Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: TV's The Bachelor's Aaron Buerge got three contestants from the show pregnant.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2002]
Origins: The premise of this second edition of The Bachelor was a simple one: twenty-five women from a variety of backgrounds competed for the affections of Aaron Buerge, a 28-year-old banker from Springfield, Missouri, with the object of matrimony. Over the course of the eight-episode show, the audience looked on as Buerge sorted through this field of lovelies in search of the right woman for him. At the end of each episode, some of the hopeful young ladies were sent packing, with the field narrowing each week to a smaller group.
In the final segment (which aired
The proposal took place in September 2002 (these shows are taped ahead of time), and no date has yet been set for the wedding. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Buerge wants Eksterowicz to sign a prenuptial agreement.
All of this brings us to the latest slice of Internet misinformation, the "AP" story quoted above. It almost goes without saying that no such article appeared on the Associated Press news wire, nor did the Michael Eisner quotes contained therein issue from Disney's famed CEO. We don't know who wrote it or why, but we do know it's not a valid news story.
At the time the fake article began appearing in inboxes (barely a day after the final episode aired), Buerge, Eksterowicz, and Smith were touring New York City as part of a publicity package involving the show. This was a bit of a reunion for Buerge and Eksterowicz, because outside of two brief getaways
Other than this unfounded bit of online gossip, there's no reason to believe Aaron Buerge impregnated some of the contestants, or even had sexual intercourse with any of them. Moreover, we find the wording of the hoax particularly icky because it promulgates an outdated belief that men "get" women pregnant. At least in the world we live in, consenting adults have been known to engage in sexual activity, with those encounters sometimes culminating in impending parenthood. Participation on a television show (even one such as The Bachelor) does not cause pregnancy; it still takes two to tango.
We suspect this hoax was meant to underscore what many perceive as the odious premise of the show. A number of critics of The Bachelor have been vocal in their condemnation of the show's unstated theme, that women are commodities best picked off a modeling runway. By presenting the competed-for male as a womanizing cad who uncaringly spilt his seed wherever he could, heedless of any pregnancies that might result, that object lesson is driven home.
Barbara "paternity suited" Mikkelson
Last updated: 7 August 2007
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