“I just think it’s a phenomenon of reality television as politics. […] Nobody wants to watch reality television of two housewives sitting in a room taking about where they’re going to go get their hair done. It’s all about conflict. Donald Trump, all he is is about conflict, and all that he is is negative conflict.”
Media Mogul Barry Diller speaking at Bloomberg Markets Most Influential Summit
Last Tuesday Media Mogul Barry Diller weighed in on Donald Trump’s candidacy, saying it is little more than a Reality spectacle. (This is a boring observation that has been made by many others, but has gotten more press because Diller said it).
Diller knows a thing or two about Reality programming, having co-founded Fox with his pal Rupert Murdock. As a result he is, in fact, responsible for producing the first Reality show COPS (in an effective effort at undermining the pesky unions that control narrative programming).
However, I beg to differ with his analysis of the primary as Reality and particularly his comparing the current situation to, for instance, a Housewives show. That’s offensive both to the Housewives casts, and Reality as a whole.
Frankly, these candidates are producing piss poor Reality footage. Yeah, sure, we have some nice archetypes developing what with Fiorina really owning her Wicked Witch persona, Ben Carson providing plenty of yucks with his Village Idiot routine, and Trump lording over it all like the Ring Master of the Dingaling Circus.
But while we’ve got a whole bunch of incendiary statements out there, we’ve no actual conflict. As Diller should know a comment is not conflict. Conflict arises when one character reacts to another character’s incendiary statement, and we’ve got none of that here. All we’ve got is a bunch of assholes muttering about rapist immigrants; the similarity between 9/11 and Obamacare; and the boss job they did running a company into the ground; to be met with silence from the rest of the field.
Why does Trump even bother taking a shit on John McCain’s war record, if McCain’s ally Jeb Bush is gonna just sulk in a corner in response?
What’s the point of the Wicked Witch Fiorina lying through her teeth about imaginary Planned Parenthood videos, if there isn’t someone who’s gonna pull a bitch’s weave over it??! You know you’re really amateur hour when Kenya Moore of Real Housewives of Atlanta has a more apt response than any of the candidates flailing out there.
Finally, how come Carson gets to blather on about bullet ridden bodies being better than gun control if no one is gonna choke him Mob Wives style on a trip to Vegas?
The closest we got to a Reality moment occurred when Fiorina confronted Trump about his implication that she was too ugly to govern, but it really lacked some kind of physical follow through.
In short, as Reality goes, the whole thing sucks. This is a bunch of fuck ups spouting soundbites into a vacuum. There are no counter-points. There is no Story. If only the primary were at least as interesting as your average Reality show.
And as for Diller’s proclamation that if Trump wins he plans to leave the country, here’s my counter: thanks for sharting out the Reality genre in the first place, and then taking off when it starts to smell. Asshole.