Category Archives: Media

News and reality shows

Reality shows – from Wrestling to Springer to …….

Chapter 31
Reality shows – from Wrestling to Springer to …….
Reality shows are a relatively recent phenomenon in terms of popularity. I admit that early on I was a devotee of American Chopper, but thankfully I grew tired of it and moved on. My current guilty pleasure is Wicked Tuna. I love the fishing action but am growing tired of the scripted conflict among the captains. The thing I loved about “Chopper” was the really cool theme bikes and the incredible workmanship. I quit watching because of the scripted squabbles between Senior & Junior.
Following is a list of the shows that have made the airways from American Chopper forward (there were several prior to Chopper): source:
• American Chopper (2003) Fraternity Life (2003) Jamie’s Kitchen (2003) The Restaurant (2003)
• Starting Over (2003) American Casino (2004) American Hot Rod (2004) Amish in the City (2004)
• Bands Reunited (2004) The Casino (2004) College Hill (2004) Family Plots (2004)
• (US; A&E Network) Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County (2004) Rachael Rocks (2004)
• Dog Whisperer (2004) Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares (2004) Deadliest Catch (2005)
• Miami Ink (2005) LA Ink (2007) Stranded with Cash Peters (2005) Who’s Your Daddy? (2005) 8th & Ocean (2006) Bonds on Bonds (2006) (ESPN) King of Cars (2006)
• The Real Housewives of Orange County (2006) The Real Housewives of Atlanta (2008)
• The Real Housewives of New York (2008) The Real Housewives of New Jersey (2009)
• Jerseylicious (2010) The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (2010) The Real Housewives of Miami (2011)
• The Real Housewives of Vancouver (2012) The Real Housewives of Melbourne (2014)
• Bullrun (2007) Deadline (2007) Ice Road Truckers (2007) Jon & Kate Plus 8 (2007)
• Kitchen Nightmares (2007) Chef School (2008) Ax Men (2008) Jockeys (2009) (US; Animal Planet)
• BBQ Pitmasters (2009) The Colony (2009) (US; Discovery) Jersey Shore (2009) Pawn Stars (2009)(US)
• Full Throttle Saloon (2009) (US; TruTv) Teen Mom (2009) Toddlers & Tiaras (2009)
• American Pickers (2010) (North America) Freshwater Blue (2010) The Generations Project (2010)
• Throttle Junkies TV (2010) Half Pint Brawlers (2010) Oddities (2010) Sister Wives (2010)
• American Restoration (2010)(US) Auction Hunters (2010)(North America) Geordie Shore (2010)(UK)
• Hardcore Pawn (2010)(US) The Only Way Is Essex (2010) (UK) Made in Chelsea (2010)(UK)
• The Real L-Word: Los Angeles (2010) Love & Hip-Hop (2010) (US) Braxton Family Values (2011)
• Bear Whisperer (2011) Dance Moms (2011) Duck Dynasty (2012) Here Comes Honey Boo Boo (2012)
• Saw Dogs (2012) Turbine Cowboys (2012) The Dirty South (2013) Fame In The Family (2013)
The other side of the coin is that reality shows are popular “because” of the scripted conflict. Like professional wrestling, there are many fans that actually believe it is “real”. It is entertainment, pure and simple. I invite you to step back from this whole area of entertainment and view it strictly as a witness. Now, what does it say about the evolution of our civilization? Conflict sells!
Some of these shows have been experimenting with violence. Springer introduced this element into his show years ago, but it has recently is caught fire. If this trend continues where does it lead? My mind wanders back to the highly civilized Romans and their penchant for bloodlust events at the coliseum. Hopefully we wake up soon and quash this disturbing trend.

News or Agenda – CNN, Fox, Aljazeera America

Chapter 30

News or Agenda – CNN, Fox, Aljazeera America

I have basically stopped watching news of any kind. What I have witnessed are political agendas and unnecessary “spin”. I really don’t need someone telling me what or how I should feel about an occurrence. I am more interested in news worthy reporting, but so much of what I see has to do with sensationalism or a political viewpoint.

I recall the words from Don Henley’s Dirty Laundry:

“I make my living off the Evening News Just give me somethin’, somethin’ I can use People love it when you lose, they love dirty laundry

Well, I could’ve been an actor but I wound up here I just have to look good, I don’t have to be clear

We got the bubble headed bleach blonde who comes on at five She can tell you ’bout the plane crash with a gleam in her eye It’s interesting when people die, give us dirty laundry

Can we film the operation? Is the head dead yet? You know the boys in the newsroom got a running bet Get the widow on the set! We need dirty laundry

You don’t really need to find out what’s goin’ on You don’t really want to know just how far it’s gone Just leave well enough alone, eat your dirty laundry

Dirty little secrets, dirty little lies We got our dirty little fingers in everybody’s pie We love to cut you down to size, we love dirty laundry

We can do “The Innuendo,” we can dance and sing When it’s said and done we haven’t told you a thing We all know that crap is king, give us dirty laundry”

These Lyrics provided an unflattering commentary on the “news”. Unfortunately it has continued to devolve even further. Of course we, the viewers, are to blame. We have fallen into the trap because the entertainment industry recognizes that we enjoy taking sides and reinforcing our beliefs. Fox on the right and CNN to the left of center. In order to garner viewers the other major networks have joined in. It may sound strange, but if you are really interested in fairly accurate and unbiased news reporting I suggest that you check out Al Jazeera. Their name reeks of the middle East and Muslim, but I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately this station has announced that it will discontinue broadcasting in the Spring of 2016.

A couple of other interesting comments:

CNN is owned by Turner Communications. I doubt anyone could accuse Ted Turner of having a left of center agenda.

Source:                                                       Fox is owned by: ” Fox Entertainment Group, Inc is an American entertainment industry company that operates through four segments, mainly filmed entertainment, television stations, television broadcast networks, and cable network programming. The company is wholly owned and controlled by the American media conglomerate 21st Century Fox, which is chaired and part owned by the Australian-American Rupert Murdoch”.

Rupert has an agenda and it effectively competes with Attila for a position way to the right. On the other hand, Fox is the network that hosts the Simpsons, the longest active running TV animated series. This sitcom paved the way for animation that hit many of the current controversial issues head on. In fact, the intention was to show just how ridiculous many of the opinions were on these issues. In my opinion, the show was equally effective in bashing opinions both left and right of center….in a sense balanced reporting. This show has maintained a well-deserved media position for the past 26 years (as of 2015). They remained on the leading edge of political (and other) satire until South Park took it to the next level.