Monday, February 02, 2009

More Lessons from Wife Swap (& its aftermath)

So I posted the item below on Saturday afternoon, and began to get hate mail. Most of it was gratuitously vile, while a few people struck a reasonable tone and made good points. To the reasonable among you, thank you. To those who just used the comments to vent their anger, has it occurred to you that perhaps praying for open hearts (Stephen's, yours, mine, heck, the entire world's) might be a more productive use of your time and energy?

Here's what I've learned from this:

  • The power of prime time television - I wasn't on the show; all I did was write a blog post about it. And yet my blog has gotten more hits in the last 2 days than in the last 6 months combined.
  • The power of controversy - A radio talent manager told me years ago that you get better ratings by stirring up controversy than by being nice. (He's the person who convinced Dr. Laura to air her real comments rather than what he called, "happy talk" -- and the rating soared.) Wow, was he right.
  • What you put out comes back to you, amplified - While I didn't say anything mean, I am apparently guilty by association. Stephen said mean things on screen, and so that energy comes back at him, his family and me, just for writing about it.
  • People are willing to judge someone based on very little evidence - Obviously, they are willing to condemn a man's entire life and being based on part of 42 minutes of (edited) television. And of course, they know him better than people who have met him. Does anyone remember "judge not, lest ye be judged"?
  • Once people have made up their minds, they don't want to hear anything that contradicts their judgment - Heaven forbid you should bring up a different side of the issue.
  • A 'public' figure is not viewed as human - People apparently feel it is fine to say horrible things to people they have never met. They say things I'm sure they would never say to a friend or family member -- or even a stranger -- to his or her face. I'm an adult, and I can take it, but I'm beginning to feel sorry for the teenagers on American Idol, who must get all sorts of crap, at a time in their lives when they're very vulnerable. Therefore...
  • If you are going to be 'public', you'd better have pretty thick skin. - The problem with this is that people who develop such thick skin then begin to ignore the negative comments and surround themselves with people they feel they can trust. If those people are sycophants, that 'public' figure begins to live in an isolated, unrealistic bubble.
  • Loyalty is not valued - To say something positive about someone who is out of favor is not viewed as loyalty, but as being vile, or stupid.
  • Listener, viewer, reader beware: freedom of speech does not mean you have to tell the truth, let alone be civil - I've read that it's illegal to yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater, unless there is, in fact, a fire. But is is fine to threaten publicly, and to lie about the facts on the air. Of course, I should have learned this from the media darlings who make their living by spreading lies that feed hatred, but I get it at a deeper level now.
(And as for those of you who said, 'if you were psychic, you would have warned them' -- hey, no one asked me!)


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vtshagnasty said...

Sorry you have been so affected by someone you thought to be a friend. Collateral damage.

He really is a very mean person. 42 minutes (actually less)is all it took to see that.

UNDINAL said...

Perhaps no one asked you simply because they didn't want to pay $3.00/min. to a charlatan.

Anonymous said...

One of the many marvelous attributes of language is that once it's recorded, it can't be changed. You brought this onslaught upon yourself Ms. Polk. In your original post, your purpose was to defend Stephen Fowler's odious behavior on Wife Swap. A skilled writer could have done so successfully.

Another wonderful aspect of recorded language is that it can be revised. As a skilled writer, editor, and writing instructor at several universities, I could show you how to revise your first blog successfully so that people would think more kindly of Fowler and of you. Your "More Lessons from Wife Swap..." is drivel.

Please contact me for assistance. My rate is $3 per minute.

Kate said...

Lets pretend for a minute that you really are psychic and knew that the Fowlers were about to make the biggest mistake of their lives and you didn't warn them because they didn't ask. Some friend you are! If I knew a friend was about to do something I new they would regret, the very least I could do would be to warn them. It seems like you secretly enjoy watching your friends fail. Birds of a feather flock together...

ChristopherAnn said...

Look, Hollis... Go and watch and listen to the excerpts from the show now appearing on u-tube.

Then reread your original blog post. I know you've already done that, probably about a thousand times, but do it once more and count the number of places where you continue to insult the Longs.

Now count the times where you excuse Stephen's inexcusable behavior and blame the impression we all got of him on somebody else, like the editors.

Now count the times in where you expressed some sympathy and compassion and understanding, let alone actual respect, for Gayla Long and HER family and HER children, getting to watch that arrogant lowlife call their mother stupid.

And you actually believe that you should be lauded simply for "loyalty"?

Most of Hitler's generals were loyal. Does that make them worthy of praise?

And big brave mouthy Stephen lets you come here to defend him? Where's he?

I don't know, Hollis. I suspect you're probably a pretty good person, and you're clearly trying to help out your friends, but I don't think you're doing them any good here. I'd suggest you just shut up and hope this thing blows over, instead of continuing to fan the flames.

ChristopherAnn said...

And furthermore...

I've thought a little more about your comments today.

You "said nothing mean"?

What's your definition of mean?

You called Gayla a fool, said that Stephen doesn't like taking orders from an "idiot," and said that Gayla is "not especially intelligent."

As I said elsewhere, you have no idea as to her intrinsic intelligence. You know that she has only a high school education, which may be due to the fact she comes from a working-class background. You also know that she stumbles over some of her words. Perhaps she's dyslexic.

And perhaps not in your book, but in mine, calling someone several versions of stupid definitely qualifies as mean. Frankly, it qualifies even if, perhaps especially if, they are.

How about if I said that I've done some considerable scientific research and it's obvious to everybody that anyone, like you, that actually believes themselves to be (hardy har har) CLAIRVOYANT is clearly "not especially intelligent."

Then, could I truthfully claim that I "didn't say anything mean"

Joseki101 said...

I thought the lesson was this:
Greedy people who appear on primetime television, earning $20,000 to berate and humiliate another human being, shouldn't be surprised that a mass audience will take offence. Perhaps the moral compass has swung into neutral over in your chakra land; but thankfully most of us, who have retained our common sense, recognise a louse when we see one.

Hey, they got their money -- but they didn't get the kind of hype for which they were hoping.

Emmy said...

Okay, so why didn't you practice what you preach, which is to pray for Stephen and the others involved? Instead, you voiced your opinion in a blog..did you not expect some backlash or was your E.S.P. out of whack that day?

My advice to you is to just stop. America despises this moron you call your friend. Nobody is going to change their opinion of him..some things just CANNOT be edited. No one put words in his mouth!

evenstar said...

You are whitewashing this event with the "mob", etc. take on what is happening.

You can't defend the indefensible. To say "he doesn't suffer fools" is just as grotesque as was Stephen's whole arrogant assault.

You can pretend it was the "editing", but nothing could hide the point blank statements he made--even to the very end.

You can pretend this is mainly "hate" mail. But I'm noticing many, many people who never blog and never react in this way have been jolted awake and feel an overwhelming desire to respond.

The Universe has busted your "set". You are obviously part of this "set". Attention should be paid to all of Stephen and Renee's businesses and associations. Trust has been compromised and so far it's looking like you all aren't "getting it".

The winds of change are upon us and this kind of falseness will not be tolerated.

Hopefully, you will wake up, even though you think you are among the elite awakened ones.

The "public" are craving closure through Stephen and Renee's heartfelt and genuine humility and apology. Show us you care and this has changed you.

But ultimately another's growth is not my concern.

I, like the many, many, many am responding to one of the ugliest happenings I have ever witnessed from a fellow human being on national TV (which I hardly ever watch!) Just my luck, to come across the worst of the worst!

So be it.

Heather said...

Another lesson: Mooch off the misery of a "friend". Put your blog out there so others will read and learn "your" name. (Ahhh I guess its the psychic in me).

The man said so many vile things in 2 weeks they were able to fill 42 minutes of him. I dont say that many vile things to a person in 2 weeks who is a guest in my home. Even if I dont like them. He simply couldnt restrain himself. That alone is pitiful.

Also you get worked up about things being said? Did you miss what he said to a woman he didnt know? Lets see... stupid, fat, redneck, etc. I am sure that was just the tip of the ice berg.

Many other people have gone through this show and not had such negative feedback. Oh why praytell do you think they picked on poor Stevie? Maybe bc he is unAmerican? Pretentious? Pompous? Foolish? Or simply an ass? Guess you shouldnt piss those off who control the editing, eh? Or maybe he was just so vile the entire time there was no decent footage to display of him and they had to go with what they had.

Glad you are milking the Fowlers for all the are worth. Just as they are using America. You are using them. I'd say your a perfect fit as far as friends go. Not a bone of friendship between ya, but you do put on a jolly good show of pretending :)

Neeraj said...

You must have been "life coached" by Renee. She has taught you the lesson of how to commit employment suicide in 60 minutes (42 minutes by your accout), well I guess in your case, 1 blog post, apparently.

hbchas said...

*ChristopherAnn* Thank you. You wrote what I could not find the words for. Bravo.

Valerie said...

You could add one more thing to your list of lessons learned. Most people learn to hide the ugly and dark sides of their personalities. You probably have met Stephen and Renee on occasion and maybe you consider yourself a friend of theirs. The time you have spent with them have left you thinking positive of them. However, during the filming of wife swap, Stephen got under pressure and "lost" it. This is exactly the moment most people give us a rare view of their true self. It happens all the time and for Stephen it happened on national TV. I understand that after you watched the show it is hard for you to reconcile the rude and arrogant Stephen with the nice Stephen you have known in the past.

Fee6118 said...

Mam, here's some advice, when a hole has been dug, quit digging. Did you honestly just tell people that they shouldn't judge others based on little knowledge of them? Wow. Did you give that advice to Stephen. What is your blog really about? Trying to make a name for yourself by exploiting this situation. I would advise you to stop trying to defend Stephen and tell your friend to stop hiding like a coward.

AreYouSERIOUS? said...

I was asked to leave this comment by someone on another blog:


sailordave says:

I can’t post on her blog so can someone post this message on her blog for me please?

Hollis Polk

You are among his peers, people he considers his equal. You do not judge a man by how he treats his peers, you judge a man by how he treats those he feels are beneath him. What we saw in that episode is the true Stephen Fowler. I have to ask you, if in your friendly gatherings, do you and your friends also talk down upon America and the men and women who serve in the US military? Do all of you laugh at such cutting remarks as soooo funny and sooo true or do any of you ever speak up to defend the country and military from such statements as he made on the episode? Did you and your friends sit around laughing at the way Stephen treated Mrs. Long and the things he said to her or did any of you chide him for his being so verbally abusive? Don’t bother to answer me because it will probably be a lie. But you cannot lie to yourself. Answer the above questions for yourself truthfully and take a close look at yourself and those you consider your friends. Do you really want to associate with people who hate this country and those who volunteer to serve in the military?

February 2nd, 2009 at 6:48 pm

Jager said...

Once again, you show us you don’t seem to get it.

First, you call for others to pray when I don’t see you doing it. All I see is you attempting to revising history, defend your friend, and defend yourself.

Second, it’s not the power of prime time television that has given you more hits in the last 2 days than in the last 6 months. It was your post showing that you just don’t get what the problem is with Mr. Fowler’s behavior. (Please see my response to your other post.)

Third, it is not the talking about “controversy” that stirs people up, it is the controversy itself and the not getting. Mr. Fowler is the controversy and you don’t get it.

Fourth, you state “What you put out comes back to you, amplified” in response to others posting about you but you fail to use that same understanding as to why people are upset with Mr. Fowler.

Fifth, you definitely did say something mean!!!

You stated: “He does not suffer fools, not gladly, in fact, not at all.” This was calling Mrs. Long a fool or as Webster has defined it – stupid.

You also said, “[Mrs. Long] was not especially intelligent, and had only a high school education.” This obviously speaks for itself.

Neither of your statements are in quotes to signify they were spoken by Mr. Fowler. They are your words and your feelings regarding Mrs. Long.

Sixth, you did not just “writ[e] about it.” You continued to berate Mrs. Long. Read the ‘Fifth’ point again if you don’t get it now.

Seventh, people are judging Mr. Fowler on his direct statements to Mrs. Long; sometimes in front of his kids! There is no amount of editing that can change that. In addition, he continued to do it when he was walking away but still being recorded. Obviously, that was his true feelings.

Eighth, you are not using the whole quote "judge not, lest ye be judged" or its entire meaning. The complete quote is “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.” It means that whatever standard you use to judge others, that same standard will be used for you. It is basically saying don’t be a hypocrite.

Ninth, you haven’t posted anything that contradicts Mr. Fowler’s statements and you have not brought up a different side other than to say that he is your friend.

Tenth, you state, “A 'public' figure is not viewed as human - People apparently feel it is fine to say horrible things to people they have never met.” Do you also feel this outraged at the things people say to politicians they don’t agree with? I am sure that ‘in your set’ President Bush is hated and your friends have said some pretty nasty things.

Lastly, you do not realize that you just described Mr. Fowler and his friends, including you, when you state: “The problem with this is that people who develop such thick skin then begin to ignore the negative comments and surround themselves with people they feel they can trust. If those people are sycophants, that 'public' figure begins to live in an isolated, unrealistic bubble.”

By the way, it is not “fine to threaten publicly, and to lie about the facts on the air” or “spreading lies that feed hatred”. However, nobody edited those words into Mr. Fowler’s mouth. He said them and there is no lying about that.

AreYouSERIOUS? said...

Ms. Polk;

You say you did not participate in the Swap, nor did you say anything mean. I beg to differ on the second statement. You had plenty 'mean' to say. You were rather derisive toward the other wife.

I was on a reality show, I know about the editing. The kind of editing you and your 'friend camp' are claiming simply didn't happen. I am doubtful ABC put clips of the children into shots of Stephen FOULer being horribly insulting and rude to Ms. Long. That would open ABC up to a grand lawsuit. He said those things Ms. Polk, he was horribly condescending, and he showed his inherent stupidity and rather common coarseness.

These shows ARE totally engineered toward conflict. That is why each week there are spouses who kick up a fuss about 'rule change'. FOULer should have known this being as 'smart' as he is. He should have known that every word is recorded, every deed. He signed the contracts, did he bother to READ them? He should have thought beyond his own selfish desire to put down another human being, and put his family first.

As to Renee, while I did see a bit more compassion in her, her statement about not being a Proud American is really below the belt. No, she should not be a proud American based on an accident of birth.

She should be a proud American because we live in a free country. Because there are American's out there willing to fight and die for Renee's freedom to make an ass of herself. Did you know, Ms. Polk, that Americans are the most generous people in the world? Did you know they help more people around the world than any other country? Did you know any of this?

You can take the snotty liberal San Franciscan view and spout off about Gitmo etc, but that stuff bores the crap out of me. Know why? NONE OF THE COUNTRIES IN WHICH WE ARE ENGAGED FOLLOW A NO TORTURE TREATY! While I abhor the necessity of torture, at times it is necessary.

Let me ask you Ms. Polk? Let's take this out of the Global arena into a smaller personal dilemma. If you and the people you loved most in the world, were being held hostage somewhere, and were going to be slowly and painfully killed off, would you not do anything you could to rescue them? If you had a chance to capture one of the captors, and he was refusing to talk, and you KNOW your little sister or mother is being raped, your father beaten, and they are all going to be killed in the end, are you telling me you wouldn't do what it took to make him talk? Bullchit. I would beat the crap out of anyone before I would allow them to cause harm to my family.

Want to ask who else plays fair, as we are expected to? Ask Daniel Pearl how fair they play. Oh right, you can't. He was beheaded. Unfortunately, in war, it's not the 'players' being injured, murdered, it's the innocents. When 9-11 occurred, and it did, many INNOCENTS were murdered. Yes, as many innocents abroad are as well. No matter what the country or culture, there are always awful people out there to whom life is negligible, and who would slash our throats without a second thought, merely because we are Americans. No amount of reasoning would ever deter them from their ultimate goal of killing as many innocent Americans as they can.

Some of us understand this, some of us can see the larger picture. Some of us know that protecting our way of life is essential to keep our freedom. You enjoy your freedom, don't you? You must, you are running this blog.

San Franciscans believe themselves to be so enlightened, when instead of late, they are becoming a blight on the butt of America. They are an embarrassment with their radical leanings, their ridiculous Mayor and liberal DA. San Francisco and the far left people inhabiting it are making the City a laughing stock to the rest of this Country, and attracting the worst of the lunatic fringe to move there.

Yet, you all are the biggest bunch of hypocrites I have ever experienced in my lifetime. History will out SF for what it is, a bunch of misguided misfits with no idea how to blend rational thinking with hopeful idealism.

Bring it back down to personal, and you can see how people like Stephen Fowler epitomize all that is ugly about the far left. All that is ugly about education with no heart. All that is ugly about denial. All that is ugly about superiority.

You want to change things so there are no mob mentalities in this world? Start with yourself, and start with you friends. You truly are judged by the friends you keep.

Scout Lady said...

"He does not suffer fools, not gladly, in fact, not at all."

"the woman who was his new 'wife' was not especially intelligent, and had only a high school education."

"I guess "an idiot" telling Stephen what to do is a hot button for him."

No, you didn't say anything mean...

Add to this telling us about good old Scott giving you all a good laugh as you watched that vile man treat another human being in such an ugly manner.

Now you are using your good friends to boost your name recognition just as Renee used Wife Swap to boost hers.

AreYouSERIOUS? said...

If he does not suffer fools gladly, that would explain his self hatred.

Kathy said...

Stephen Fowler not anyone else made me decide what he was. His words, his actions were vile. No other way to describe them. His actions and your sugarcoating of them is a reflection on you not me.

The more you defend him tells me more about you than anyone else.

Like with Like.

Joseki101 said...

How much do you charge for a palm reading? Can you see my aura? Could you remote-view the Fowler household right now and tell me what plot they're hatching next?

L said...

Either you are a bigger moron than I thought or a bigger leach trying to suck what you can out of this in the name of publicity. I think you are both, and are now exploiting your "friends" for your own benefit. You are also a hypocrite for generally alluding to the fact your toxic waste of a "friend" is being judged based a on small period of time!! Are you stupid or what!! Isn't that exactly what HE DID TO GAYLA??? DUH!!

All I am going to say is that all that money spent oo getting a Harvard education was all for naught, you probably bought your degree from them if it is true that you indeed have a Harvard degree, or that Harvard education is not ALL THAT anymore!!

As far as all this "life coaching". still taking advantage of the vulnerable and lost under the banner of life coahing. Jeez, you need someone to coach you instead!!

Steve said...

Dear Ms. Polk,

While I agree with many of the points that you make, I also hope that you reflect on some of the comments that Jager made. I think she/he makes some excellent points.

In addition, I'd like to offer a few more points.

1. People are willing to judge someone based on very little evidence -- It seems that nobody commenting online has met the Long family (yourself included presumably), yet everyone is likewise making judgments about them, their intelligence, etc. So 42 minutes of (edited) television and 2nd hand accounts shouldn't lead to judgments of their intelligence and justification of responses given to this intelligence.

2. Once people have made up their minds, they don't want to hear anything that contradicts their judgment -- It seems that you've made up your mind about Stephen and are completely excusing the behavior seen as a result of editing. The so-called "myside bias" goes both ways. I think the more reasonable respondents were surprised and even more upset that Stephen's friends seemed to think that this situation was somewhat funny (from comments in the first entry) without any indication of being surprised or upset with Stephen's comments.

3. Loyalty is not valued . I actually commend you for being supportive of your friends, especially since I'm sure this must be a difficult time for their family. Where one's loyalties lie, however, is reflective of the character of the person choosing a side. It seems contradictory to believe in truth, tolerance, freedom, and respect for human dignity while having such blind devotion to someone showing so much oppression, exploitation, and domination over another individual

L said...

As far as not warning them using your psychic ability since you were not asked, that show what type of a "friend" you really are. Why don't you just come clean and say you really don't have any psychic ability and that you have been conning people all along. At least, I and others I ma sure will have more respect for you.

strange said...

Jc said...

now you can wear a tshirt with a catchy saying too!

Stephen Fowler America does not want you!

AreYouSERIOUS? said...

MY suggestion for a tee:

Malignant Narcissists Hug THEMSELVES

AreYouSERIOUS? said...

Yanno, come to think of it, hopping about your livingroom waving your hands does NOT rid one of fat cell spirits or fat energy. New Age b.s. GROW UP! Get a real degree in health and nutrition...tell your buddy that.

In the meantime, if any of y'all wanna send me fifty bucks I promise to hop about my livingroom and wave my arms, I will even CHANT for you...right after your money hits my bank account.

Robocapp said...

You still don't get it Hollis. But that is probably why you are friends with these two. You share the same views of our country and it's fine people. What speaks volumes about you though, is that you defraud people with nonsense (NLP) and outright lies ("clairvoyance"). These people come to you for help and you steal their money. Shame on you, Hollis. Shame on you.

ally said...

this post is far more moderate than your original post.

excerpt from your original post:
A few minutes later, another friend, a former business partner of Stephen's, was answering nasty phone calls on Stephen's cell phone (Scott was pretty funny, so this was actually hysterical, even though I only heard one side of the conversation).

i still do not find anything 'hysterical' about the situation. maybe, i'm stuck in the 'mob mentality'.

fyi, hollis, your posts ARE cached and posted all over the Internet. again from your original post:

# forget privacy -- information about all of us is ridiculously public, and
# the global village still has mobs -- I'm still waiting for the pitchforks and spears.

Anonymous said...

I applaud you, Hollis, for standing up to the mob. I know Stephen (the whole person) and the abc editors chose to show him in the worst light. He was baited to the point of exasperation.

And as for the deluge of sanctimony, what an atrocious spectacle, far worse than a few injudicious comments made by Stephen under duress and highlighted by ratings-whores.
Insulting people to their faces isn't good behavior and Stephen duly apologized but of course that would lessen the shock value and so the editors cynically cut it out.

As for the mob, spewing mean-spiritedness disguised as piety, I'll defend what he said:- give me a direct quote, tell me what you don't like about it and I'll explain why it isn't as bad as it appears.


daisy111222333 said...

Did you ever hear the slogan "stick with the winners?" You are judged by the friends you keep, like attracts like, birds of a feather.... Steven Fowler would do well to read this article and then visit its website. The book was written by a professor who has just become a naturalized US Citizen. He teaches at Johns-Hopkins and runs a program as well. Check out the article about his book and his philosophy. The Civilty Project:

Please pass this link to Steven. I really hope you do. It could help him find peace and a new way in the world and in fact could change his entire life. He would have to be humble enough to accept the help. Maybe after this ordeal, he is ready to get humble and learn. I certainly hope so.

Heavenlea Dolls said...

All Stephen had to do was follow one simple rule, one that we all are very familiar with: Treat others as you want to be treated. No one held a gun to his head and told him he had to speak to Gayla the way he did. He spoke the words he felt in his heart; he treated another human being in the vilest of ways and now he's paying for it. Karma's a bitch, isn't it? Unless you're prepared to pay a price for your actions, then you should stay out of the public eye, because we are watching.

Anonymous said...

I applaud you, Hollis, for standing up to the mob. I know Stephen (the whole person) and the abc editors chose to show him in the worst light. He was baited to the point of exasperation.

And as for the deluge of sanctimony, what an atrocious spectacle, far worse than a few injudicious comments made by Stephen under duress and highlighted by ratings-whores.
Insulting people to their faces isn't good behavior and Stephen duly apologized but of course that would lessen the shock value and so the editors cynically cut it out.

As for the mob, spewing mean-spiritedness disguised as piety, I'll defend what he said:- give me a direct quote, tell me what you don't like about it and I'll explain why it isn't as bad as it appears.


Joseki101 said...

Polk, why do you love witchcraft and demon channeling so much? Your superstitious thrill for the paranormal is a gratuitous hellbroth of SYLVIA BROWN WANNABEISMS.

AreYouSERIOUS? said...


I think the worst thing that James (his son) could do is to tell me that he wants to move to Missouri. What is wrong with the United States — people in the middle of the country frankly (laughs) are just like you. It’s amazing - uneducated, simple and without a clue about what’s going on in the world. You’re undereducated; over opinionated and you’re overweight. It’s not a good combination Gayla. (In response to Gayla criticizing Stephen and questioning how much time he actually spends with his children. Gayla was also implying that the they push their children too hard and it’s more about the parents than the kids. Gayla’s direct question was what would Stephen do if James told him he does not want to go to college.)

“Yeah, [tomorrow is] rule change. That means starting tomorrow we have the pleasure of pretending we live in some Podunk town in Missouri. That will be interesting, won’t it?” (At the dinner table in front of the kids, in response to Juliette’s question if Gayla is doing the rule change the next day)

Gayla says, “You keep degrading me in front of your kids.” Stephen laughs and says, “That’s easy.” Gayla says, “You think you’re so much better than me”? Stephen says, “I probably earn more in one week than you do in a year.” He walks upstairs and point his finger at Gayla and says “You’re not invited up to the office.”

“You read that so well. Congratulations. I didn’t know that you could read.” (At the rule change ceremony.)

“Agenda? That’s a big word for you. Clearly your two languages appear to be bad English, and redneck.” (At the rule change ceremony.)

“She’s a very rude lady, isn’t she? But that’s okay, she just doesn’t have an education.” (Stephen says this to the kids during the rules change ceremony after Gayla had told him to “shut the hell up” in response to the quote above.)

“Unlike most Americans, I chose to become a citizen and I did this because I wanted more of a voice on helping influence the direction of this country because I really care about it.” (In response to refusing to follow one of Gayla’s rules - singing the national anthem.Stephen felt that this rule was designed to humiliate.)

“Look you dumb redneck, I’ve already told you once.” (In response to Gayla asking him if he would bring the kids gokarting again. Gayla had already asked Stephen this question several times and Stephen had ignored it – at least that’s what we saw on camera.)

I’ll tell you my net take on this [paintballing] – fascistic, militaristic . . For a lower class family like yourselves that has young boys, perhaps with aspirations to join the army, if that’s the extent of your ambition as a young man in your family I can see how this is a perfect fit. We need folks like your family to feed it, so you’re a perfect fit.”

Stephen Fowler says: I’ve said that you’re underachieving, under educated, over opinionated and overweight.” “Have a nice life. Don’t send any kids after me with a shotgun. Alan asks what Stephen means by his comment and Stephen says, “That’s just a final insult.”

AreYouSERIOUS? said...

>>>Tapping my foot, arms crossed....please, tell me how these comments are not as repulsive and insulting as they 'appear'.

Want me to tell you what I don't like about it? Ok, in it's entirety, it's RUDE, COARSE, VULGAR AND CROSSES EVERY LINE OF COMMON DECENCY.

That's what. Of course, you are probably a San Franciscan....

>>>33 miles from San Francisco geographically and 10,000 miles away in mind and spirit.

Anonymous said...

Just give me a single quote and tell me what you don't like about it.

Anonymous said...

You've gone quiet. Oh well, I'll choose one myself:-

“You read that so well. Congratulations. I didn’t know that you could read.”

A gratuitous insult, certainly, but also a typical example of barbed British humor.
Repartee, Sir!

Jager said...

Gone silent?!!

"Areyouserious" posted a bunch!!!

Why don't you just explain why everyone of those quotes are "not as bad as they appear" - just start at the top and work your way down.

However, you are going to have to use better logic than you just used.

Saying that an insult is "barbed British humor" does not make it any less of an insult.

Try again.

Drew said...


you are kidding right?

Or are you so blind to the obvious because your Stephen Fowler? Just a guess

Anonymous said...

The reason I'm challenging people to say what they don't like about one particular statement is to encourage some reflective thinking amidst this self-satisfied orgy of sanctimony.

Declining the challenge suggests you simply get off on hate.

I have heard the comment, "I didn't know you could read" innumerable times. It's a joke. Do you know any Brits?

Jager said...

Oh now you gone quiet. Thought so.

Anonymous said...

I'm not Stephen. Address my points.

Jager said...

The comments speak for themselves. Their plain meaning does not need explanation or defense.

What does need explanation is their supposed obtuse meaning that only you seem to know.

And now the ruling on your second explanation - "I have heard the comment, "I didn't know you could read" innumerable times. It's a joke. Do you know any Brits?"

......Nope - it was still an insult.

Are you going to try for a third time?

Drew said...


Have you even watched the episode in question. If you had, you wouldn't need to ask such a pretentious question.

isignedupcuzihatefowler said...

I'm gonna join the choir and remind you that you called her an idiot, a fool, and not especially intelligent.

unless you administered an IQ test you have no call to say what the limits of her intelligence might be. you do not know what she could have learned had her family had the kind of money to send her to prestigious schools. education and intelligence are two different things my friend.

I also would like to express my concern for the children. they said they have no play time or friends. that is a horrible thing for a child. childhood only comes once he should let them have fun, their own fun not what he thinks is fun.

also don't you think they were a little damaged seeing what they saw?

at rule change he laughed and said he was surprised she could read. then she defended her self and he tells them basically "she's like this because she's uneducated."
that made me sick to my stomach. children were being taught to disrespect an elder. what happens if they get caught speeding and they disrespect the cop? they will get tazed thats what.

having a high school education isn't enough reason to snub a person. that was sick and I really wish you would get it.

Anonymous said...

His comments don't speak for themselves. Context matters. Editing is very effective.

Just choose a comment, tell me what you as an individual, not as part of a braying mob, don't like about it, and I'll give you my response.

That is, if you're interested in a real exchange, advancing understanding, rather than taking comfort in numbers.

Anonymous said...

What is pretentious about the (which?) question?

Drew said...

Let's do this with the shoe on the other foot....

What did you LIKE about Mr. Fowler?

What words endeared you so much that you are standing up where he won't even stand?

Jager said...

Here why don't we speed this up for you.

Instead of taking them one at a time, lets take all of the quotes above, each and everyone of them, together. What I don't like is that I find each and everyone of them uncivil, insulting, degrading, derogatory, discourteous, disparaging, disrespectful, hurtful, offensive, repulsive, ridiculing, and rude.

Again, as I said previously, just start at the top.

Saphirz said...

This hit a nerve with me totally.

People are willing to judge someone based on very little evidence - Obviously, they are willing to condemn a man's entire life and being based on part of 42 minutes of (edited) television. And of course, they know him better than people who have met him. Does anyone remember "judge not, lest ye be judged"?

It may have been only 42 min, but in that 42 min more nasty things came out of his mouth than in 20 years married to an abusive husband. I have no doubt in my mind your friend Renee is being abused right before your eyes.
There is no excuse on earth for this man other than he is a sociapath. You should be adressing the problem with this man not making excuses for him. She is making the typical excuses for him on yahoo groups that you would for someone that is abusing you.
NO EXCUSE for abuse!

Anonymous said...

It's a simple challenge. Why can't you meet it? I don't want a list of adjectives, I want to know what you don't like about a specific statement.

I know Stephen Fowler, have done for many years, and he has many excellent qualities.

Anonymous said...

"I have no doubt in my mind ..."


Stephen & Renee's marriage is one of equals, based on mutual respect.

I know this. I've seen it. I've spent weeks in their company.

cyka said...

Gayla says, “You keep degrading me in front of your kids.” Stephen laughs and says, “That’s easy.” Gayla says, “You think you’re so much better than me”? Stephen says, “I probably earn more in one week than you do in a year.”

Okay Damo, this really bothered me. What makes someone better than another by the size of their check? Also this was an opportunity for the children to see how others live, instead he encouraged his kids to insult Gayla. Please explain this to me.

Drew said...

Damo is not only avoiding the big picture...he is squirming in his vocabulary....

What do you LIKE about this piece of offal?

Answer Jager's and AreYouSerious's questions.

In this instance a good offense is NOT the best defense....

Now is it Stephen?

Jager said...


Looks like you are having trouble understanding. Were there too many statements at once? Were the words too big for you?

Why can't you handle it? It is very simple.
You asked my which statements. I told you which ones - if fact I said all of them. No need for you to worry which ones.

You also asked what I found objectionable about them. I told you why they were objectionable to me. Gave you a really big list.

So it looks like you are the one having a problem.

You haven't even explained away the comment you chose. The statement was insulting and your explanation is that it was British humor. That does not make it any less insulting!

By the way. What does "have done for many years," suppose to mean?

Anonymous said...


This Damo is a troll. I wouldn't feed him. This way he'll starve and go away.

Drew said...


Either a Troll of Stephen himself. How is one to tell the difference?

Drew said...


Thanks for bringing your blog back. I am amazed you wanted to read more truth. It didn't seem in your nature after you deleted the blog for a day or so.

Is Damo your lover or just your Buddie Stephen?

cyka said...

people in the middle of the country frankly (laughs) are just like you. It’s amazing - uneducated, simple and without a clue about what’s going on in the world. You’re undereducated; over opinionated and you’re overweight. It’s not a good combination.

Damo, this also hit a nerve with me. Mr. Fowler was was also over opinionated. About not having a clue what's going on in the world, How dare you stereotype an entire portion of the country, I live in the midwest, Chicago actually, I feel I have a pretty good grasp of what's going on in the world.
Please explain this statement to me also.

Anonymous said...

To cyka,

The first one is a barbed retort, typically British. Repartee.

The second, I agree, is a crass comment and your criticism is justified.

Thank you for responding to my challenge.

Loralee Choate said...


“You read that so well. Congratulations. I didn’t know that you could read.”

"A gratuitous insult, certainly, but also a typical example of barbed British humor.
Repartee, Sir!"

I disagree with you.

I actually CAN see a statement like this being humorous in certain situations. However, the way this was used in the situation it was is not barbed British humor nor repartee.

Humor of this kind comes when there is an underlying understanding of good will or relative respect between people. THEN it is funny. It crosses the line to insulting and demeaning and general asshat behavior when the lack of respect and hostility is as blatant as Stephan's was to Gayla.

The man was asserting his humor here, he was deliberately putting her down with ill-intended sarcasm and there is no way you can convince me he is not intelligent enough to discern between the two.

Remember, he has an IQ of over 150, after all.

cyka said...

DAMO SAYS: Just choose a comment, tell me what you as an individual, not as part of a braying mob, don't like about it, and I'll give you my response.

That is, if you're interested in a real exchange, advancing understanding, rather than taking comfort in numbers.

I am asking you. Because I would really love to know what kind of editing took place during these 2 comments. Thank you in advance.

Loralee Choate said...

I meant NOT asserting his humor.

Emmy said...

In response to Damo:

I AM British and I am appalled that you would insinuate that all Brit's treat people like he treated Ms. Long! Do NOT use the excuse "barbed British humor". For Gods sake I would never want anyone to think that everyone British acts like he does!
This guy is a total and complete jackass!

I will give you a direct quote (although there are so many outrageous ones it is hard to know which one to choose.)To his child regarding Ms. Long, he said "She's a very rude lady is'nt she? But thats okay she just doesn't have an education."

Humor? I think not!

cyka said...

Damo said, The first one is a barbed retort, typically British. Repartee.

Okay like I said, I am from Chicago, born and raised, without sounding ignorant, I really have no idea what that means.

Drew said...

Yay Emmy!

Anonymous said...

To cyka's 2nd comment,

Nobody who knows Stephen would dispute that he is opinionated.

His comments about "the middle of the country" are unquestionably a gross generalization.
But the evidence of the strange coupling of ignorance and strong opinions is the success of talk radio, a point that has been many times.
Americans, on the whole, are less traveled than, say, Europeans. There is a shocking ignorance of the wider world.
Stephen expressed himself clumsily but there's some truth in what he said.

Thanks again for responding.

Drew said...

Damo = Stephen Fowler


Anonymous said...

To Loralee Choate,

You make an astute and valid point but I think the problem is that Stephen spends all his time in company that does appreciate repartee. He didn't tailor his behavior to the new situation. IQ measures an extremely narrow definition of intelligence which has no bearing on what we're discussing.

AreYouSERIOUS? said...

Oh Good lord I have many British friends, and am well acquainted with their dry humor. I am from New York and am also acquainted with that kind of attitude too. New York Italian in California, can anything be more jarring? Oh yeah, an supercilious snot that just happens to have a British accent.

Saphirz said...

"some Podunk town in Missouri"

"Look you dumb redneck, I’ve already told you once."

"I’ve said that you’re underachieving, under educated, over opinionated and overweight.”

No person I know that is English makes this kind of fun. I know alot of very nice polite people from England, and they would never be so rude, and abusive to someone that was a guest in their house.

Plus insulting all of the midwest, military, people that are overwieght, people that haven't been fortunate to get higher education. That is insulting a good portion of the United States in one way or an other.
Its not a JOKE, its not a game.
And really how much more did he say that was edited out that was even worse. I dont believe it was a joke, I believe he knew exacty what he was doing, I believe hes a sociapath. I believe he abuses his wife and maybe even his kids.
I don't care how well you know someone you dont know what happens behind closed doors. Nobody knew my x husband was abusive eather.

AreYouSERIOUS? said...

If Stephen was so smart, wouldn't he quickly realize that his humor would be lost on Mrs. Long? Why go to a place where another can't follow?

His sesquipedalian tendencies may be appreciated and understood without question in his own social circle, but when outside that select group it is only common courtesy to speak in a clear manner that can be understood.

A kind person would realize that the poor woman was out of her element.

Anonymous said...

To Emmy,

You don't know Stephen and so have no grounds for saying he "is a total and complete jackass."

What was presented on Wife Swap was partial and misleading and I'm surprised more ire hasn't been directed at abc for treating Stephen in such a calculating and ruthless way.

Drew said...

Well Damo? She makes the points YOU asked for. What is your, (Stephen's) response?

robynzmail said...

Dear Damo:

The problem with your responses is that Renee sent out an email to her yahoo group and stated that Stephen regrets what he said.. AND bc he was under pressure he acted badly and cracked under that pressure. So they are admitting what he said was in bad taste.. so there is really no reason to defend his statements?

Drew said...

...oh Stephen, (Damo)...

Don't get mad at Emmy for speaking a truth you can't comprehend. Go Away...We Know you are either a shill of Stephen's or Stephen himself.


Stephen showed by his actions he is sorely lacking in the greatest quality that a person can have -- love. He displayed an absolute lack of self-control, long-suffering, joyfulness, love, kindness -- but you probably wouldn't understand any of that because these are Christian principles that probably aren't taught in SanFran, only in Podunk towns across the U.S.A.

I was born in SoCal but now live in a podunk town in TX. These are the salt of the earth people that will give you the shirt off their back if you need help, even when they can't spare one, the men that will stop to help a woman change a tire, or help you when they don't know you.

Stephen, for all his supposed worldly sophistication, is lacking in moral character and human decency. I would never call someone I'd barely met all the things he did to Gayla. And to imply that her sons were the type that would fit into the military because of their class was unforgiveable. He was saying that their lives were not as important as his set's, like theirs were the type of lives that could be sacrificed and not missed.

Even if one does not have a higher education, they still do have feelings. Obviously Stephen is now finding out that words do hurt, as many on the I-net have been using words to hurt him financially and careerwise. Again, another Christian principle he probably never learned, Treat others as you'd like to be treated.

AreYouSERIOUS? said...

I think that ABC should spring for a new show, called the REAL Education of Stephen Fowler. Rent a large RV, load the family up and take a two month trip through the heartland. I have driven cross country 10 times and it is the most incredible experience....God, just so amazing the small places in this vast What Cheer! Iowa...or the time we drove through Wyoming, it was 1pm and we were so tired and up out of the dust by the roadside rose a vision, Native Americans in full regalia dancing...on a TUESDAY in July we happened upon a pow wow. Being that my daughters are Native American from their dad, we stopped and had the experience of a lifetime. You haven't lived until you have explored this amazing Country!

Sebastian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jager said...


You know not what you speak of. You yourself are making gross generalizations.

You are also coupling your gross generalizations with questionable (and unsubstantiated) 'evidence'.

Your little poke at talk radio may be a point made by many 'in your set' but that does not make it true.

In addition, you need to cite your source regarding Americans' traveling habits compared to, say, Europeans. Its shocking that you think that people will just accept what you say as gospel.

The only truth expressed by Stephen was his true personal beliefs and opinions. As you said yourself, Stephen is opinionated. Nevertheless being opinionated does not make one correct.

Just look in the mirror.

With that, I am going to bed. Damo, you have offered nothing in the way of an explanation and have only shown that you too have the same mentality or dare I say, lack of mentality, as your friend.

Good night.

Sebastian said...


I was born and raised in England and came to the U.S. armed with degrees from similar institutions as Stephen's. I find it hard pressed, extremely hard pressed, to believe that you're basing some of your argument on this being "British Humor". This not British humor, and nobody in/from South Kensington, London, my home area, would consider this to be "British Humor". This man said vile things, words that are spewed from ones mouth are unedited. This is America,so it's safe to say those words were not forcefully expunged from his mouth. Stop using the "British Humor" card because you're embarrassing our culture.

Carlos said...

Since you feel the need to enlighten us, why don't you just write up a response detailing how we should view Stephen's actions and words as justified.

I have not watched the show a second time, but from my memory, I do not recall a point in the show when he was shown displaying some civility toward Gayla. In most, if not all, of the scenes where he is with Gayla, he tries to humiliate her. Any one of those comments may be able to be justified by itself, but to fill up a whole show with these humiliating comments is where the problem is. Obviously this has struck a chord in many peoples minds and hearts as most of us cannot believe that a person was capable of leveling such cruel comments toward someone else over a two week period. Cruel comments such as the ones listed cannot be merely dismissed as "barbed British humor."

I believe that many of us would like to believe that he is not really like that or that he is apologetic for his behavior; but, we are not able to see how he is on a typical day or see if he is truly sorry for his actions. Let us know what you want to say to us and stop using your somewhat degrading language about us not responding to your "specific" challenge.

Additionally, I believe that it is wrong for people to level threats at his family or to be vile in their responses to these message boards.

Not Impressed said...


My problem is when Stephen said that his GRE test score was in the 99.9% percentile, and that equated to him having an IQ of 158.

Regardless of why he felt the need to tell everyone how "smart" he was, please explain to me how an IQ score (which measures aptitude, not achievement) can be correlated with a GRE test score. I'm just interested, since we're looking into defending what Stephen said.

Auntee and KK said...

Damo, you have given us all a clear indication of the type of people Stephen spends his time with.

And its wonderful that you enjoy slinging clever repartee back and forth to each other on a routine basis.

Poor Gayla...she was just too unsophisticated to understand that the term *dumb redneck* was Stephen's way of including her in his charmed circle.

Stick to your own *set*. The rest of us are not amused.

Sebastian said...

I think it's grossly unfair to say Americans travel less than Europeans or other nations. America is so large land wise, larger than Europe (not including Western Russia), that if I drive 350 miles east from my home I will be in Las Vegas. If someone residing in Munich travels 350 miles, they could be in Austria, Switzerland, and maybe Hungary and Italy (I don't know the exact mileage). If you consider each US state a country, just like each European state is a country, I would argue that Americans might be more traveled. This just a hypothetical point, but you guys seem bright enough to understand my thoughts.

Saphirz said...

Damo, my question to you is were you there when it was being taped?
How do you know what was edited and what was not?? How would you know what he was thinking at the time.
Ohh unless you are the real Steven.

Telling your children its because she is uneducated is not teaching your children anything but disrespect. To involve your children in the converstion is childish and immature. To get the children to not talk to her because she has no education its probably the worse bigoted thing ive seen in along time.
You can tell your self or haha your friend, because of the childish, bigoted, arrogant, way you or him carried himself on the show you have angered many American's and you will find we don't forget being walked on very fast. Allot of people want to see your world crash and burn, to bad the kids have to go threw this.

Drew said...

2nd Letter from Pacific ENvironment where Fowler WAS a board member.

Dear Drew,

I would like to follow up to the message you sent in which you raised concerns about Stephen Fowler's behavior on the show "Wife Swap."

Stephen Fowler has resigned from Pacific Environment's Board of Directors and is no longer associated with the organization in any way.

We would like to reiterate that Pacific Environment was in no way involved in the taping of the show. Pacific Environment does not condone Mr. Fowler’s behavior on the show, and the behavior represented on the show absolutely does not reflect the values and ideals of Pacific Environment.

Pacific Environment works to protect the living environment of the Pacific Rim. We support local communities to have a larger voice on environmental issues. We partner with fishermen, indigenous communities, scientists, housewives, students, retired citizens, environmentalists, and others who are striving against great odds to protect their communities. We hope that you will learn about Pacific Environment and judge our work based on our long history of successfully supporting environmental heroes around the Pacific Rim.

Thank you again for your message and raising these concerns.


David Gordon


Another point:

I think Americans are a pretty forgiving bunch, as a whole. Hollis, since you know the family, why don't you ask Stephen to make a public apology for his statements and insults? He and Renee have been curiously quiet, and I think people are looking for a bit of contriteness. His silence continues to hurt him and manifests inself as arrogance on his part.

cyka said...

British humor is a poor excuse. I am aware that Europeans by stereotype have a dry humor and feel that Americans are too sensitive. (not saying it is true, just what I heard).
But in no way excuses this behavior. Not all Americans have an opportunity for advanced education, at least not the way Europeons do. To belittle someone because they do not have those same opportunites, well is just plain, RUDE.

Ghost Whisperer said...

Let's cut the BS Damo. Stephen had diarrhea of the mouth and you guys are struggling with this. Your little sector of the world cannot come to grips that one your own self proclaimed intellects mistakenly used his mouth as an a-hole and is now paying the consequences. God Speed.

Not Impressed said...

Guess what you guys?!?! Someone was staying in my house for a week, and I didn't like the way her teeth looked, so I thought it would be really funny to call her ugly and make fun of her for not being able to afford dental care. I mean, national tv cameras weren't there to film what I was saying, but it sure was funny, wasn't it?!? hehehe! I love barbed retort! We should all start using that in our everyday interactions.

cyka said...

Sebastian said...
I think it's grossly unfair to say Americans travel less than Europeans or other nations. America is so large land wise, larger than Europe (not including Western Russia), that if I drive 350 miles east from my home I will be in Las Vegas. If someone residing in Munich travels 350 miles, they could be in Austria, Switzerland, and maybe Hungary and Italy (I don't know the exact mileage). If you consider each US state a country, just like each European state is a country, I would argue that Americans might be more traveled. This just a hypothetical point, but you guys seem bright enough to understand my thoughts.

Exactly! I was just thinking about posting something like this. My friends from England have told me this also. It is very easy to take trains from country to country.

Not Impressed said...

HolLLiisssSS, have you thought about my scarf suggestion?

Barbzzzzzz said...

Ms. Polk, I honestly bear you no unkindness. Neither do I wish harm to the Fowlers. What I do hope for is that they will learn from this experience and learn to cultivate compassion for others.

The Power of Prime Time Television: For better, or worse, true.

The Power of Controversy: Ditto. Interest in Martha Stewart never soared so high as when she was convicted and sent to jail. But, given that she served her sentence and hasn't whined about it, she seems as popular as every.

What You Put Out Comes Back to You Amplified: Shhhh, don't tell the other posters this... but I actually believe this. And you have seen it to be true. If Fowler had put out positive energy, then this is what would be reflecting back on you.

People Are Willing to Judge Someone Based on Very Little Evidence: All right, if we are going to have a little discourse on the bad behaviour exhibited by your friend, then lets just leave the bible verses out of this and stick to the argument based upon the evidence at hand. I'm sure that less damaging evidence was left on cutting room floor. And I am equally sure that few of us would want our lives to be judged on the basis upon 42 minutes of film. But, what was displayed on file was aggregious and indefensible.

Once People Have Made Up Their Minds They Don't Want To Hear Anything That Contradicts Their Judgement: I find this statement to be mildly offensive. I relish a good debate and can easily be brought around to appreciate another person's point of view. But, you'd better be prepared to present a really good argument on why it was acceptible for Fowler to use his intellect, intelligence and education to bludgeon another person in a very cruel manner. In front of his children.

A "Public" Figure is Not Viewed as Human: Personally, I've always felt sorry for those who have been thrust into the public view by circumstance. Those who step into the limelight may be held to a somewhat different standard. I have said nothing here that I would not say to you or Fowler in person. I definitely would never, ever call someone a fat redneck hick, make fun of their reading skills, jeer at them about my income level compared to theirs or teach my children to disrespect them.

If You're Going to be Public, You'd Better Have Pretty Thick Skin: I suppose that it is a shame that Fowler has surrounded himself with sycophants and that no one has done him the kindness to tell him that he is an unkind, arrogant, abusive jerk.

Loyalty is Not Valued: On the contrary, I am intensely loyal. And, I think that it is admirable in a way that you are trying to show support for a friend. Be a really good friend. Explain to him that he is an unkind, arrogant, abusive jerk. And get him to seek help from a professional who may help him get at the roots of why he finds it necessary to degrade another human being in order to feel superior to them.

Listener, Reader, Viewer, Beware: Okay, I'm thinking that the "Fire" comment is a bit off suject here. (Yelling "Fowler" in a public venue may also cause a stampede, of people wanting to get away from him! Sorry, I was being a total smart a$$ on this one... I couldn't resist) It is regrettable that some people are threatening physical harm to the Fowlers. In many ways, this makes them more like him than they may realize. In terms of "lies", I've made no mis-statements of truth here to the best of my knowledge. I'm simply stating my opinions and justifications for same.

Ms. Polk, please reach down deep and try to remember a time when you were abused by someone. Maybe it was a bully at school. A sadistic boss. Someone's misguided "helpful" comment that cut you to the core. This is the visceral center laid bare by your friend and the reason that so many people are outraged.

It would be easy to write off the comments here and elsewhere, and the emotions that lie beneath them, as angry mob mentality. I believe that this has been done by those claiming to be friend of the Fowlers. But, this just closes the mind to other perspectives and the potential learning that you and your contemporaries might experience.

If you've made up your mind and truly believe that there are circumstances in which it is appropriate to call someone mean names based upon their physical appearance, berate the towns and the country from which they proudly hail, insult their reading skills, and lord over them your income level, then I'm sure that the judgements presented here will not dissuade you from this mindset.


Sebastian said...


You seem like an intelligent human being, do you think Mr. Fowler would have used these crass verbal attacks on a poor family from rural Africa? Would he harass a mother from such a place about being undereducated, malnourished, or penniless?


You're so right about the "lack of travel" most Americans are accused of. When I went to England, we took the train to Paris, and it took about five hours. If I drove five hours from my home in Texas, why, I'd still be in -- Texas! But counting different states as countries, wow, I've been to probably 25 countries. I'm better traveled than I thought. ;)

Saphirz said...

lol us people from small towns (Town of 38 pop) don't travel,just the contray, Ive been in 42 states and mexico and canada.
My 17 year old has been in about 20 states and Mexico, France,Germany Switzerland, Austria, Italy.
Ive driven across the United States 3 or 4 times now from sea to shining sea.
But no we don't travel!

Heather said...

Look at all the hits you are getting now with Damo. I think Damo is Hollis to be honest. She needs to keep the drama stirred up. Cheerio good ole girl! At least you know how to keep on milking it.
Stephen Fowler is a foul man. Heard he resigned from Pacific. So do tell cuz ya know us redneck gossipers love juicy gossip... was it forced? I hear he has gotten some bad press. Maybe Scottie boy will hire him again :)

Loralee Choate said...


I get what you are trying to say but I don't think that it is a accurate comparison.

I don't think that anyone can compare the Long's to an impoverished family in Africa simply because of the staggering amount of opportunity provided to the Longs to better themselves simply by living here that a family in Africa would not have access to.

I thought Stephan a colossal prig, but I had some issues with the Long's and their life style as well. (Although, I think they genuinely tried to learn and grow from the situation by looking at a more healthful lifestyle and education in a different light by the end).

What I think would be a more appropriate question to pose is would Fowler have spoken and demeaned someone that was an American that was also a minority or a homosexual or someone considered in a more politically correct protected class by the liberal elite than the overweight, or under-educated, blue collar American is?

I doubt he would have been nearly as harsh, but that is just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

1. "Well-traveled" doesn't usually refer to moving around your own country. Traveling salesmen are not necessarily "well-traveled."

2. My point about British humor was addressed to specific comments, not to everything Stephen said.

3. Sebastian raises a very interesting issue and I think he is right. There's an unspoken dynamic here. The extent of the reaction to Stephen is partly due to hearing a Brit say these things. No country welcomes criticism from foreigners. Conversely, Europeans feel free to criticize America and Americans for complex reasons which take a lot of teasing out but in broad strokes come down to the sense that citizens in such an extraordinary (and dominant) country should be able to take it.

Drew said...

It is obvious:

Damo is either Hollis Polk or Stephen Fowler. Does it really matter who is who? They still puke the crap from Wife Swap. Whom ever they are, they are just trying to extend their 15 minutes.

And through our indignation, they may succeed.

We all know the truth though. Their words speak for themselves.

Res ipsa loquitur

Sebastian said...

I disagree, it's a very valid question because if he would say the same things to an impoverished family or mother from Africa, he is liable to say anything to anyone. Debate is good.

Anonymous said...

I'm using this site because I can't sign in to the abc site. Registered OK but each time I try to sign in it doesn't work.

I'm horrified at the one-sidedness of the posts and want to at least try to offer some defense.

Sebastian said...

It's true that people do not take criticism from foreigners well, just like I don't enjoy Americans bashing on England and telling Stephen to go back home, I reckon it's alright back there. But the crux of the issue involving Mr. Fowler is not in criticizing the country, it's in his critical analysis of this defenseless women. He would never verbally assault you or I in such a way because he knows we could dish it back to him in the extreme manner that says things himself. Stephen chose to criticize ones physical characteristics and ones locale which is quite uncalled for. If I barbed about the looks of his wife on national TV, hypothetically, I would be tarred and feathered for criticizing ones appearance. Does this help you understand the outrage.

Drew said...

There IS NOW defense for this behavior Stephen.

Sebastian said...

And to touch on talking about well traveled. I spoke about America being such a large land mass compared to Europe which makes traveling far more difficult. Many more nations are in close proximity of one another in Europe than in the USA which is why I think saying Americans are less traveled is an argument full of drivel. Unfortunately, the youth of America are not blessed with RyanAir or EasyJet which makes flying around Europe a piece of cake.

Drew said...

I mean NO Defense of your position Stephen....sorry for the misspelling...I know how you hate that.

Saphirz said...

Shouldn't one visit their own country before leaving it to see others. My Aunt and Uncle are from a very small town, the went to Italy,Germany and a few others back in the 60s, my Grandma from that same small town went to Austraila and New Zealand, China.
I'm the only one in my family that hasnt been overseas.

Stephen has a shocking ignorance to the middle of this country, maybe he should have traveled more here in the United States.

What your selling about Stephen I'm not buying!
I've never heard those kinds of insults come out of any one from England or matter of fact any other country that I know people from.
Here in the United States that is mental abuse! And Im sure it is in most countrys.
NO EXCUSE for abuse.

Anonymous said...

Please don't patronise me, Sebastian. I anticipated the outrage before filming even started.
My point was that knee-jerk dislike of criticism by foreigners goes some way to explaining the LEVEL of outrage.

Ghost Whisperer said...

How the hell does Stephen call the middle of America uneducated. Doesn't he realize that Chicago is the midwest and that Chicago is a proud home of the University of Chicago, one of the best universities in the world, which boasts one of the best MBA programs on planet earth and Northwestern University which doesn't take a backseat to many others. God speed.

Adam said...

You anticipated the outrage before filming? So you knew all along he was a complete cock sucker?

Anonymous said...

Ghost Whisperer shouldn't be disingenuous.
How does that advance the discussion?
Shame on you.

Saphirz said...

So your saying its ok to insult an other person just because your from an other country. I would think if you went to Italy you wouldn't do the things you know are disrespectful like thumb to the mouth flicking. You just wouldn't do that right. I thought he was an expert on these kinds of things??

Drew said...


Blogger Damo Kawasaki said...

Please don't patronise me, Sebastian. I anticipated the outrage before filming even started.
My point was that knee-jerk dislike of criticism by foreigners goes some way to explaining the LEVEL of outrage.

Anonymous said...

Been watching Deadwood?

Aware of editing?

Sebastian said...

How do you feel patronized? I wasn't asking that last question with patronizing in my mind. I was trying to give you the explanation you've been craving about the EXTREME LEVEL of backlash. Criticism from a foreign national causes some of the backlash but regardless of accent this extreme response was given due to ones actions.

robynzmail said...

Hollis, you are just plain SILLLY! Your blog postings have done more harm than good for your "friends" the Fowlers. You need to respond to what "Barbzzzzzz" said... If you cannot match that you should shut this blog down permanently.

Saphirz said...

Middle of the heartland, Kansas which boast the best Vetenarian colleges in the United States.

Anonymous said...

Why is it so difficult for some of the people out there to accept that there is someone willing to defend Stephen?
Very odd!
Is it that the mob prefers there to be only one scapegoat?


Top 100 universities in the world include Notre Dame, University of Michigan, Perdue, Case Western Reserve, University of Wisconsin @ Madison -- and many more all in the Midwest.

ally said...


Since you anticipated the outrage before filming even started, did you at least kindly let Fowler know?

BTW, that's very intuitive of you, some might say even psychic.

Megan said...


Why are you coming at Sebastian like that? He is the only one having a genuine conversation w/ you.

Drew said...

Mob and Scapegoat...


Saphirz said...

@ Drew
Yes I agree, how else would he know that before even the taping. Unless all his friends and him planned it out. oh that thought is just sickning.

Loralee Choate said...


I threw in the IQ because for one, he kept stating it, but mainly it was because in Holli's original post she stated that Stephan did not understand America's anti-intelligence movement and how his sense of humor would be taken.

(Or something like that. I'm summarizing and freely admitting I did not go back to look it up.)

I was merely pointing out that the man is educated enough to know the difference between the use of barbed humor and wielding it as deliberate insult.

I do not believe that the use of comments like those were simply due to not tailoring his comments to fit his surroundings. You simply chalking it up to that makes you seem deliberately obtuse.

It was OBVIOUS Gayla was anything BUT his regular surroundings and I cannot believe he is incapable of discerning it.


I am now completely certain that the "law of attraction" is a bunch of hogwash. Renee is on youtube in one of her podcasts promoting this principle, and I have to know she didn't ask to attract all of this by going on Wife Swap!

Anonymous said...

There's no such thing as being "psychic." There's zero evidence for anything supernatural.

Knowing Stephen and knowing something about so-called reality TV it was easy to see Stephen could be setting himself up for a fall.

Adam said...

There were people that defended OJ Simpson's innocence too....

Adam said...

@ Damo

If I kept speaking of my ridiculously high IQ score you would probably think that I'm a total d-bag.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Adam, I must have missed the scene where Gayla's throat was cut!

Think about what you're saying ...
Get some perspective!

Don't you understand what tawdry trash such programs are?!
They appeal to people's worst emotions and boy has Wife Swap succeeded in its nefarious intentions this week.

Saphirz said...


So you knew that he would treat her in this manner, why didnt you warn him that would not be exceptable behavior here in the United States and there would be terrible wiplash for it.
You are as guilty as him in that case. Adults just don't talk to each other unless they are abusers.
Expecally to guest your house. We dont demean whole populations of people on Network Tv.And we sure dont teach our children to do this like he has. Maybe he/you need to take some classes in manors.

Sebastian said...

What I've learned from living in the USA is that this country if far more forgiving than any other in the world. God forbid, Mr. Fowler come out with a statement saying he was wrong. That's all he needs to stay, no complaining about editing or out of his element or in abnormal amounts of stress. Just admit what he did was vile and wrong and apologize to Mrs. Long. I'm sure the public would be forthwith in giving him a 2nd chance.

Saphirz said...

Don't you understand what tawdry trash such programs are?!

Then why in gods name did he ever go on the show?? Need Money or make a mockery of the show and Mrs.Long and her family.
answer me that!!

Adam said...

Nobody uses analogies in Damo's world.

If you're such a friend of this moron why didn't stop him from going on such a "trashy show"?

And stop using double adjectives.

Anonymous said...

So I'm guilty now, Saphirz? Ha!

FYI participants do not know who their new "wife" is until she arrives.


Damo, nobody is espousing the virtues of so-called reality t.v. We do get that it's meant to appeal to emotion, but nobody forced them to go on it. I myself would never go on that show. That was poor judgment on their part, especially since they rely so heavily on the Internet to promote their businesses. The fact of the matter is that Renee wanted free publicity for her business, and it blew up in her face because of her husband's actions.

Like I said previously, instead of all this defense of Stephen, a simple apology from him might diffuse this incident. But I have only heard it being blamed on the editing, his British wit that we stupid podunkers couldn't possibly understand, etc. Appeal to Stephen to speak for himself. That's what everyone would like to hear, a simply phrased apology -- he needn't even try to find some big words to do so.

Anonymous said...

Why did he go on the show? Uxoriousness.

Saphirz said...

@ Demo

you didnt answer my question. If you were born here you would know his behavior was wrong.

Don't you understand what tawdry trash such programs are?!

I'll ask again, why did he go on the show in the first place??

my thinking now is to make a mockery of the whole thing. He sure didn't need the money right?

Ghost Whisperer said...


So Stephen frequently talks like this to women? You infer this by saying you knew there would be a backlash. Imagine someone spewing the same diatribe to his daughter, I think daddy would be a little upset with said person.


Damo, you gave me a chuckle there. So he's guilty of being whipped also, huh?

Adam said...

Are you saying they lead a submissive lifestyle? When earlier you said or Hollis said they had an equal relationship.

Anonymous said...

To Texanbychoice,

"That was poor judgment on their part."
Never a truer word spoken!

You may be right about an apology being the best way forward but that's not my affair.

I'm offering a defense (of sometimes the indefensible) because I care for the guy and feel he has been treated as fodder by abc.

Adam said...

That certainly explains the hot wax and leather that I saw in his "office".

Adam said...

But you're also treating the people like they are fodder of Stephen Fowler.

Saphirz said...

so your saying because of his wife he went on the show, why would she want to go on such a show?

AreYouSERIOUS? said...

Different blogs have said that they went on the show because Renee Stevens/Fowler wanted to give a boost to her business. According to many postings, Stephen is currently unemployed. Renee is yes, a life coach, and supposedly they wanted to be come and start a business of a Jenny Craig type program of the New Age type in San Francisco. They have two floors rented out to others in the house they reside. This is per internet postings, who knows what is the truth. Thing is, he pissed off so many that people have made it their life mission to find out as much as they can about him.

Also, as a 'life coach' Renee leaves a lot to be desired. I'm sorry, but for most of us life doesn't start at dinner. We have to clean our own homes, do our own laundry, actually run our own LIVES....why would we want a coach who would not understand that we don't have somebody to do the daily chores that are part of the stressors and responsibilities of our daily life? We wouldn't. Period.

Sebastian said...

If you know him so well and care for the guy, why don't you encourage him to release a statement of apology? Surely, he isn't above doing such a thing, nobody is.

Anonymous said...

To Ghost Whisperer,

I infer no such thing.

ally said...

well, all i can say is that the stephens-fowler clan got their 40+ minutes of face time on national tv and what is it, nearly four days of infamy (so far)? seriously, instead of a being jerk (yes, that's what I took from WS), he could've-should've took the opportunity be the tree hugger he advertised himself to be with those t-shirts and just be a witty and funny guy that SF's friends claim him to be. it's a pity really.

Anonymous said...

What the hell kind of dictionary do you guys have!!??

Ghost Whisperer said...

If you didn't infer such a thing, how did you know that backlash was on the horizon?

Drew said...

He keep ignoring my posts...

Damo IS Stephen

Give it up, he won't admit to anything.

Anonymous said...

To Saphirz,

because the show is about lifestyles and that is what she's interested in.

The only thing Stephen watches on TV are Chelsea games and to make matters worse for him they lost 2-0 to Liverpool on Sunday! He didn't know what he was letting himself in for.


Uhh, I didn't mean that kind of whipped. It's an American slang phrase as in one who does everything his wife asks, one who lets his wife lead him around by the nose.

robynzmail said...

Damo is Stephen. You can check the IP address of the blogger account by location.

Interestingly Damo/Stephen states that the reason Stephen went on the show: Uxoriousness. Which means Stephen is now blaming his wife for the show. Not surprising at all.

(Definition: foolish fondness for or excessive submissiveness to one's wife)

Adam said...

Stephen is the John Terry of the Reality TV show world. When the world (nation in this case) is watching, pressure is on......he slips and falls right on his ass and the consequences follow. Oh and goodbye Chelsea, move on to the QF Juventus.

Anonymous said...

To Sebastian,

the flood of correspondence has made it difficult to contact him

Emmy said...

To Damo:

Puleeeeaassee quit playing the Brit card! That is NOT a good excuse. As I said before, I am British. Even people in Third World Countries with no education know it is not O.K. to make fun of someone. Manners and kindness are not limited to the U.S. only! These people thrust themselves on as you said a "trashy" televsion show for their 15 minutes of fame..They got it alright. Just maybe not in the direction they were hoping for.

BTW: I stand by my original post. This guy is a 1st class jackass!Yes, I can judge him on what little I know about him...just as he judged Ms. Long after barely knowing her!

Sebastian said...

Maybe you should write him a hand written letter and send it to him. If you're overseas maybe expedite the transmission.

Anonymous said...

To robynzmail,

if you could do that you would find that my IP address denotes a place far from San Francisco.

Ghost Whisperer said...

Did he know his wife when she was fat?

Damo lives in London, he writes for

Anonymous said...

To emmy,

Didn't your mother tell you that two wrongs don't make a right?

Ghost Whisperer said...

Is that your admission that Stephen did something wrong?

Anonymous said...

Ugh! It would be helpful if Ghost Whisperer desisted from non sequiturs and misinformation ...


Damo, why is it you expect the "mob," as you call it, to take the higher moral ground but you do not expect the same for Stephen. Yes, we learned that but we also learned, "If you don't have anything nice to say ...," "Treat others as you would want to be treated," and "All men are created equal." Maybe Stephen, not being an American, never learned this last principle. But I'm sure he heard the other two.

robynzmail said...

Sure, Damo Kawasaki might live in London and work for BUT the Damo posting here is Stephen Fowler (or a friend of a friend as they say) posting from SF.

Anonymous said...

To Texanbychoice,

I don't see how your latest post connects with what I've written so far.


You asked Emmy didn't she learn that two wrongs don't make a right. I commented that, yes, we've all heard that, but you don't hold Stephen to that same standard. You keep trying to excuse his behavior instead of just admitting that he acted horribly, abusively to that woman. So, why should we apply principles we learned as children when Stephen does not do so. Maybe I missed something but that's what I thought was said, but it is late here ...

Anonymous said...

robynzmail, what a bizarre person you are. Stephen is almost certainly asleep right now because he's very health-conscious.

Why is it so important for you to believe I am him? Very strange.

Ghost Whisperer said...

Damo, you're that guy aren't you. You never infer anything.

Ghost Whisperer said...

How do you know Stephen so well but can't seem to get a hold of him. Typically, good friends can easily make contact with someone they care about in a time of duress.

Very Strange.


Personally, speaking for myself only, I do not want Stephen Fowler's blood. I did not write to any company he is/was affiliated with nor try to contact his home. For me, an apology would go a long way! I have no dog in this fight and neither do you. But I do not like to see anybody bullied, especially a woman by a man. And I think had it been another man, Stephen wouldn't have said those things. He bullied that woman, and nobody likes a bully.

Yes, maybe you could see this as ganging up on Stephen, but Americans truly love their fellow countrymen. And we will take justified criticism when warranted, but that poor lady did nothing to deserve those insults.
I never saw her insult him once! So, therefore, many of us feel like we were insulted or as if you insulted a member of our family. The only way for this to be put to rest is for Stephen to apologize. Maybe Renee and Stephen will finally figure that out.

Anonymous said...

What I wrote to emmy was a joke because what he/she said was so silly.

I thought I'd made it clear that I accept that Stephen behaved badly. What I'm trying to do is defuse the situation because viewed from afar (I'm a long way from SF) it's an unedifying spectacle so many people ganging up on a guy they don't know but suffer the illusion they know due to the partial portrayal that went out on network TV.
The last thing I expect is the mob to take the higher moral ground!

Emmy said...

To Damo:

You are talking out of both sides of your mouth. You repeatedly asked various people to give you direct quotes of Fowler..but you skirted around the quotes each time and just gave some bullshit answers. Look, I am going to bed. Goodnight everyone. And to you Damo, I have a feeling that no matter what anyone say's,you are going to continue defending this idiot. Seriously, did you watch the show? Honest to goodness, we all know there was some editing, just not to the extent that his "friends" are saying. There is just no way. I really hope you take your blinders off and learn from this.

p.s.-yes my mom taught me that two wrongs don't make a right. More importantly she taught me to always be kind to others because you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Night everyont!

Ghost Whisperer said...

Did you come to defense for C. Ronaldo after the 2006 World Cup when an entire nation wanted to his head?

Anonymous said...

"that poor lady" Oh come on! Don't allow yourself to be manipulated so easily. It's clear to an objective viewer that she is baiting him. Baiting, baiting, baiting and in his own house and with his children about whom he cares more than anything in this world. Why the hell do you think the producers chose her? To get under the skin of some rich prick - that was their remit - and doubtless they prompted her to dig, dig, dig at him until he lost his temper to the extent that he said bad things. That way they got what they wanted.
I know from my own experience that when your own children are exposed to things that go against your own values it is easy to lash out in an over-emotional way. To "lose it."
Stephen lost it. He made a mess of it. But that doesn't mean he's an awful person. He has some prejudices, sure. Who doesn't?

Ghost Whisperer said...

So you're saying everyone started watching the show not being objective? I'm sure they already had the same opinion in minute 1 than in minute 60...

Saphirz said...

Im not buying anything that Damo is saying. If he knew so much he would have warned his dear friend on how to act on National TV, There is so much that doesn't add up the more I hear.

Im really starting to think Stephen preplanned what he was going to do down to the t-shirts he was going to ware. As far as the wife im not sure how Innocent she was to this, Im thinking the only innocent partys to this were the kids.
They went on this show to make a mockery of the show im thinking, not knowing the out cry there would be from us Americans.
No body is callus or cold enought to talk to someone on National TV that way.
And its right what Renee says to yahoo that it was role-playing, a game than that was at Gayla's expence that makes it even worse in my book. there is no good excuse.
Only to beg to be forgiven.

Megan said...

Rene is a stupid Cu*t!

Saphirz said...

@ Ghost

My daughter and I both looked at each other and our jaws dropped down to the floor with what he was saying. We both watch the show for the enertainment its ment for but we have never seen anything like that ever not on tv at least.
My x husband was abusive and that is what he sounded like to belittle me,but Stephen was even worse than my x really she was a stranger, so I see the signs of real abuse there.
And if it was just to make a mockery of the show,and he was roleplaying, then hes more evil than an abuser.

Anonymous said...

Saphirz, don't project your own problems onto other people.
You demean Renee with your faux concern. She's more than capable of looking out for herself.

Megan said...

She's still a cu*t.

Anonymous said...

It's late, Megan. Go to bed.

Megan said...

Someone doesn't like my British wit and humor.

Anonymous said...

Now that IS funny.

Adam said...

Wittiest person of the night award goes to....Megan.

Adam said...

I feel like Damo has gotten great amounts of pleasure through these various verbal spats.

Anonymous said...


Okay, here's one for you:

Gayla asks him if he'll bring Renee back to the go-kart place. He walks past and doesn't so much as look at her. She follows him outside and asks him again. He looks peevish and says, "Look, you dumb redneck, I've already told you once."

My problem with this: unnecessary rudeness. Not a clever barb. Not British humor. Just name calling.

Please, explain away.

Saphirz said...

Oh its not a problem anymore didnt you see the X before husband.
But it does give me an insite that not allot have because ive seen abuse in action. Whatever Stephen thought he was doing, it was wrong.
It was abusive. No matter what Gayla tryed to say to him he had to laugh or put her down.She even left at one point to a hotel because of how she was being treated.He wouldnt except the rules change at all, He didnt treat her with any respect at all from the start.He involved the kids teaching them to be the same way. sure there is alot sitting on the floor of the edit room but im wondering is there some worse things they couldn't even show.
And if he was under so much stress from the taping that made him treat her like that, most men that are gentlemen wouldnt even treat there dogs that bad, why didnt he stop the taping or did they really need the money??

In my book he is no intelligent man, stupid as they come to treat a woman that way.
He crossed a line that no man should ever cross. If it had been a man he would have gotten decked.
But men like him pray on ladys, makes them feel bigger and better about themselves.

NO EXCUSE for abuse!

1958fuellie said...

Lets ask some real questions Stephen I mean Damo. How many security gaurds did you have too hire at your home? (because you said nothing wrong)

Saphirz said...

I've never seen so many people angry at one person before, Hum wonder if he ever wants to work in the United States again?
With out a global apolgy im thinking hes going to have trouble in the future.

Anonymous said...

OK Mariella, here goes ...

Not nice, rude, unnecessary. Agreed.

This clip was on the trailer and before the show aired, Stephen told me he had no memory of it. But there it is on film. No arguments.


Afterward, we see Gayla claiming with mock-innocence that she was just asking Stephen if he had fun but watch carefully ... immediately after he calls her a dumb redneck she smiles (not upset at all) because she got the response she and the producers were aiming at. She was baiting him ... it's plain to see to any objective viewer.

Saphirz said...


But men like him pray on ladys, makes him feel bigger and better about themselves.

Anonymous said...

I hesitate to fuel the belief that I am Stephen ... but Saphirz, your English is atrocious.

1958fuellie said...

Damo if you have a daughter will you except it if men treat her like Mr Fowler did Gayla?

Saphirz said...

I just watch that part of it and I wouldn't say she was smiling, like she says after that its a game now she isnt going to let it get to her. She is a much stronger person, than allot would have been to put up with that.
I dont belive that baiting excuse at all, hes to intelligent to let that happen isnt he?

Anonymous said...

Why go on about intelligence?

Are you under the impression there's an inverse correlation between intelligence and rudeness?

Saphirz said...

well I never claimed to be perfect now did I. But I guess you just had to slam me about something right. Am I hitting a nerve?? Maybe there is some truth to what im saying? When the insults come out there must have been a nerve struck.
Are you going to cross that line of abuse to.

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