An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

What do they call it, white girl problems? Is that it?

Last week a member of our extended family died. It was devastating and not something I was going to write about because this person was on Jon’s side of the family, and I usually like to exclude them from my commentary here. But in light of what has gone on over the past three days of our lives, I think it bears mentioning:

We had to attend the funeral of a loved one. And usually when you say that to someone — “I’m going to a funeral” — that someone will offer condolences or sympathy, something to the tune of, “I’m sorry for your loss.” Something, right? You wouldn’t just ignore that statement and go right on with whatever nonsense you were talking about, nonsense in light of the fact that A LOVED ONE IS DEAD.

But there I was Friday afternoon, zipping up my black boots, my head perched on my neck to keep my cell phone stuck to my face, and the producer at CBS is asking me to come up with some bullet points. Quick, short bullet points that they can put on a screen behind my head when I appear on the show Monday morning with Rebecca Woolf and Dana Loesch. And my mind is totally elsewhere, anywhere but there, so I say, listen, I need to think about this for a second, I’ve got to get to a funeral. I’m going to a funeral. I will do my best to email you before then.

And she says, okay? I really need these bullet points. I need them really soon. Please get them to me before you go to the funeral.

No condolence. Not an ounce of sympathy. Just get me those bullet points.

Did I need to be comforted by a producer at CBS? Not necessarily. But it did strike me as odd. Rude, even. There. I said it. How incredibly rude.

So as we’re scrambling to grab the photo of the loved one that Jon has spent hours and hours perfecting and printing out, the words he is going to speak before all of the gathered friends and family, as we’re straightening ties and making sure there isn’t a snag in my black hose, I’m trying to zone in on the part of my brain that can come up with those bullet points. And it’s not until we’re in the car on the freeway that I can come up with anything, so I email that producer from my phone. On the way to a funeral.

And she emails back immediately and says that I need to expound. I haven’t given her enough to work with.

Fine. I can’t do anything about this right now. I’ll get to it when I can.

Except, I was slammed with work and other family obligations until Saturday afternoon at four o’clock. And it’s then that my mind has calmed down enough that I start to get the feeling that things are a little off. In the conversation I had with the producer on Friday afternoon she said something about how they were changing the direction of the piece. How they were going bill us as “savvy mommybloggers.”

I think I speak for many of us when I say that if you have to see or even hear about another morning talk show piece featuring a savvy mommyblogger, you’re going to punch someone in the groin.

Originally we were told that this was going to be a promotional piece about Momversation, specifically the one Rebecca, Dana and I participated in several months ago, one that covered the topic of what we will and won’t write about on our websites. And the only reason I agreed to leave my family on Mother’s Day to spend less than twenty-four hours in New York City is because they were going to promote this project. It was going to be great exposure for this project, for the women involved, for the producers involved. That made good business sense.

But Saturday afternoon I got an awful feeling that they were going to leave the whole Momversation part out of it. And then trot out three savvy mommyblog—OMG I JUST THREW UP AN ORGANIC BANANA.

So I call the producer of Momversation, he who happens to be a very good friend of mine, and I express my concern. He hears that concern, makes a few phone calls, and within an hour has called back to assure me that they will in fact promote Momversation.

So I get out of bed at 5 AM, ON MOTHER’S DAY, to get on a plane to New York. And thirty minutes before we’re supposed to board the plane they inform us that there’s a bit of a wind storm going on in New York, and because of some construction JFK is now down to one runway. ONE. RUNWAY.

AS IF JFK COULD GET ANY WORSE. So many people just nodded so hard they got a concussion.

Cut to a three hour delay, half of that spent sitting on the runway. On Mother’s Day.

Listen. I know that this is just a bunch of whining. I do. I really do. Everyone’s life is totally crazy. My sister has one kid with a broken arm, one whose wrist requires surgery, and another with a sty in his eye. People can’t pay their mortgages. Houses are flooded in Nashville. Babies are dying in Afghanistan. And here I am complaining about a flight delay. BOO HOO, ARMSTRONG.

I KNOW, can you even believe me? Could I be more out of touch? Holy unrelatable mommyblogger!

Except, this is for Dana and Rebecca, two other women who left their children and the brunches they had planned with their mothers and grandmothers to fly across the country. Only to have the segment cancelled on Sunday night. For no reason. No explanation. Just, yeah, hmmm… I know it’s Mother’s Day, sorry! Bad timing, huh? OOPSIES! And then the producers wouldn’t return our phone calls.

You think they would at least MAKE UP AN EXPLANATION. Like, I don’t know, Obama is announcing his nominee for the Supreme Court. Or, there’s an oil spill in the Gulf, flooding in Tennessee, tornados in Oklahoma, something other than, “I can’t tell you.” I would have even believed the excuse that there were snakes! On a plane! Savvy mommybloggers would eat that shit up!

Yesterday one of the executive producers at CBS emailed the producer of Momversation to explain that it was a combination of the Supreme Court announcement and their soon-to-be-launched high definition broadcast that has displaced huge areas of the studio. Except that this explanation came after the three of us were on our way back home. And it wasn’t communicated to us directly.

And dammit, I was hoping it was snakes! LET. DOWN.

The whole experience was just a nightmare from start to finish, and having worked with several other production outfits — NBC, ABC, CNN, PBS, Oprah, Dr. Phil, and most importantly HGTV — I can say that by far this was the worst experience I’ve ever had with television. I mean, I helped Kourtney Kardashian change a diaper on a plastic doll on the Bonnie Hunt show, and that was more organized and meaningful than this.

Just so not cool.

  • debhayford

    crap – Im so sorry about everything and your loss.

    With your girls; plan something spectacular for next weekend!

  • theurbancowgirl

    Hey! CBS! You suck.

    Heather, I’m so sorry for your loss and all the crap you had to deal with on top of it. It’s stressful enough dealing with the loss of a loved one.

  • Nhiro

    You know what’s uncool? That you constantly have to defend yourself for wanting to bitch about your problems. Complaining?? On your own website?!? How dare you! Seriously, people need to get the hell over themselves. It’s unfair for anyone to expect you to be all smiles and rainbow farts all the time. I actually like that you share these things with us, because it reminds me that you’re human and have human problems and feelings… you know, just like the rest of the naysayers do. Fuck them.

    I’m so sorry for your loss. And CBS’s (jerkfaces).

  • stellans

    First, my sincere condolences to you and your family for your loss.

    Second, how incredibly rude of that insensitive producer not to at least acknowledge your loss.

    Third, I’m sorry that they pulled the plug on you so abruptly and without the courtesy of a phone call. That really sucks.

    Slowly but surely the major broadcast networks are driving me away.

  • pyjammy

    That is shitty. Just as well I don’t watch anything on CBS. Jerkfaces.

  • reneewvu

    CBS is worthless. Except for How I Met Your Mother. That show rules.

  • Debbie7

    Boooo, CBS! Good on you for writing about it. I wonder if you’ve already been called out for “bullying” again?

  • HeckYes

    Heather and Jon, I’m so sorry about the loss of your loved one.

    I would pray for you, but considering I just left the Mormon church I think the result of my prayers would be some catastrophe in “Zion” and that’s that last thing you guys need right now. So just know that I’m thinking about you and if I was your next door neighbor I would totally bring over a yummy casserole. At least I think I’m still allowed to make those.

  • MJBUtah

    umm, and Big Bang Theory. But otherwise, dead to me CBS. UNFOLLOW!

    Sorry for your loss, guys. It’s like a shitstorm avalanche or something lately.

  • Ex Files Chick

    I’m sorry to hear about the family’s loss.

    What CBS did was shitty, no doubt about it. I even got up to watch it, and couldn’t figure out how I missed you!

    Is there a way to protect yourself from this happening in the future? Do you sign some sort of contract when you decide to appear on a show? Perhaps in the future you could insist on one. You’re in the big time now, and time is money, after all. Hey, if they’re asking YOU to be on their show, YOU can call the shots.

    Sorry your Mother’s Day was a total bust. But technically, Mommy’s Day is every day, right?

  • anayasmom

    The only good thing about CBS is David Letterman.

    Sorry for your loss.

  • PRMom

    Wow. That really sucks that you made the decision to leave your family on Mother’s Day to have an all-expenses-paid trip to New York so that you could promote your business on national TV, only to have it cancelled at the last minute so they could cover real news.
    Sucks to be you. Sucks to make 6 figures a year staying home with your kids and dogs and co-dependent husband to post 300 words every other day to your blog.

  • Midnight

    I’m sorry for your loss and hoping good memories of your loved one are able to edge aside the grief from losing that person.

    That business with CBS is a pain. Sorry about that too.

    Also, sorry you get comments like the one I just read as I was typing this (#63, I think). I’m super glad I don’t read the comments here.

  • kcbelles

    My condolences to you, Jon and your families for your loss. So incredibly rude of that CBS producer not even to say anything remotely human. And so incredibly rude of CBS to cancel on 3 moms who took the time to be away from their families on Mother’s Day, of all days without so much as an “I’m sorry.”

    I would be livid if this had happened to me. And hey, it’s your blog. Someone above said something about relativity – just because there are worse things going on in the world doesn’t mean you can’t bitch on your own blog.

    I am so boycotting CBS (not that I watch them much, anyway, but that’s beside the point.)

  • kcbelles

    Wow, PRMom – who stuck a self-righteous stick up your ass? Why are you even here reading this blog if you are so easily disgusted? Go crawl back under that rock from whence you came – your green eyes are showing something fierce. Your comment was totally uncalled for, and in itself, rude. All you’ve done is shown how incredibly small you are.

  • kcbelles

    double post – hate when that happens 🙂

  • d3 voiceworks

    and … sounds like PRMom should be over there at the hgtv blog where the unfollowers hang

  • katka

    1, My condolences.

    2, What is the point of having a personal blog if you cannot whine?

  • CynthiaLily

    Thank you for calling attention to Nashville! Thank you thank you thank you.

  • d3 voiceworks

    the producers didn’t return your phone calls because they were working on bullet points.

    oh wait. that was what YOU were supposed to be doing.

    why weren’t the PRODUCERS doing that in the first place?

    and, katie couric is craptastic.

    and daddy scratches, so sorry for your temporary situation.

  • Dee Bee

    First, I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. And I’m also sorry that your time was wasted by “The Business”. See, that’s why I hate “The Business” I work in it, and it’s killing me! When I quit this job, I’m going to the streets and suck cock for a few weeks so I can regain my dignity.

    Happy mothers day….and yes, I would totally kiss my mother with this filthy mouth.

  • Kayla K

    @PR Mom – It also totally sucks that your world is so small you can’t find an ounce of empathy for another human being. Since when does making a decent income and having opportunities (that she created for herself!) equate to losing the right to bitch about a bad day?

    @Dooce – Condolences to you and your family for your loss. The Producer is a douche-canoe.

  • janmccutcheon

    Man, how rude can they be? They have no idea who they’re dealing with. If they are trying to charm savvy mommybloggers, they failed. Now the whole bloggesphere knows what they did!

    Sorry for your loss.

  • tallnoe


    Not cool. Sorry you had to be subjected to that kinda shizzle. And sorry for your loss.

    Hopefully you feel loved by the peeps on this here blog. At least the ones I’ve read are feeling…

  • SarahNC

    I believe the phrase you’re looking for is “first-world problem.” 🙂

    Nonetheless, Not Fun.

  • AJS721

    Total BS! I am so sorry that your family lost someone. It’s so hard to come to terms with death whether anticipated or not.
    And yes, it is incredibly RUDE that the producer didn’t take a moment to acknowledge you as a HUMAN BEING with an emotion.
    Ugh. HATEFUL.

    Hopefully, you will get a WONDERFUL make-up celebratory weekend with your sweet girls and Jon.

  • doobrah

    The fact that you haven’t experienced this with your other appearances is pure luck. Now, CBS is a bit different from HGTV. I mean, it’s a live news/lifestyle show in 3rd place against Today & GMA. And their story budgets change faster than you can say, “hot flash.” My guess (from working years in TV) is that the exec producer is a man, who thinks Mommyblogger is more appealing to the 8 a.m. female audience. At least it’s more appealing to him, and that’s who really counts, right?

    The Producer Without Pity is probably used to talking to reporters, not interview subjects. No excuse, but we’re a cold bunch with gallows humor that would make a sailor blush. It’s all about Get The Story. Emotions be damned. (Ah, but we can turn it up when the camera is hot.)

    And once you’ve been cancelled, they’re all about moving on to the next “get.” Remember, they’re competing with Today, GMA & the cable nets for the interview subject du jour.

    So if you were to go on a rampage and systematically kill your readers, CBS would be all over that. I can guarantee you would not get bumped.

  • Bren

    CBS = Crappy Ball Suckers

    Our condolences to you and Jon and the girlie-birds.

  • maverickmom

    That is really awful. I’m so sorry for your loss and hope CBS goes to Hell in a handbasket. It’s so nice of Jon to create the photo you mentioned, along with a speech, for the funeral, too.

  • Becca

    GO AWAY PR MOM!!!! just shoo!

  • rissa

    I’m so sorry for your loss, and the missed opportunity to spend your first mother’s day as a mother of two with your family. I’m also sorry that CBS does not blame snakes! for their incompetence. It was the least they could do…

  • table4five

    I’m sorry for your family’s loss.

    Did you, Rebecca and Dana actually film the segment only to have it cancelled? Or did you get to the studio and have them say um, sorry, Supreme Court Nomination + HDTV whatever means we don’t need you after all? It sucks either way but I’m just curious.

  • just beth

    straight fucked up, ladyfriend. you tell them I said so, too. fuckers. i knew there was a reason I didn’t like CBS. Oh, or death and funerals and straight up rude people, either. there’s that… hang in there, baby. we love you. xo, b!

  • Jessica Eiden Smedley

    Heather, I’m so sorry for your loss. 🙁

    Boo CBS; bunch of shitheads.

  • DeniseMcCurdy

    I was really bummed, because I really dislike CBS, and I watched the ENTIRE Early Show (I had to steal the remote from my children… the world came to a hault because we didn’t watch Blues Clues). But, NO HEATHER. I was hurt, confused, bewildered… it was a rough morning.

    I am sorry for your family’s loss.

  • RenderMeMama

    Wow. Thats just awful. How about a new set of bullet points for them?

    *I wish CBS cared that my family suffered a loss this week.

    *Thats right people a loss in the family AND they made us come down on Mother’s Day.

    *Breaking news: They will cancel this segment so these ever so important points don’t matter any way.

    Or maybe those aren’t enough to expand on either. Bastards.

    Sorry for your family’s loss. Both of a life and a special day.

  • seamshappy

    Man, how cold! Sorry for your families’ loss — and your lost Mother’s Day!

    Oh, and hey, if you can’t vent with friends, where can you vent?

  • FarmMomma

    I am very sorry your loss.
    I don’t think CBS understands your power-don’t they know what happens when you are unhappy??? How many people listen? Ridiculous.

  • Not So Glamorous Housewife

    I had my 1st son the day before Mothers day. We had a great “feel good” story due to a full term loss the year before and the local news station called the hospital and asked for a nice couple to interview. They asked us, we agreed. I quickly got myself cleaned up and put a dab of makeup on because as you know 24 hours of labor can make you look a little bit tired. We sat in anticipation all day and finally got the phone call. “You have been bumped because a python got into a car in the neighboring town”. We got bumped for a snake. Phewy on the news. Cheers to white girl problems!

  • CourtneySue

    …and that’s why the CBS Early Show is #1. Oh, wait, they’re NOT…

    I used to work in local news, and stuff got dropped all the time, mostly because something ran over time, or there was breaking news, but we never had to fly anyone in to do the interview, so I can’t say this is normal. I also can’t say it was rude. News people can be incredibly rude, which is why I say I USED to work in local news.

    What movie was that where someone was going to be on the Tonight Show, but got bumped while waiting in the greenroom because some stupid actor took too long during their segment? That would suck, too.

  • erinL

    The bar wasn’t too high to begin with. I mean, just look what they did to Conan.

  • Joolsmum

    Very sorry for your family sorrow. Much sympathy.

    Bah and a pox upon CBS.

    CBS + Morning Show = Amateur Hour in Dixie {subset equation; Why I never watch them anyway x 1,009}

  • Sarasnee

    CBS is already regretting their actions as we speak, guaranteed. Suddenly 90% of their mommy million viewers stopped watching the morning show..

    I’m sorry for your loss.

  • pinkone

    SO FUCKING RUDE. I’m sorry, but deadlines can always be worked around. Personal loss? Not so much.
    and hey, wild crazy idea??? if they want your best ideas/work maybe just maybe they should be willing to wait til you’re in a better/heart space.

    and the mother’s day fiasco? Bullshit. You’re a mom: they know it. Treat you proper on your day. Makes you wonder what they think of their mothers to treat you like that.

  • srising

    well, poop. sounds like it sucked and then you cried. 😉

  • edims

    sorry about your experience… and your loss. i have to say— sometimes, TV is just SO-NOT-WORTH it

  • MissCaron

    So pathetic! I hear ya girl! My sister used to work for NBC so I got to hear a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff and some of it is ridiculous. Sorry your mommy’s day was screwed… hopefully (if CBS has a brain) they’ll make it up to you somehow.

  • Roo8382

    That’s not ok. It’s not ok that the producer didn’t even stop to acknowledge your loss. I’m sorry for your loss, Heather. I hope you and Jon and your families are able to just be together and grieve during this sad time.

    It’s not ok that they asked you to fly out on MOTHER’S DAY and leave your kids and then cancel your segment.

    People do NOT OK shit all the time. Thanks for having the balls to call those people out. Maybe less NOT OK shit would happen if more of us did that.

  • freckleface

    WOW, how infuriating! Super rude… unfortunately I’m not that surprised.

    So sorry to hear about your family member, and also so sorry that your life is so hectic! I hope you’re balancing it all well, but keep in mind that even if you don’t think you are that’s just what everyone with a busy life thinks 🙂

  • hoosiergirl1962

    Is it me or are manners and civility becoming something that happens when we “know” someone or feel someone is “important” enough to actually treat them like a human with feelings?? I wonder this when I have to interupt a IV tech who is supposed to be taking pre-operative blood samples from me and instead, she happens to be texting someone and having a really good time wasting my time. Serial rudeness seems to be occuring at an alarming rate. Is what we are texting so fucking important that we can’t stop and complete a business transaction without hanging up the bloody phone???
    Excuse me, but I had to go all “Mrs. Kravitz” for a moment……
    Truly sorry for your loss and CBS can go suck it

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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