According to the journalists at "Good Morning America," the day after a social conservative triumphed in Iowa was the right time to aggressively promote a "modern" family consisting of a woman who has sex with two men while raising a child, a bizarre threesome whose rule is to only date inside their "species."
Yes, the same program that enthusiastically devoted 64 minutes to a "pregnant man," that thrilled over an environmentalist who shunned toilet paper, that hyped another man who lived in his own filth, has a new love. Reporter Abbie Boudreau uncritically explained that these three people are "looking for lots of different people to love." She gushed, "Really, these days a modern family, just like ABC's hit comedy, can be anything you make it."
In the 8am hour of GMA, reporter Jake Tapper was allowed only two minutes to discuss the results in Iowa.
However, five minutes were devoted to more important topics like the complicated sexual adventures of Jaiya Ma, John Hanauer and Ian Ferguson. (Is this how ABC plans on catching the "Today" show in the ratings?)
Offering almost no criticism of this relationship, Boudreau informed, "Jaiya is juggling two separate and committed relationships under one roof."
Despite the fact that Ma, Hanauer and Ferguson are raising a two-year-old child, the correspondent touted, "In the world of polyamory, where the more, the merrier, all are free to date outside of the household."
Regarding the child, Eamon, Boudreau defended, "But for now, they say [Eamon is] happy and well-adjusted and calls John his protector and Ian his dad."
The reporter closed by explaining one of the "rules" of the family: "Dating within their species. That's not a term I came up with. That's one of their terms and it means dating other people that are polyamorous."
George Stephanopoulos, a supposed serious journalist, laughed and responded, "I guess I'm part of a different species." He introduced the segment by extolling, "But now to a real-life modern family that makes our favorite show seem a little old-fashioned."
The family was previously promoted on "The Joy Behar" program.
In 2009, Newsweek insisted that polyamory is the act of "engaging in loving, intimate relationships with more than one person – based upon the knowledge and consent of everyone involved."
A transcript of the January 4 segment, which aired at 8:15am EST, follows:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: But now to a real-life modern family that makes our favorite show seem a little old-fashioned. They're not a couple but a throuple [sic]. There you see them right there. One mom- [Laughing off camera.] I'm glad I could get a laugh out of Josh for that. That's right, three, throuple. One mom, two dads and a baby. They tell me it's not as rare as you might think. And ABC's Abbie Boudreau joins us live from Los Angeles to tell us how it all works. Take it away, Abbie.
ABC GRAPHIC: Her "Big Love": 1 Woman, 2 Men and a Baby: How They Make It Work
ABBIE BOUDREAU: Good morning, George. Some people have given up trying to find that one, true love, that one soul mate. So, instead, they're looking for lots of different people to love. Lots of different people to love trying to find true happiness. Really, these days a modern family, just like ABC's hit comedy, can be anything you make it. And for Jaiya and John Hanauer, their expanding modern family may take some explaining. They are polyamorous. Of course, you've heard of polygamy, where one man marries multiple women like in HBO's "Big Love."
[Clip from "Big Love.]
BILL PAXTON: Marries always changes and evolves.
BOUDREAU: And TLC's "Sister Wives." But polyamory doesn't require marriage. And in this case, it's one woman with two male partners. So, you stopped searching for the soul mate.
JAIYA MA: I have the one. I can have the one and the one and the one.
BOUDREAU: At home, they act like any normal family. Playing with their two and a half-year-old son, Eamon, before bedtime. But they're far from typical. Jaiya is juggling two separate and committed relationships under one roof. Are you in love with both of these men?
BOUDREAU: The same kind of love? Different kind of love?
MA: I think it's a different kind of love.
BOUDREAU: She and Ian Ferguson are Aiman's biological parents. They've been together for four years and share a more romantic connection.
MA: My relationship with Ian is, like, off the charts. Like, love, passion. We have it all.
BOUDREAU: And her ten-year relationship with John.
MA: I like the shoe analogy. He is my comfortable, amazing pair that I know will not give me blisters and, you know, I know them.
JOHN HANAUER : They got the analogy.
BOUDREAU: John does most of the chores And quit his job to become Eamon's primary caretaker, while the other man in the house pays the bills. In the world of polyamory, where the more, the merrier, all are free to date outside of the household.
MA: The fun thing about being polyamorous is that when we need a jolt and we want a little bit of a new relationship energy, maybe we find, bring another person in. And the magic is, I have new relationship energy with Ian. I'm high on all these chemicals. And I come home to John, I'm like-
BOUDREAU: No longer an old shoe at that point.
MA: No longer an old shoe.
HANAUER: Get tossed up a little bit.
BOUDREAU: But later, he admits he does get jealous at times.
HANAUER: It can be tough. Especially if, like I said before, that little voice and low self-esteem comes up. Or that, like, social voice of, that's your girlfriend.
BOUDREAU: Some people watching this might think, these people have no self-control and this is all about sex.
MA: It's not like we've slept with hundreds of people and it's this crazy sexual thing.
BOUDREAU: If you're wondering about their sleeping arrangement, they each have separate rooms. Even a planned schedule for intimacy.
MA: But, I actually like scheduling it because I can look forward to it.
BOUDREAU: Polyamory is a growing phenomenon. Researchers say they are roughly a half million polyamorous households in the U.S. But, experts say being poly is not for most people.
LESLIE SEPPINNI (PsyD, Licensed marriage/family therapist): The primary issue with polyamorous relationships is jealousy. Jealousy and possessiveness. And that's very human nature. And it's hard to fight.
IAN FERGUSON: There's concern for Eamon and how he perceives this. Or a little how people might perceive or judge him.
BOUDREAU: But for now, they say he's happy and well-adjusted. And calls John his protector and Ian, his dad.
MA: Eamon, who's this?
BOUDREAU: And soon, their ever-growing family may get bigger. Ian is now dating someone new. And Jayia is always open for romance.
MA: Is one enough? Two or three or five.
BOUDREAU: Even John is considering dusting off his old shoes and stepping out to find love. A modern family in truly modern times. For "Good Morning America," Abbie Boudreau, ABC News, los Angeles. George, There are some- George, there are some rules in this relationship. Practicing safe sex is a big one.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Good rule.
BOUDREAU: And also, dating within their species. Dating within their species. That's not a term I came up with. That's one of their terms and it means dating other people that are polyamorous.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I guess I'm part of a different species. [laughs] Abbie, thanks very much.