- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 21, 2010

Reality fighting

“Conflict is a part of life, and it is intrinsic to reality television, from Pat and Bill Loud’s 1973 on-camera decision to get a divorce on ‘An American Family’ to ‘The Real World’ screaming matches in its 1992 inaugural. But this fall, aggression on reality TV has escalated.

“There isn’t one clear reason for the increase. Instead, a combination of factors contribute to what seems like new forms of surprising, even appalling behavior: emotional turmoil due to being filmed, pressure to win, stress from decisions producers make, laxer standards in casting, and even from reality itself (people just act crazy sometimes).

“Here, for instance, is a pastry chef competing on Bravo’s Top Chef Just Desserts: ‘Definitely going to hurt somebody and I’m going to get removed from the premises.’ At another point, after elbowing a female chef in the face while grabbing for ingredients, that chef, Morgan Wilson, said unapologetically, ‘If you go to the post and Shaq knocks you on your [rear], you learn not to go to the post with Shaq.’ “

- Andy Dehnart, writing on “Reality TV’s Violent Turn” on Nov. 18 at the Daily Beast blog Sexy Beast

Beck book ‘gay’?

“The reaction to the cover of Glenn Beck’s next book, The 7: Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life, has been pretty bizarre. When I look at the cover of Beck’s forthcoming self-help book, due out early next year, it’s pretty obvious that the boy Beck is laughing with is his son, and the fellow pictured in the background is the co-author.

“So it was weird to see liberals at Gawker and other online outlets joking about the cover’s ‘gay’ theme, especially when they added jokes about child abuse. I’m not sure what’s automatically ‘gay’ about having two men on a book cover, especially when there is a little boy involved. You’d almost think liberal writers were implying that homosexuals are notorious child molesters or something.

“As usual, this bizarre reaction simply shows that liberals are the prejudiced ones (in the precise meaning of the word) and that their strange responses to perfectly innocent images reveals their twisted take on the world.”

- Kathy Shaidle, writing on “Glenn Beck’s new book cover inspires homophobic jokes by liberals,” on Nov. 20 at her Squidoo on Glenn Beck

Too high a concept

“Heres where I complain that the concept feels just a bit too gimmicky and endless fanboy commenters respond that the graphic novel is the greatest thing ever and only a RINO would say otherwise. Fair enough; I havent read it.

“But this is pure paint-by-numbers blockbuster material, no? A western - with aliens and wicked F/X? And Harrison Ford? And isnt that James Bond? And look, its the hot communist from the future who tried to save us from the Republican armageddon! All we need now is a superhero element to guarantee a box office gross bigger than Obamas last annual deficit. Bingo: Directed by Jon Favreau, the man behind ‘Iron Man.’ $500 million or bust!

“I think Im only feeling lukewarm about this because the last high-tech western I saw in theaters [‘Wild Wild West’] went badly. Very, very badly. Exit question: Time to rent ‘Westworld’ and get my appetite back?”

- blogger Allahpundit, writing on “Good news: James Bond and Indiana Jones hooking up to fight aliens” on Nov. 19 at Hot Air