Who Couldn’t Tell That The Chrisleys Were Crooks?

Gee what a surprise.

Since my sock drawer has been in desperate straits, I missed the news that Todd and Julie Chrisley, the oogy, greed-obsessed mater and pater in the family reality show “Chrisley Knows Best,” had been convicted of federal charges of financial fraud and tax evasion in June. They are going to be sentenced today, maybe for as much as 30 years each, while having to disgorge about 20 million bucks of ill-gotten gains.

I watched less than ten minutes of the USA series maybe five years ago, got nauseous, and never went back. I was immediately reminded of the marketing line for the slasher film “Black Christmas”, “If this movie doesn’t make your skin crawl, it’s on too tight!” It seemed screamingly obvious that this family that gorged on bad taste, conspicuous consumption and nouveau riche excess and smuggery was as corrupt and ethically inert as human beings could be. Even as accustomed as I was to really awful and/or sick people being the stars of these trashy shows—Danny Bonaduce, Scott Baio, Ryan O’Neal, the “Jersey Shore” cast, Anna Nicole Smith and so many others—the Chrisleys were special, so throbbingly vile that I would be tempted to investigate anyone who tuned in for more than one episode.

That’s Todd and Julie’s oldest daughter between the two hustlers in the photo above. Savannah touchingly told Fox News, “I’ve never seen two people, my parents, be so steadfast in their faith and in prayer … just literally on their knees every morning praying. It’s just so admirable, and that’s kinda just my focus. Just watching them and still learning … growing from them in times like this, and just kinda staying strong through it all … knowing that, in the end, the truth will prevail. And it may get harder before it gets easier, but we have faith.”

Yeah, the ostentatious religiosity is a tell too. Jim and Tammy Bakker would be impressed.

Don’t most people have some primordial instinct that triggers the King Arthur reflex when in the presence of people like the Chrisleys? You know…

If not, this is something parents must train their children to develop, if the parents have it. Most, though unfortunately not all, cheats, con artist, scamsters, liars and assholes radiate untrustworthiness, if one can spot the signs. “Chrisley Knows Best,” in fact, could be a training aid.

And the USA Network ran this show for nine years. The Chrisleys used the exposure to help trick banks into giving them loans. If only there were some way to hold USA accountable. After all, those who work in show business have to be able to spot fakes and grifters; I find it difficult to believe that the producers didn’t know what they were inflicting on the culture.

10 thoughts on “Who Couldn’t Tell That The Chrisleys Were Crooks?

  1. I guess I count myself lucky in that I was never completely aware that it was a reality show. I saw the name, I saw that guy’s face and probably saw not more than 30 seconds of the show before switching channels.

    So, I never quite knew whether it was a sort of Osbournes reality show or a Modern Family-style Reality-Faux.


  2. “After all, those who work in show business have to be able to spot fakes and grifters; I find it difficult to believe that the producers didn’t know what they were inflicting on the culture.”

    They probably did, at least at some point, but the show filled a niche and must have sustained decent ratings to continue for nine years. That positive revenue stream is all that matters in the cutthroat world of entertainment dollars. Those dollars translate into some high-end lavish living for the select few calling the shots. Nothing new really.

  3. Whew! Ron Klain should hire Savannah Crisley as Joe’s paid liar. The expert blather she effortlessly loosed in that quote shows she’s a pro’s pro.

  4. I think of that show as a modern-day equivalent on steroids of “The Beverly Hillbillies” or even “L’il Abner.” The show reinforced every bad idea the rest of the country has about the South.

  5. After being convicted on federal charges, Todd Chrisley had this to say..“God has given me that inner peace and he’s given me the full understanding of ‘no one needs to believe our truth as long as we know it,’”

    Spoken like an absolutely guilty person…a guilty person tends to talk quite a bit about his or her “own truth” and as long as God knows that truth then the guilty person is okay with what most innocent people would be NOT be at “inner peace” with.

  6. I’ve only slowly become slightly aware of what Kardashians are, and that their existence is somehow tied to what used to be Bruce Jenner. Why did you have to tell me about “Chrisleys”?

    • The Kardashians are also related to none other than O.J. Simpson. Their dad represented O.J. and their mother was best friends with the late, slaughtered Nicole Simpson.

  7. I have long ago learned that any entertainment or media production that uses the word REAL as a descriptive adjective is blowing smoke and using mirrors.

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