Real Reality

November 24, 2002

By Tom Barrett,

“Reality” TV is out of control. Cameras have faithfully recorded everything from contestants eating rats to foolish women marrying for money, and soon French TV will show live action in – you guessed it – a brothel. I have an idea to put all those cameras to good use, in a way that will benefit the citizenry.

“Survivor” comes to mind when we talk about popular reality TV programs, but the concept was here long before the phrase was coined. Viewers ate up “Cops” and similar shows, exhibiting a lamentable bloodthirstiness, especially when violence erupted as cameras followed police officers performing their duty.

In a sense, Phil Donahue initiated the genre with his barrier-shattering talk show. Phil and his guests gleefully discussed previously taboo subjects such as homosexual perversion, bestiality, cross-dressing, orgies and other repulsive activities in great detail. Violence wasn’t a feature of his show, but it broke down important barriers that protected the public, and paved the way for ever more repellent so-called “talk shows.”

People of limited intelligence have for years shown up on such shows hosted by people with limited morals, including Jerry Springer, Rikki Lake and Sally Jesse Raphael. For the right amount of money, these people expose their dirty secrets, including sleeping with their wife’s sisters, incestuous relationships, and others too disgusting to relate. Fistfights, hair pulling, and eyeball clawing are regular fare on these revolting episodes.

These shows often “set up” a guest by lying to them about what they will experience in front of the camera. One show convinced a gullible young man to appear by telling him that a “secret admirer” of his would be revealed. When the admirer turned out to be a homosexual, violence ensued. A few days after the show, the humiliated young man murdered the homosexual.

As America’s thirst for the lowest and most disgusting voyeuristic fare increased, it was inevitable that shows like “Survivor” and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” would emerge. TV addicts were thrilled as the “stars” of “Survivor” plotted and betrayed one another. Contestants proved that they would humiliate themselves in whatever manner was necessary to gain large sums of money, or to marry someone with money.

Young people have allowed cameras in every room (yes, every room) in their homes, sacrificing their privacy in order to gain a brief moment of notoriety or financial benefit. I am convinced that some people will not be satisfied until ALL barriers have been breached. They won’t be happy until America can watch live sexual acts and observe people dying on prime time.

Since we have millions in this country who are such determined voyeurs, why don’t we install those hidden cameras where they will do some good? Why not require cameras in every politician and lobbyist’s office and conference room? Why not place them in every dining room, cloakroom and gym in Washington, D.C. and in every state capitol. Let’s let America see what goes on behind the closed doors and in the smoke-filled rooms where many of our politicians do their dirty work?

Imagine how the nation would benefit if we could observe every interaction between politicians and bureaucrats, and the lobbyists who buy their votes with gifts, trips, and cash. We would quickly learn who to re-elect, and who to run out of office. We would insist on laws to rein in the illegal activities of the vermin who corrupt our political process by bribing our elected officials to benefit their special interests. No longer would votes go to the highest bidder.

Imagine what would have happened if, instead of just eyewitness testimony, there had been a camera in that Buddhist temple when Al Gore was bribing the monks and nuns. There would have been no years of accusations and denials. He would simply have been impeached, and the camera would have provided the hard evidence to convict him.

Imagine the outcry if the people of this great nation could see their “representatives” swap their votes on each others pet projects in order to fatten their own pocketbooks or advance their own careers. If the voters could only see how seldom their needs and views were actually represented, we might be able to increase the ratio of honest public servants to cheating politicos.

Everyone would win. The voyeurs would get to see all the disgusting things their perverted hearts could desire. The law enforcement and justice department people would get to prosecute lots of politicians, get big names for themselves, and advance their careers. And America would see something that many of us have desired for decades – true public servants in political office, and an honest, open political process. Wouldn’t that be a breath of fresh air?


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  Tom Barrett has been an ordained minister for 28 years. He has written for local and national publications for most of his life, and has authored several non-fiction books. He has been interviewed on many TV and radio programs, and speaks at seminars nationwide. Tom is the editor and publisher of Conservative Truth, an email newsletter read by tens of thousands weekly which focuses on moral and political issues from a Biblical viewpoint.

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