8/25/2006

CBS "Survivor" Attention Stunt



In what is obviously a stunt to draw attention, CBS is launching its next season of Survivor by splitting the tribes according to race.

So far its been headline news all day. Clearly this will draw many more viewers than would have otherwise watched the show, shamelessly boosting revenue by increasing the cost of ad spots on the long running reality show.

I'm a fan of fun stunts to draw attention. For example, several years ago a very popular radio station yanked its DJ's off the air and ran announcements for three days in a row implying they were shutting down. They asked people to listen at 7:20 AM Monday morning as they "Shut off the power" Enter Monday morning: the station announced they were "shutting off the power.... (pause)..companies' hold over your checkbook by paying your bills!"

However, when the stunt serves to reinforce racism -which remains a very real problem in this country - I can do nothing but condemn it.

I, for one, will not be watching Survivor or CBS this season.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

big deal. get over it.

Elect Republican Paul R. Nelson for Airport Security Gaurd said...

Josh,

I promise to bring back racism in this country. Anybody who doesn't vote for me is a terrorist and probably wears a turbine and is name Mohammad.

Anonymous said...

However, when the stunt serves to reinforce racism -which remains a very real problem in this country - I can do nothing but condemn it.

Have you seen the show? How do you know that it reinforces racism?

Although I quit my weekly viewings of the show years ago, I have watched the opening show often enough. I know they have kept trying to keep the method of separating the tribes fresh for each season. They have already tried male vs. female tribes. I haven't see the old farts vs. the kids yet, but who knows, it may be coming next year.

I will bet they the producers thought long and hard about doing this, and that they will do it honorably.

That being said, I do agree that it is a stunt, but that doesn't mean that it is racist.

Luke said...

Josh:

How is the racism. Mexicans live in Mexico. Indians live in India. Africans live in Africa. In school we have girls and boys phy ed. In the city we have ghettos for the poor and gated communities for the rich. This post only supports the charges being point at your from Mary, Marion, Mike or whoever it is that's been on your ass to grow up and get some experience.

Josh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Josh said...

First I will say the personal attacks can stop. Unless you have the integrity to debate the actual topic instead of attacking the poster, you are the one that needs to grow up. Everyone here comes from different backgrounds, are different ages, are part of different socio-economic statuses, etc. I just happen to be one of the few who have given out my real name and age.

Now with that aside...

I agree with anon, and highly doubt that the creators of the show had malicious intent in mind, or will be distasteful in their handling of the segregated tribes.

That isn't my point.

My real concern rests within the racism that continues to be a very real issue in this country. This a sensitive topic for minorities, and a reality tv show that takes the time to point out their differences and pits them against each other lends reinforcement.

There is a well known experiment in which a teacher separated students based on their eye color and other traits and told them that one group was superior to another. Instantly the kids turned against their own friends and the prejudices the teacher setup for the experiment lasted long after it was over.

The bottom line is even grown adults in this country are still extremely bigoted. Remember the Rice Lake hunter shooting in which a hmong killed several hunters? Instantly across Minnesota and Wisconsin bumper stickers went on sale, "Save a deer, shoot a hmong"..etc.

Every single day prejudicial stereotypes affect minorities in ways you cannot even imagine, I have personal experience with this.

The slightest recognition of racial differences, especially when combined with a competitive event involving physical and mental strengths, has the ability to light a spark or keep a steady roar going.

That is my point. Now if you disagree with me show a little respect and debate the POINT, instead of attacking me.

What's really interesting about this....Notice that until my age became known on this website, people argued points with me instead of dismissing my opinion as that of a mindless child....

As we make a conscious effort to point out commonly prejudicial traits, notice the sudden increase in their use. and THAT my friends, is the point of my post.

jpn said...

Josh:

You make some very valid points. Personally, I watch little TV and what I do watch is usually PBS, college and pro football and hockey. I think most of TV is a vast waste-of-time land. Ditto for movies. In fact, I consciously avoid movies because I don't want to support the glamorization of violence for the sake of special effects.

That said, I think you have some very good insights into what they are going to do with Survivors. It's all about money and they have to spin those shows a little different to keep the masses amused. Have you notice that we live in an age where people brag about their video and CD libraries and never mention owning a book. It's all about being passive and not having to work at expanding you insights and pushing out the boundaries of your worldview.

That someone gets on you for your age is really a form of prejudice in itself. So you are in your early 20s and I'm in my early 50s. I've probably got a broader historical perspective of life and what it's like to be a 50 year in America. Thirty years ago I had a good perspective on what it was like to be a guy in his 20s in America. Times have changed and you are seeing things in a world that has radically changed.

This is the age of gadgets and being tethered to information and people via electronic devices. Thirty years ago, it was a cool deal to have a car with FM radio and really cool to have an 8-track player.

In towns like Hudson and New Richmond, there weren't minorities, with the exception on an American Indian family or two. It was mighty White. You saw Blacks on TV burning down the ghettos. You saw Asians in news clips from Vietnam.

Now look at these towns. My wife and I were in a Chinese restaurant in Hudson on the July 4, 2005 and we were the only White people in there. There were a couple of Black families, a group of Bolivians, the Chinese people running the place and a Hispanic family.

I don't know if you read the story in the New Richmond News a couple of weeks ago about cultural diversity and the different racial groups of people working at the canning factory in town, but it was an excellent story. It was also an excellent example of community journalism.

I hear a lot of cheap shots levelled against the NR News for the news coverage, but that criticism comes from people who have ax-grinding agendas and have ABSOLUTELY NO experience working with in the context of a small town newspaper. Small town newspapers still employ people who practice their craft more for passion than profit. Jeff Holmquist and Karl Puckett are experienced community journalists who have experience and know a lot more about the workings of small town politics than any of the bloggers in St. Croix Valley. I have some experience working on small town newspapers and I can tell you those reporters know a lot about the barnacles on the belly of community than they can report. It's call "background information."

I for one appreciate the perspective you are bring to this blog. As you are learning, whenever you hang your intellectual ass out on one of these blogs, some anonymous boot is as sure a shit going to come along an give it a kick. A least you've got the intellectual fortitude to post with your Christian name.

I've probably wandered off the thread here a bit, but I encourage you to keep it going.

AndyRand said...

Back to Survivor. I have to wonder how many years CBS expects to ride this dead horse. I watched the first one on and off. It was an interesting experiment. Now I wake up and turn on the CBS morning "news" program and hear the headline story. "So and so got the boot from the "Big Brother House". Like I give a shit. Tell me what's going on with Bush and his cronies and how they're destroying the middle class. Or tell me what are the political motivations of the conflicts in the Middle East, and Africa. That's too damn hard because it requires real journalists not poster boys and girls to boost ratings.
Like JPN says. TV's a wasteland. watch Frontline, listen to the BBC, read the New York Times, and avoid becoming numbed and stupified like the majority of this country is today. Oh, you might want to watch Jay Walking to see a few of them for
entertainment. A true example from a long ago Vox pop interview.
Question: Name a State that borders Minnesota. Answer, Chicago.........
need I say more.
Go get'em Josh. I think you critics are jeolous of your maturity.

Anonymous said...

Andy:

I agree with your assessment that we need more mature discussion of politics and real journalism, and less sensationalism to boost ratings and sell shampoo.

I think this blog could ramp up the maturity factor a bit too. For example, what's with the posts by "Mikhail" anyway. Are those Wal-Mart smiley faces supposed to drive discussion of some political point that I am just missing?

anonymous2 said...

Maturity is for those who can't handle immaturity.

As a frequent reader of this blog, I totally disagree with what anon said. This is the most invovative, intellectual blog in the St. Croix Valley.

Anonymous 3 said...

I love Mikhail's Smiley Face Gallery.
I just hope he doesn't run out of expressions and hats to suit the OTBL profiles. I think Mikhail just likes to give the OTBLers a poke in the ribs every so often.

Chuck Darwin said...

A3:

I think you are wrong about Mikhail poking the OTBL'ers in the ribs. According to a certain private detective who acquire X-rays of the major OTBL poster children, they have no ribs. After further analysis, it was determined that these OTBL'ers evolved differently from the general population of humans. Since they had no heart that needed protecting, the rib cage disappeared as their evolution progressed since 1776.

Anon 1 said...

Oh. Humor.

Cato said...

I didn't even know this show was still on. Hmph. Learn something new everyday (I TiVo all my shows that I care to watch, which isn't much and includes no "reality" TV programs... TiVo is the greatest thing to happen to TV since cable. And its better than cable.)

It is a stunt to get plubicity (and apparently it worked since I found out Survivor, which I watched a whole of 15min of once, is still on TV). It isn't anything more. It won't incite racism. Only very stupid people watching this show could possibly come up with some racist take-home message. Now we may have rubes in this country, but it isn't as dire as you think Josh. What mot people would say is, "I hope X group wins because I like Y and Z. They are so cool." I don't think people will immeditely identify with their group based soley on race. People identify with people that are like them. Since reality TV shows try to show the "person" so that people can identify with them, there is much more than just race being shown, and the viewers will idenify with anyone they like.

Who cares it's just a crappy TV show.

AndyRand said...

Who cares it's just a crappy TV show.

Agreed Very..

"People identify with people that are like them"

That's why the domographic ratings are so high for Urban Hiphop Rappers, and Southern Hooded Klansman. The both identify with being cast away on a secluded island each other.

The thing you got to love about TiVo is how they track everything you watch. Talk about Big Brother. ( Another crappy TV show, in case you didn't know that was on the aire CATO). Gotta go, the morning "news" shows are about to reveal why the last Big Brother house guest got the boot. Can't miss that. I need to stay informed in order to debate CATO:-)

Cato said...

Eh, I don't care if they know what I watch. I don't have to watch commercials and can watch what I want when I want.

AndyRand said...

So get a DVD recorder with a hard drive and cut the phone plug on your Tivo. I will never own a Tivo for this reason. I don't need them gathering even more info on me. What I watch is none of their business. I don't need targeted sales pitches coming in the mail because I watched Survivor.(Which I don't).

Cato said...

I'm sorry., I don't have Tivo. I have a DVR, but I just said Tivo since I thought that's what people would identify with. It's a DVR (I don't even have a land-line phone to put a Tivo in if that's what you said has to happen). However, I am sure the cable company still gathers information and I really don't care. I don't know what they could do with that information though, as they can't really tailor commericals for people who skip them. If they mail me something I really don't care.

AndyRand said...

I guess my point is that technology keeps creeping into our society that makes big brother a reality. I'd think that you'd be concerned about privacy rights. It's not only the initial gatherers of this info. that are cause for alarm. It's the lack of oversight with what becomes of it down the road.
It opens the possibility of all kinds of scams, thefts etc.

I don't like info being gathered on me. That's why I never participate in phone surveys etc. If these people know your name address and phone number, I don't want to tell them how I'm voting. It's none of their business.

NSA said...

We already know how you vote, we just can't figure out why. There must not be enough of the reich stuff in your Kool Aid.

AndyRand said...

Correct NSA.
My Reich filter must be working.

Cato said...

The worst thing a private entity can do is send you advertising with coupons in it. I willingly submit to that if it means things are easier for me. This is vastly different than other types of surviellence however that I do not have a choice over, am forced to pay for, and can have me paying fines, spending time in jail, etc.


Of course, no one is forcing you to do any of those things. You can decline phone surveys, you can be as private as you want to be in the private sphere. That's because you have choice in the priovate sphere. It's great ain't it?

And then there's the government which knows far too much about everyone. But it's for your own saftey of course.

AndyRand said...

That's because you have choice in the priovate sphere. It's great ain't it?
Yes it aint.

I choose to not have those idiots call me in the first place. And I support the government restricting them from bothering me!