Reality Bites: Or What Passes for Entertainment These Days....

I launch my computer this morning to learn that NBC, which used to make the nation laugh a lot on Thursday nights, has asked Rod Blagojevich, the disgraced governor facing federal corruption charges, to appear on a reality TV show.

It is a program in which "celebrities" are taken to Costa Rica, where they must endure "fun and comedic challenges designed to test their survival skills."

Oh NBC. Really?

I suppose at first glance, it seems like NBC's golden opportunity - the chance to bring a Kipling-quoting shyster to a jungle to see him spar for survival with other entertainment types.

(And with Blagojevich coming to the jungle from the swamps of Illinois politics, he's got to be the odds-on favorite of the bookies.)

But if you think about it, he's a man asking a judge to postpone his trial so he can get paid to frolic in the jungle.

Blagojevich is not a celebrity. He's a crook.

He's a man who was forced to resign his post after being caught on tape trying to sell Obama's senate seat. He's a man who came to office vowing to clean up the state after the previous governor was sent to jail for corruption - and is now facing federal charges of racketeering, etc.

Once upon a time in America, disgraced politicians were - well - disgraced. Nixon slunk off for years after he resigned the presidency, depriving us of the "entertainment value" that comes with such failure.

Once, people were scandalized when a politician ran off with the public trust.

Today, a reality show calls such a man a "celebrity" - and seeks his participation.

Must See TV?

I don't think so.

Here's the story, if you want to read about it yourself....

Blagojevich may sweat it out in jungle TV show
Ousted Ill. gov. seeks permission from court to appear on reality program
NBC News and
updated 3:27 a.m. CT, Wed., April 15, 2009
Rod Blagojevich has been invited to take part in a reality TV show set in Costa Rica.

Based on a hit British program, "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!" is scheduled to premiere on NBC on June 1. ( is a Microsoft-NBC Universal joint venture.)

The show will see a group of celebrities left in the middle of the jungle, with viewers voting on who should stay or leave. The impeached former Illinois governor, who pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges Tuesday, reportedly could earn as much as $80,000 an episode.

NBC confirmed it wants Blagojevich on the show, saying in a statement: "Rod Blagojevich will be a participant on the show pending the court's approval."

According to WMAQ, Blagojevich asked a federal judge Tuesday to allow him to travel if his bond was increased. The impeached governor reportedly believes the show could help finance his legal defense.

'Survival skills'
NBC Entertainment described the live show as "the ultimate 'Swiss Family Robinson' as 10 celebrities are dropped into the heart of the jungle to face fun and comedic challenges designed to test their survival skills."

NBC said participants would be playing to win money for their favorite charities, with the last remaining star winning the largest share of the donation.

The show will air throughout the month of June, NBC said.


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