So what was really behind the very public firing of reality TV star-turned coupon blogger Kate Gosselin from the online coupons and deals site CouponCabin this week? Was it due to unreasonable, diva-like demands? Was it the allegations of child and animal abuse? Was it the accusations that she was fabricating stories on her blog? Or was it – as many readers have been saying for nearly a year – that she was just a really lousy coupon blogger?

Gosselin was Octomom before Octomom was cool, on the TLC reality show “Jon and Kate Plus 8”. After the series, and her marriage, came to an end, she landed the gig at CouponCabin last November with much fanfare.

On Tuesday, there was nearly as much fanfare – and much more press – devoted to her dismissal. CouponCabin CEO Scott Kluth posted a brutally frank open letter, announcing her ouster on his site. “A series of recent events have made it clear to me that Kate Gosselin and her contributions do not align with the authenticity which we set out to build almost a decade ago,” the letter read. “Ms. Gosselin is simply not a good fit with the wonderful team and culture at CouponCabin.”

That’s not the tune CouponCabin was singing last November when it announced her hiring. Though, with the benefit of hindsight, re-reading that announcement today leads one to wonder whether CouponCabin was less than enthusiastic about her from the start. “I’m thrilled to lend my expertise to CouponCabin.com,” is the highest praise Gosselin gets in the news release, and that’s from her talking about herself. Otherwise, the release simply announces the fact that she will begin contributing a weekly post, and points out that the “self-professed coupon lover” likes to use coupons. “Gosselin, who has been seen in the press lately using coupons, has been a longtime advocate of couponing.”

So, in other words, her main qualification was the fact that she uses coupons. Just like millions of other people who don’t blog about coupons, and just like thousands of others who do.


Kluth has not elaborated on exactly what “series of recent events” led to the decision to terminate Gosselin. But there are plenty of theories. The New York Daily News quotes “sources” as saying CouponCabin grew tired of her “loathsome” and “abrasive” personality, and her “over-the-top, expensive demands.” Radar Online links her dismissal to a recent book that accused her of cruelty to her kids and pets, and detailed what its author called a “web of lies, abuse, greed and manipulation.” Others who have followed her postings more closely cite her last article, which may have been at least partly a work of fiction – Gosselin described the do-it-yourself work she had done around her house the previous week, when apparently she had actually spent that entire week away from home on a media tour.

But most CouponCabin readers seem to agree that it was not “recent events”, but Gosselin’s entire tenure on the site, that prompted their own disdain for her work. They vented by the hundreds, in comments left on Kluth’s posting. “Finally! Her useless tips and self-adulation were annoying and promoted nothing,” wrote one. “Her blogs were self-promoting babble,” said another. And another commenter concluded: “She does not care about her fans or whether or not she is saving them money with good advice. She took that position with the hopes of keeping herself in the spotlight.”

In her 50 posts over 11 months, the woman hired for her “expertise on couponing” wrote about her appearances on Dancing With the Stars, about rumors that she had a face lift, about her celebrity cruise (that was cancelled for lack of interest) and offered handy tips like: save money on gas by carefully selecting which of your three new vehicles to drive, save on public pool membership fees by getting your own private pool, and get help selecting your clothes by hiring your own personal shopper to do it all for you.

Some are already suggesting that Mama June of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” would make a good replacement. She’s also a reality TV personality, after all, but one who actually does know how to coupon (read: “Honey Boo Boo Can Coupon Better Than Oprah”). But is it possible for blog posts to be translated with subtitles?

In the end, Gosselin’s firing could be a blessing in disguise for her. Never mind that she never actually blogged much about coupons. “I will always use coupons because it’s always savings, and it’s always stretching my income,” Gosselin said when she was hired last year. Now that her latest source of income has dried up, perhaps she will become an actual couponing expert after all.

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