As I’ve discussed before, there is very little “reality” in Reality TV. For example: Reality TV Not So Real. And: More Proof Reality Shows Are Fake. So I was quite interested to see a headline, “Duck Dynasty” Is “Fake”! Star Phil Robertson Confesses How TV Editors “Arrange The Scenes” & Rewrite His Reality.
Even under the best of circumstances, I would have filed the article under “No shit, Sherlock!” And indeed, it did talk about how the editors distort reality. But there’s a reason for that: reality is boring. What’s more: reality is long. How exactly do you condense a week’s worth of boring life into 22 minutes of proletarian-nip? But that wasn’t the reason why “patriarch” Phil Robertson went bitching to The Christian Post. He went there because Jesus told him!
You see, according to him, the editors were beeping out nonexistent expletives when the Robertson’s were talking. That might be. Or it might be that like most people who curse a lot, he has no idea just how foul mouthed he is. I don’t know nor do I care. I can well see the editors saying, “You know, this isn’t an interesting backwoods family; this is just yet another rich industrialist who inherited everything from daddy. How are we going to make these people interesting?”
But Robertson’s real reason for coming on was that he was angry that the show kept editing out “In Jesus’ name” from their prayers. As he said, “You gotta remember, it’s spiritual warfare.” So in addition to all the money that the head ducky gets paid and all the free advertising that his company gets, he wants to use the show to push his own pathetic idea of God on the nation. He also goes out of his way to vilify the editors as depraved heathens possessed by “the evil one.”
What is most interesting about this is there is no conflict on the show. The interview itself was clearly as real as the show. Robertson may play a backwoods idiot on television but in reality (the real one), he’s a millionaire owner of a multi-million dollar business. In other words, Robertson is a sophisticated guy who is every bit as worldly as those depraved editors. But it’s good for ratings. Think of Andy Kaufman’s Hollywood elite bad guy wrestling character, and his battles against the all-American good guy Jerry Lawler. That’s what’s going on here. Notice how the “editors” are to blame and not the “producers.” Of course, the editors do what the producers want. But if the producers were the godless heathens, why wouldn’t Robertson just quit to protect his family from the evil one? Since those editors are back in Hollywood, his family’s safe.
The real reality on Duck Dynasty and many other reality shows is that if you are already rich (pretty much always because of your daddy), there will be people begging to make you rich and famous. Eventually, people need to wake up about this. What Americans most admire is what is destroying them. But that’s not a reality that people want to watch on the television.