Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The United States of Fox Television

In yet another episode that can be regarded as only occuring in America, the Paula Abdul scandal at American Idol -- in which Corey Clark claimed he had an affair with Abdul while a contestant on the show -- has been laid to rest. The network released a statement indicating its review was concluded, Abdul did not act inappropriately, and the network considers the matter closed. published an article on its website today detailing the process by which Ms. Abdul was cleared. Below is an excerpt from same:
Fox points to the facts they have made public: the respected law firms of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Morrison & Foerster handled the inquiry; more than 43 witnesses were interviewed and more than 600 legal hours and three months were involved.
I can't explain it; I'm a musician, I love music, and I don't dislike TV in an unhealthy, unnatural way. So why does American Idol make me wanna puke? I'm not sure; perhaps it's the crass, commercial, glitz, all-flash-and-no-substance-in-a-can that the show represents. Perhaps I've got better things to do. Or -- possibly -- I just don't care enough about watching people being cruel (Simon Cowell) or inept (80% of the contestants on the show) in the national spotlight.

I've never quite grasped the allure of the show; then again, considering the Backstreet Boys, Culture Club, n'Sync and Britney Spears have all captured the national spotlight at one time or another, I don't feel so badly exhibiting some taste and going against the grain.

However, what really blows my mind -- beyond any shadow of a doubt -- is the staggering, mind-numbing figures involved with the Abdul-gate scandal: 43 witnesses, 600+ legal hours, three months...this is waste -- garbage, rubbish, shit, et al -- on a mass scale approaching governmental, monumental proportions.

Do people really care this much about whether Paula Abdul nailed some zero? Or, put another way, do people really care if one zero nailed another one? I don't. Paula Abdul hasn't been sexy since the 80's (despite that fact, of course, Fox makes sure all photo stills including her show lots of skin). Simply put, do I really care whether she has an active sex life with contestants on the show? Or with Alex Trebek? I don't.

So the fact that Fox managed to piss away more than 600 hours of legal activity on what constitutes a meaningless (and baseless charge, perhaps) affair between two nothings doesn't necessarily amaze me -- but it certainly suggests why commercials cost millions of dollars per thirty seconds. This is clearly as ridiculous as were Bill Clinton's impeachment hearings, although that episode in American history was a result of a sitting President perjuring himself. This American Idol scandal merely involves a has-been and a never-was. And a lot of lawyers and lots and lots of billable hours.

I think, overall, what really irritates me about all this is Fox's attempt at conducting an "investigation" into a matter which is irrelevant. Moreover, Rupert Murdoch has no morals, so why should his network attempt the pretext of propriety? I'd deem the Clinton Administration to have higher moral standards than any major television network, so why the ridiculous attempt at legitimacy?

I suppose that Fox realizes that if people suspect the show is predicated on bullshit -- ie, if they suspect it's fixed -- they won't watch.

I've got some news for Fox -- people who watch your mindless drivel don't give a shit. They get off hearing incompetent people be abused by Simon Cowell, they don't suspect Fox is upholding some sort of pure, fair competition. Just like people believe Major League Baseball (until recently) was ignoring the steroid factor, and most of us believe the government never tells us the truth, does Fox actually think that the average viewer looks to the network to uphold truth, honor, justice and fairness? I'm not sure which is more ridiculous: that Fox is wasting all this energy on trying to appear "clean," that viewers might bag the show because of the appearance of impropriety, or me, for actually paying attention to this mountain of horse manure.

I guess all we need now is for Jerry Springer to run against Arnold Schwarzenegger for President -- that would pretty much seal the deal for me. Once the lines between legitimate government and celebrity fluff cease to exist -- Ronald Reagan being the appetizer pre-dating that inevitable shit sandwich -- then we can all pack up our things and quietly be on our way.

That is, if Fox's lawyers are not too busy investigating one of their Saturday morning cartoon characters.


Anonymous said...

Do you wanna improve the.... credibility... of American Idol... simply just get rid of Paula Abdul... Whether or not she is innocent *smirk* the ummmm honesty of the show will never emerge from the shadow of favoritism... among other things!

Anonymous said...

PAULA ABDUL... Update to an earlier posting of mine

Sorry Folks...

Regarding my earlier post concerning Paula Abdul and I said... "simply just get rid of Paula Abdul... Whether or not she is innocent *smirk* the ummmm honesty of the show will never emerge from the shadow of favoritism... among other things!"

I meant to imply that until Paula is removed (whether she is innocent or not of the charges), the impartiality .. which the judges are supposed to show... will ALWAYS be in question.