Tag Archives: reality TV

Irksome Phrase, Part 2: ‘Reality TV’ has joined the club

Time for an admission. I watch an occasional “reality TV” show, even though I find it astonishing that contemporary culture has adopted the term in the first place.

There’s nothing real about “reality TV.”

What was the first one? I believe it was “Survivor,” correct? CBS TV launched this “reality” series that features individuals being “stranded” in some out of the way place, having to fend for themselves. They get voted out by their colleagues, I suppose, for not doing what they’re supposed to do to stay in the game.

I’ve never watched a single episode of this “reality TV” series. I’m going on what I have heard and read about it.

The roster of “reality TV” shows has too numerous to count.

I do watch “The Voice.” Why? Well, I enjoy the banter among the judges and I certainly enjoy watching the unknown talents competing for the title of being “The Voice” champion.

But this whole notion of “reality TV” is among the greatest misnomers I can imagine. The one where contestants race around the world against each other is kind of fun. I won’t watch the show where the contestants are enclosed in a room with the camera watching over them.

And all those “Real Housewives” series on Bravo? Puh-leeease!

I understand the economics of this type of programming. Networks pay these individuals far less than they pay established film and TV stars. The reduced overhead makes “reality TV” shows more affordable. So, I get that part of it.

What I don’t quite get is why the networks call it “reality TV.”

Those “Survivor” contestants aren’t going to be allowed to starve to death, or face wild animals, or have to cope with disease-carrying insects. The TV production crews are standing by to assist them.

Is any of that a form of reality?

I do not think so.

The very term “reality TV” simply irks me.

POTUS is a politician … no kiddin’, he really is!

I truly admire the mendacity of Donald Trump’s supporters who contend that his “success” comes from his being a non-politician.

A number of my many social media contacts keep telling me that falsehood. One of them wrote recently: He’s not a politician. That’s why he’s getting things done in D.C.

OK, let’s go to the trusty, handy-dandy source upon which I rely to answer key questions, such as: How do you define a politician?

I cracked open my American Heritage Dictionary, where I found this: “One actively involved in politics.”

Now, maybe a I am quibbling just a bit, but to my way of thinking that makes Donald Trump every bit the politician.

Trump joined the politicians’ ranks when he rode down that gilded elevator in Trump Tower in 2015 to announce he would run for president of the United States.

I am going to acknowledge the obvious. Trump’s entire adult life prior to that moment had been dedicated to self-enrichment. Public service was nowhere to be found on his resume. His background was replete with business dealings, most of which produced — at best — mixed results.

He got that big stake from his father to get him started in the real estate development business. Then the dookey hit the fan with all those failed ventures: the steaks, the hooch, assorted resorts, the university … whatever.

So he brought that spotty record, along with his reality TV and beauty pageant experience with him into the only political campaign he’s ever launched.

I get that he wasn’t a pol prior to running for political office, but the moment he entered politics, Donald Trump became a practitioner of the profession.

He became a politician.

If the Trump acolytes who continue to insist that his “success” is due to his non-political background, go easy on that one, folks. The record isn’t so gleaming.

Trump tweets … about this?

I simply cannot believe I’m seeing this.

Donald J. Trump — the next president of the United States of America, the commander in chief and leader of the free world — is actually using social media to comment on a “reality” TV show’s ratings. Oh, yeah. It’s a show he hosted before running for the first political office he’s ever sought.

For the ever-lovin’ life of me, it is all I can do to muster up the resistance to writing a blog post full of four-letter words, profane epithets. I want to blurt out every foul curse word I can think of.

What is this clown — Trump — doing here?

It’s been said by others that people in high places need to avoid “arguing down.” They should save their criticism for those on their level.

Trump is about to assume the highest profile imaginable. He is about to become head of state of the greatest nation on Earth.

And he’s wasting his time with this nonsense?

Good … grief!

Yes, the world is laughing at us, Mr. Trump


Donald J. Trump keeps repeating a number of mantras as he campaigns for president of the United States.

“I’ll build a wall.”

“I will make America great again.”

“I love Hispanics.”

“I cherish women.”

“The world is laughing at us.”

There’s more of ’em, certainly. But of the five listed here, only one of them has a grain of truth to it. It’s the last one, about how the world is “laughing at us.”

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee is right. The world is laughing at us. They’re in stitches over in the Kremlin, at 10 Downing Street, at Los Pinos in Mexico City. In Ottawa, New Delhi, Beijing, Tokyo, Ankara, Berlin, Rome, Paris, Jerusalem, Canberra and Brasilia, they’re all howling, man.

However, the object of their derision — I would venture to speculate — isn’t the current government of the United States. They are laughing at the idea that a once-great American political party would be on the verge of nominating someone as reckless, ill-informed, bombastic and narcissistic as Donald J. Trump.

I am not going to walk you through the interminably long list of absolute foolishness that has poured out of this guy’s mouth. You need to see them all to understand what I’m talking about.

Those other world powers are laughing at us because somehow this clown has persuaded a strong plurality of Republican primary voters to back his candidacy. He’s gathered enough delegates to win the GOP nomination this summer. Then he’s going to campaign against a former secretary of state, a former U.S. senator and a former first lady for the presidency.

And all along the way, he’s going to continue hurling insults and will continue to hang childish labels on his political opponents — many of them from within his own political party.

President Barack Obama has joined the battle against Trump. The president said the other evening that “this isn’t a reality TV show. This is serious business.” He’s talking, of course, about the job of statecraft, of running the massive federal government, of being commander in chief of the most powerful military force in world history.

Is the world laughing at us? You bet it is.

That laughter would stop immediately, though, if hell were to freeze over and Donald J. Trump becomes the next president of the United States.

Aww, what the heck. I found this link:


Take a look for yourself. Then we can all join the rest of the world in the laughter.

Young man pays the price for his fame


Josh Duggar has admitted to cheating on his wife.

Why is that a big deal?

The young man is part of a very large and very over-exposed family. They were the center of a reality TV show, “19 Kids and Counting.” They espoused their deep Christian faith and thrust that belief into the homes of millions of TV viewers regularly.

They presented themselves as the perfect family. What’s more, they became active politically off the screen. Duggar, particularly, became a voice for “traditional family values” while working for the Family Research Council.

Then Josh was revealed to have touched young girls inappropriately while he was a teenager. Some of his victims were his own sisters.

TLC, the network that broadcast the TV show featuring the Duggar clan, ended the series. Duggar no longer works for the Family Research Council.

Now we hear that Josh Duggar has cheated on his wife using a website — AshleyMadison.com — that was created for those who want to break their sacred marital vow.

It’s all tawdry and quite sickening.

I am not going to condemn Josh Duggar today. He’s begging for forgiveness. His statement of contrition sound quite sincere. It included this: “I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on theIinternet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife.”

I guess one of the tragedies of this bizarre story, though, is watching a young man being revealed as being someone quite different from the “reality” he presented on a TV show.

And I suppose it’s fair to ask: How much “reality” on the plethora of these shows is as fake as what’s been revealed about Josh Duggar?


Not defending the Duggars, but what about privacy?

Joe Bob and Michelle Duggar are getting their share of bad press over the interview they did with Fox News’s Megyn Kelly.

I’m not going to join that amen chorus. My own view of the Duggars and their “19 Kids and Counting” so-called “reality” show really doesn’t matter. The fact that they’ve been on TV, seeking publicity for themselves and their kids — only to have it revealed that one of them — molested young girls when he was a teenager speaks volumes about the parents.

However, Kelly raises and interesting point about one significant aspect of this burgeoning controversy.

Why were the names of the victims revealed?

The sisters who were fondled by Josh Duggar — who’s now 27 years of age — have been released for the world to see. A third girl’s name has not been released; she’s not a Duggar.

But the sisters’ names are out there.

I covered my share of police stories over the years and one of the rules of print journalism is that you don’t publish the names of sexual assault victims, let alone the names of children who are victimized in that manner. Kelly said today that someone filed a Freedom of Information Request and that someone felt obligated to provide it, to release the names of the Duggar kids on whom Josh Duggar put his hands.

Mom and Dad Duggar haven’t acquitted themselves well in this matter. That’s their problem. As for the media, I disagree strongly with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s assertion that they’ve been “bloodthirsty.” Huckabee is a Duggar family friend and he’s sticking up for his friends and political allies.

But I’ve always thought the media were honor-bound to protect the privacy of sexual assault victims.

What am I missing?