Television

Too Much Reality

January 08, 2013

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Too Much Reality

I get called a “racist” a lot, but one offhand remark I made during Obama’s 2008 campaign drew more flak than usual.

I had simply wondered why the candidate’s admirers held up his parentage—a (ditzy) white woman and a (promiscuous) black man—as a resume bullet point, a miracle of semi-biblical proportions. Such couplings are more commonly referred to by The Jerry Springer Show‘s producers as “Tuesday.”

Springer’s fellow liberals—the types who deny that humans are born bad and stay so without proper molding—long ago withdrew their naive objection that “the people on his show must be actors.” With Jerry Springer in its 22nd season, everyone’s finally conceded that there couldn’t be that many ugly, inept actors in all of America. (Canada is a different story: homeliness and hamminess are actually ACTRA membership requirements.)

“T. S. Eliot wrote that ‘Mankind cannot bear too much reality.’ How much reality TV we can handle remains to be seen.”

What America does have in seemingly inexhaustible supply are “ordinary” folks eager to appear on “reality TV” and producers looking to cast them. While conservatives pointed to the earliest iterations of that “new” programming format as the Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse, liberals shrugged off reality TV as a fad, thankfully confined to those trashy, easily amused red states.

Alas, the boob-tube tumor that liberals biopsied as benign was actually malignant and is now inoperable. Behold the ever metastasizing Kardashians and the “Real Housewives” (who hail from distinctly blue states).

As it enters its (arguably) second decade, it’s obvious that reality TV can’t be pushed back into the tube, and not even us right-wingers want it to be.

Instead, viewing habits have sorted themselves along political lines. When it comes to reality TV, Democrats love Project Runway, while Republicans can’t get enough of Pawn Stars (hailed by the Mises Institute as the most pro-capitalist show on the air.)

So those same folks who called me “racist” for joking about stereotypical fecundity routinely attack the harmless, hardworking protagonists of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, wishing death upon this white Christian family for “polluting the earth” by “having too many kids.”

What, then, will they say about All My Babies’ Mamas, a show coming soon (maybe) from the hilariously misnamed Oxygen channel?


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