Those who tuned into ABC’s “Wife Swap” last week were likely stunned for a number of reasons. To begin, many Americans were introduced for the first time to the inner workings of a “polyamorous” family (i.e. a family unit comprised of and headed by more than two adults). And then, of course, there was the shocking pairing. As TheBlaze already documented, a conservative, Christian, Tea Party mother (Dr. Gina Loudon) was switched up with one of the women involved in the polyamorous family (Angela Envy).
Obviously, the combos didn’t go well, with Loudon quitting halfway through the show’s taping. Following the influx of media coverage, TheBlaze interviewed the Tea Party enthusiast to ask her about the experience, her family’s depiction on the show and why she chose to go on “Wife Swap” in the first place.
When asked how she feels about the controversial episode, Loudon gave a balanced assessment. Overall, she said that she couldn’t begrudge the mainstream media for doing what it’s best known for (i.e. not treating conservatives well) — and she also said that she knew full-well what she was getting herself into beforehand.
“They are not out to glamorize conservatism,” she said of the mainstream media. “People can’t be naive going into this and think, ‘But I’m going to be different’…you are a conservative and if you sign up for [something like] this, you better realize what you’re headed in for.”
Loudon, a well-known, right-leaning radio host, said that rather than avoid engaging in unfamiliar and possibly unfriendly territory, it’s important for conservatives to take part in the greater society and make their voices heard. She told TheBlaze that simply preaching to the choir isn’t enough and that doing so won’t win over hearts and minds to build support for Republican and conservative ideals.
“If we’re going to call ourselves cultural warriors and then [only appear on conservative programs and outlets], guess what? We’re not reaching [others],” Loudon said. “My thought, my hope and prayer in doing this was that discerning minds and intelligent people would be able to see through edits.”
While Loudon decried the “swarm of lies” that developed in media following the airing of her “Wife Swap” episode, she also noted that her goals in going on were realized in the wake of the program. In fact, she said that many people who were never involved in politics before seeing the show were emboldened by her family’s depiction and appearance — and by their love for conservative principles. These individuals approached her and said they were inspired to get active.
Rather than fame, the conservative mother of five said that she was motivated to make a difference by appearing on the show, noting that there wasn’t much money in the agreement to participate and that it also came at intense personal “cost.” But she and her family wanted to ensure that people learned about small government principles and the U.S. Constitution.
“If people don’t understand what their rights are and don’t know how to defend them, then they have no rights at all,” she told TheBlaze. “Without the Second Amendment our constitution has no teeth — and I think it’s really important that those sorts of things were outlined.”
As for the more negative portions of the experience, Loudon joked about one of the scenes that was captured at a pub. In it, she spoke with Chris Envy (polyamorous husband) and his girlfriend Ashley, telling them that she believes Obama is a communist. While some viewers — and the family she was chatting with — were surprised, she quipped to TheBlaze that she labels Obama this way every day and that it wasn’t anything new.
On a more serious note, though, she said that the scene was heavily-edited.
“In the scene that took place at that pub…they really took great liberties to splice not only what I said, but the order of what I said,” Loudon explained.
She also said that the episode made it look like her family was throwing the Bible in the Envy family’s face. But what Loudon said viewers weren’t shown were the challenges her family was given, with the opposing side asking questions like, “Where’s that in the Bible?” When the Loudons went to show them, the action of going to the book or discussing it was allegedly all that was included on the show (and not the original request). So, it looked like the family was throwing the Bible around without provocation.
“I really thought I would be paired with an Occupier,” Loudon said of her exceptions for the episode. “And so then to be paired with someone who doesn’t vote, has never voted — and who has no opinions other than he really sought my opinion on polygamy — [that was] out in left field.”
Overall, Loudon said that the reaction has been extremely positive. While she has her detractors, the proportion of favorable to negative messages was purportedly “100 to one.” As for the negativity that has come through, Loudon seemed to be taking it in stride.
“Was it painful? Yes. Do I like being called horrible names and being lied about. Of course not,” she said. “Nobody likes that, but it does come with the territory.”
Among the lies, Loudon said her husband, former Missouri State Senator John Loudon, was given a poor representation. Contrary to what some critics have said, she claims he’s “laid back, casual, easy going and probably the most brutally honest person you’ve ever met.” Watching him get negative press, she said, wasn’t easy.
As far as charges that she and her family are “anti-gay,” Loudon rejects these assertions.
“It’s really almost laughable, because there are a lot of peple in my life who are gay, including my agent, my godmother — several friends,” she noted.
You can read more about the “Wife Swap” experience in the original story here.