This announcement would warrant a KABOOM! if ABC’s popular reality show/ dance competition hadn’t already demonstrated its lack of responsibility and decency so many times before. I guess my still unexploded head should be grateful for that, at least.
Dancing With The Stars is going to include Ryan Lochte in its line-up of competing celebrity dancers in the upcoming season. Why? Because he urinated on the wall of an establishment belonging to someone else, lied about the immediate consequences, insulted the hosts of the Olympic Games he competed in, and thoroughly embarrassed the United States, of course. He’s infamous! He’s cute! He’s a moron! Naturally, this makes him attractive to “Dancing With The Stars.”
The undeniable message such casting sends to younger citizens whose sense of ethics and appropriate social conduct are still being formed is that wrongful conduct pays. DWTS is proving that as long as what you do makes you famous, it doesn’t matter if it is reckless, stupid, harmful or illegal. Then you can cash in.
This is the message that the show has often broadcast. Kim Kardashian was a contestant because she made a sex video, was the daughter of one of O.J.’s lawyers, had a freakishly large butt and epitomized hedonism, venality, and style over substance. Perfect! Tom DeLay was on the show because he was a famously vicious and corrupt—and successful— politician. Bristol Palin’s sole qualification for the show was that she managed to be an unwed mother-to-be, engaged to a jackass, while her mother was trying to convince the nation that she was qualified to be a heartbeat away from the White House. Reality shows and the ranks of washed-up actors have supplied the show with a steady stream of drug addicts and low-lifes whose sole distinctions have been that they were primarily famous for doing things that would get normal people fired or imprisoned.
Opinions of reasonable people may differ, but Ryan Lochte is probably the lowest the show has sunk yet. After the lies of the swimmer and his pals were exposed, many opined that he had forfieted millions in potential endorsements and appearances. Well, not this one! Being caught running prostitutes across state lines while he was Governor of New York didn’t stop Eliot Spitzer from landing a show on CNN, either. Marion Barry was elected mayor of the nation’s capitol after he went to prison for smoking crack, also while he was mayor. I guarantee that if the late “Mayor for Life” of D.C. hadn’t been too old and frail by the time DWTS was on TV, Marion would have been a contestant. If he’s up for it, I am certain we’ll eventually see Alex Rodriguez.
I wonder why Anthony Weiner hasn’t been on “Dancing With The Stars” yet? They invited him, I’m sure.Maybe next year.
Our culture now prominently rewards, and thus encourages and endorses, unethical and even illegal conduct. How can a democracy function in such a culture?
Well, we’re about to find out.
Do you really wonder how a serial creep like Donald Trump became the Republican nominee for President? When the culture continually tells a society that it’s being famous that matters and not why someone is famous, this is what happens.