Yesterday, my good buddy Zack Harold wrote about how people on social media had been duped into thinking Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., had pulled the plug on MTV’s upcoming Sissonville-based reality show ‘Buckwild.’
The story that put the Facebook and Twitterverse abuzz came from the West Virginia news satire site TheDiggerer.com, meaning it’s a fake. While he may have been able to get WVU and Marshall to play in football for the past seven years, Manchin does not have the authority to tell a music television channel (that hardly ever airs music television) what it can and cannot put on the air.
But this morning, in a strange twist of reality-imitating-art, Manchin’s office did send out a press release this morning including a letter the Senator had drafted to MTV president Stephen K. Friedman in which he — no joke this time — asked Friedman to pull the plug on the series.
Here’s the text of the letter in its entirety:
Dear Mr. Stephen K. Friedman,
As a proud West Virginian, I am writing to formally request that you put a stop to the travesty called “Buckwild.” As a U.S. Senator, I am repulsed at this business venture, where some Americans are making money off of the poor decisions of our youth. I cannot imagine that anyone who loves this country would feel proud about profiting off of “Buckwild.”
Instead of showcasing the beauty of our people and our state, you preyed on young people, coaxed them into displaying shameful behavior – and now you are profiting from it. That is just wrong.
This show plays to ugly, inaccurate stereotypes about the people of West Virginia. Let me tell you: our people have given their all for this great country. They’ve done the heavy lifting to produce the energy that is needed to produce the steel that builds our factories and cities. The proud veterans of our state have shed more blood and made more sacrifices than most other states to keep America free. We’re proud of all we do to make America strong and secure the cherished freedoms that you seem so determined to abuse.
Your program offers nothing about the major issues of our time: how we move our country forward, how we prepare young people to lead this country and take responsibility for themselves and how we put our finances in better shape for the next generation. I am writing to urge you to reconsider airing this show. I hope that as you consider your decision, that you would consider your own state, your own community and your own children. Would you try to portray them in this light?
With warm regards,
Joe Manchin III,
U.S. Senator, West Virginia
So now let’s see how this actually plays out in the real world…