Monday, April 12, 2010

Paying it Forward

On the FoxNews story, there was an interesting string of comments between Samantha P and MckMama. Please note that I don't have proof of what Samantha says, but if anyone does (emails requesting a button on MckMama's site and her response), I will be glad to share it.

Samantha P:
I am a long-standing supporter of MckMama. I've read her blog for as long as she's had it online. That said, something has changed so vastly that, since the Kenya trip, I've not been able to shake things off. I've not been able to "explain away" as I had been in the past. I've not been able to look at a group of women so determined for the truth as "haters" or as "naysayers," but only as women having once supported MckMama as we all have whose radars sent them looking for answers.

There's one particular thing I've not been able to shake off, however. Something that was brought to her attention in her blog comments, on Blog Frog, and elsewhere, yet each time it's mentioned, it's deleted. Just like that.

It's come to light that MckMama received a request from a fellow Christian reader of hers for both prayer and the opportunity to post a prayer button on MckMama's blog. Just as MckMama did when she, herself, asked thousands of her readers to post "Pray for Stellan" buttons on their personal blogs and Tweet, re-Tweet, etc. anything and everything to do with Stellan's need for immediate prayer. Just as she did when asked her thousands of readers to take pictures of themselves wearing orange or walking on the beach, ie., "Wear Orange for Stellan Day," "Write Stellan's Name in the Sand," etc. MckMama asked something of her readers and they obliged. No strings attached. No mention of money exchanging hands. Just a Christian mother who loved her son asking other Christian mothers and the like to help her any way they could. Well, apparently, MckMama has gotten "too big for her britches" as we like to say in the South. Because recently, the mother I mentioned above received quite the opposite response from MckMama when she needed help.

"When my friend was trying to adopt a child with special needs, but needed to raise more money to get her, she asked MckMama to post a button to her blog and mention it. MckMama's response? She told her she would put the button on her blog, but she wasn't going to mention the button or the adoption at all AND she told my friend that she'd only have it up for a week and that she had to pay her $250. Sounds quite Christ-like now, doesn't it?"

THIS is what I'm not able to shake off. I'm hearing more and more women coming forward saying such things. And when I think of the blood, sweet, tears and prayers that went into the "Praying for Stellan" movement, it just makes me so terribly sad and disappointed for all those women taking MckMama for face-value. When MckMama was facing humiliating consequences of her poor financial decisions in silence, and the pain of having her husband charged with such a horrific crime as Domestic Violence, but telling all of her readers that "Prince Charming was at home caring for the other MSC (many small children)," she was happily accepting donations in the form of money, food, gifts, hotel stays, etc. while her readers were in the dark about how they had been living their lives ("above their means," according to MckMama herself). These Christian women saw a need and they flocked to MckMama to help however they could from the kindness of their hearts. Little did they know what kind of life she had been living that got her to that point. Little did they know the lies behind all of her Tweets and posts referring to her "Prince Charming" not being at her side. At her son's side. She just kept up the act. And all the while, she was deceiving (because she was accepting untold amounts of gifts) her readers.

But to then turn away someone in a similar situation as she? So blatantly? And then ask for money?

Think about this for a moment, all of you loyal readers, whom I've conversed with regularly:

What if every "Pray for Stellan" request would have been met with a, "Yes. For $10, I'll pray!" Or, what if every person who put up a "Pray For Stellan" Button on their blogs would have said, "Sure! But that will cost you $200." What then? How many people would have heard MckMama's son's name then? And where would MckMama be today had that been the case?

This is what I've not been able to shake off. Some things you just can't explain away...

I'm sorry you feel this way! Of course, I'll never be able to "explain away" what you've written here, as it's entirely untrue that I've turned away people writing for prayer or have ever asked anyone to pay me money to promote anything like children with special needs or adoption or anything of the sort. The only "explanation" is that someone shared things with you about me that were not true. I'm sorry that happened; I'm sure it would frustrate me if someone shared something like that with me about a person I supported. It's a sad world we live in, where people will make up lies about others. All I think we can do is to each stand firm in what we know to be the truth, and to try to make the best decisions we can in how we run our lives, not worrying about what other people say about us. I hope that clears things up a little for you! Feel free to email me if you'd like to talk further:)

Samantha P:
Thanks for your response, MckMama. Here's where I have a problem with it, however:

This same comment was made on your blog in the comment section. You deleted it rather than address it. How would that look to you? Would it maybe send up a red flag? I mean, if it weren't true, why not just address it there on your blog as you have here?

Here's what I think: I think that since that's your blog, you chose to delete the concern not wanting to bring it to the attention of your other long-standing, loyal readers. Delete it, and it's gone. No one will ever know if you remove it fast enough. But here, on the Fox Twincities site, you have no delete privileges. You have no control over who is writing what. So, in order to protect your "MckMama Image," you respond with what I have seen as being typical behavior of yours of late; deny it and then chalk it up to the world being a mean and cruel place where people tell lies about you all day long. Do you really expect all of your readers and Blog World to believe that? That all the "lies" told about you hold no ground? Had you never lied to your readers in the past (and they not found out), I can see this maybe holding ground for a time, but since so many of these untruths have come out (sans an official apology to your readers for telling these untruths, just excuses) as a result of public record searches, etc., it just doesn't hold up any longer I'm afraid.

I know for a FACT that you have charged $250-$500 PER WEEK to place individual Prayer Buttons on your blog. This is the same amount you charge for business to place advertisements on your blog. THIS IS NOT SPECULATION. OR LIES. THIS IS NOT THE UNKIND WORLD LYING ABOUT MCKMAMA. THIS IS FACT.

So that leads me back to what I originally posted, I have to wonder how well known you'd be. How liked you be. How revered you'd be. If at all. Had others treated you to the same business practices as you them. Stellan's name would be known only by his family. Stellan's name would not have been written in the sand by anyone, let alone your far-reaching goal of having a United States President know his name. Stellan would have been just like any baby with a common condition being treated at a top-notch hospital. Only there would be no meal donations, no gift card donations, no posh hotel stays donating for weeks on end, no high-end stroller donations, no new cell phone donations, no new traveling clothes donations, no chocolate milk deliveries, no massage gift cards, no 3 million visitors to your blog monthly. There would be no "MckMama" -- just Jennifer Mckinney, wife of Israel Mckinney, a SAHM raising kids and struggling financially with a marriage suffering. You would be just like a lot of moms today. But because of your aggressive marketing campaign to get "Stellan's name known to the world before he "died"," people know you. Your voracious appetite for "more, more, more" grew, and instead of doing something good and honorable with what you had been given, you squandered it all for more notoriety and more money. After all, what people don't know won't hurt them, right?!

Please don't discount the truth, MckMama. I have stood as a supporter for far too long, and truth be told, without us, you'd be nothing but an average, unknown SAHM.

Just mulling over her comment a bit. Has anyone ever seen a button on MckMama's site? For anything/anyone other than Stellan? With over a hundred thousand readers a day, what do you think are the odds that no one ever asked her to put up a button before?

Have you ever seen her promoting anything for anyone, giveaways and CI aside? So if she's not charging for the button spots, it sounds like there are three possible scenarios: 1) no one has ever requested she put their button on her blog; 2) she lets people know she can't because then everyone will want the same; or 3) she ignores all requests.

What would Jennifer McKinney's blog/world/income be like if no one had put up the buttons for Stellan? Maybe we should email her and talk further about this....