Author Topic: @realRealityTV  (Read 428 times)

Michael Slusser

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@realRealityTV
« on: February 17, 2017, 03:36:30 PM »
To me, it seems that the distinction between reality and RealityTV is getting less clear.

I know people who are avid watchers of RealityTV. They may realize at some level that the Undercover Boss is trailed by cameras and producers, or that runners in The Great Race (why didn't St. Paul trademark that phrase?) are preceded and followed by cameras in vehicles or otherwise arranged around them to get the best shot and the best sound, that the competitors on Survivor are always on cameras placed to get the best shots. Add in the union stewards there to keep time for the crew, and the closeby commissary for break times. To me, the thought of that kills any feeling that I am watching reality. But some of my friends bracket all that and become absorbed in the narrative, even though the actual program has been cut and edited from several times as much video as we finally get to see. It is, to coin a term, "rigged."

The only realities are (1) the salaries that all concerned get, that feed them and their families and (2) the ratings.

The real world outside barely touches the inside narrative. Out here, people actually are born and die. The tragedies are deadly serious and the joys are transformative.

How to tell the difference in Washington between reality and RealityTV? Is it all about the ratings? Or is it more serious than that? Do the participants know? Do the viewers know?

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

Coach-Rev

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Re: @realRealityTV
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2017, 05:26:23 PM »
My brother, David Cottingham, was on season 3 of "The Amazing Race."  Without going into details of what he's stated after (this goes clear back to the year 2003), so-called "reality TV" is anything but reality.  I'm guessing this comes as no big shock that its mostly rigged.

A quote by Richard John Neuhaus is what has been rolling around my head the last week and I think it speaks to our world today:  "In the absence of truth, power is the only game in town."

It is becoming increasingly difficult to glean or know the truth from what most people say and report these days, and that blurs these lines more than anything, IMO.
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Dan Fienen

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Re: @realRealityTV
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2017, 05:54:29 PM »
There has been a branch of reality TV since the earliest days of TV and before.  It's  called professional wrestling.
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D. Engebretson

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Re: @realRealityTV
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2017, 08:00:49 PM »
My brother, David Cottingham, was on season 3 of "The Amazing Race."  Without going into details of what he's stated after (this goes clear back to the year 2003), so-called "reality TV" is anything but reality.  I'm guessing this comes as no big shock that its mostly rigged.

A quote by Richard John Neuhaus is what has been rolling around my head the last week and I think it speaks to our world today:  "In the absence of truth, power is the only game in town."

It is becoming increasingly difficult to glean or know the truth from what most people say and report these days, and that blurs these lines more than anything, IMO.

Add into this the whole issue of "fake news."  Part of the problem comes between reporting facts and interpreting the facts.  To some degree whenever we report something we interpret it.  To what degree are we obligated to be aware of our intrinsic bias and inform our hearer of it?  Is it even possible to report just the simple facts of an event without inserting some interpretive color?  I don't think so.  However, I think one can minimize it.  Talk Radio and the pundits of TV cable shows are largely purveyors of opinion.  But journalism, I thought, was supposed to be more neutral in this realm.   
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Charles Austin

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Re: @realRealityTV
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2017, 11:23:52 PM »
Journalism is not "neutral" when it comes to matters of objective truth (and, yes, there are some such things). Journalism is supposed to be "balanced," that is, reporting all sides. And it is not "in-balanced" if it is reporting that one "side" is nuttier than a early winter squirrel stash.
Yes, it is possible to report objectively and balanced the basic facts of an event. It is done all the time.
But the media is being demonized by a certain segment of society, and you can imagine what happens when that takes place.
The president and his minions day after day after day call us dishonest and liars and now declare that we are the enemy of the American people. You buy that? You really buy that?
I spent a number of years working in the secular media and some more years dealing with them as a press officer. I encountered a couple of bozos (one of them an Episcopal priest working as a reporter), but these reporters and editors and television producers were some of the finest people I have ever known.
And if serious, impeachable, truly nasty and dangerous things should emerge about our current administration; it will be those people who let us know what they are.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Interesting things on the new administration and religion in the 1/24 newspapers. Douthat column, e.g. Posted link here, but it was deleted.

Dave Benke

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Re: @realRealityTV
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2017, 09:49:43 AM »
Journalism is not "neutral" when it comes to matters of objective truth (and, yes, there are some such things). Journalism is supposed to be "balanced," that is, reporting all sides. And it is not "in-balanced" if it is reporting that one "side" is nuttier than a early winter squirrel stash.
Yes, it is possible to report objectively and balanced the basic facts of an event. It is done all the time.
But the media is being demonized by a certain segment of society, and you can imagine what happens when that takes place.
The president and his minions day after day after day call us dishonest and liars and now declare that we are the enemy of the American people. You buy that? You really buy that?
I spent a number of years working in the secular media and some more years dealing with them as a press officer. I encountered a couple of bozos (one of them an Episcopal priest working as a reporter), but these reporters and editors and television producers were some of the finest people I have ever known.
And if serious, impeachable, truly nasty and dangerous things should emerge about our current administration; it will be those people who let us know what they are.

I agree with this. 

In the overall scheme of things, it seems to me that the "news cycle" with its withering 24/7 coverage in the age of instantaneous communication is not understood or well-incorporated into the nature of public life.  Whatever is in the daily news cycle gets repeated, updated, "breaking-news" interrupted and sliced and diced to a degree that ends up feeling like an assault or bombardment.  And the hacking or revelation and publication of virtually everything means there is an information overload seeking to be interpreted all the time as well. 

Remembering a childhood in which knowledge could be contained in the Encyclopedia Brittanica, available through installment payments, as compared to getting to the PDF of everything you always wanted to know about the Nag Hammadi manuscripts after a two second google search is a stretch.  Plus everything and everybody has a camera all the time.  Smile!

Dave Benke

Dan Fienen

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Re: @realRealityTV
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2017, 10:04:04 AM »
Journalists and the news media are not above scrutiny and criticism.  Although they have appointed themselves the watchmen who will hold those in power accountable and speak truth to those in power, they themselves need to be held accountable.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  Even news people have biases, prejudices and blind spots.  Many studies over the years after claims of media bias has disclosed far less slanting of the news by the mainstream news media than many complain.  Still it does happen. 

Presidents have always complained about how the news media have covered them.  Name one president that declared himself satisfied with how he has been covered.  Pres. Obama wasn't, neither were the Bushes, or Pres. Clinton.  The current president's relationship has been particularly contentious and not without reason.  Throughout the presidential campaign, the main stream news media did not understand Donald Trump, his goals or his support.  They very badly misjudged his support and the election from the very beginning.  He returns the disdain with which they treated him with disdain of his own.  He bites back.  It would be better for the country if both the news media and the president backed off a couple of notches, not in holding each other accountable to the truth, but in their rhetoric toward each other.  Donald Trump does not act like a usual politician.  That is not all bad.

Another facet to be considered is how rapidly perception can be taken for reality.  Gerald Ford slipped on a wet airplane entry stairs and he was ever after labeled a klutz, even though he was actually a decent athlete. Late night talk shows and comedy shows have decided that Donald Trump is a joke and so he begins to be perceived.  His notoriously thin skin doesn't help.  (The news medias' thin skin when they think that they are not receiving the deference that is their due also becomes part of the problem.)
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 10:15:36 AM by Dan Fienen »
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