. I really doubt the kids on this show that are that young are going to contribute much, does seem a waste. I still wouldn't deem this show negligent or abusive based on what we know; just perhaps misguided in the age range they decided on.
Sept. 22, 2007, 3:53 a.m. CST
Have the kids in a cinderblock cell, sitting in rows, staring at a dusty blackboard for about eight hours a day. Now that would be cruel!