Is It Really Real?

Anna Schneider

Prompted by a recent article about ABC's reality tv hit "Supernanny" in this week's Science Times and Tracy Van Slyke and Jessica Clark's Tuesday blog about journalists' latest failure to ask important questions about the CIA and that douchebag Rove -- hope you all emailed your favorite broadcasters -- I came to the realization that our culture's perception of reality is pretty wacky. Maybe this is not exactly historically profound, but words we associate with reality, like "tv" or "the news," aim more for high ratings and public acceptance than showing The Truth (although whether or not The Truth exists is a whole other question I'd prefer not to delve into right now).Apparently, reality tv shows such as "Supernanny" and "Nanny 911" may exaggerate how out of control some families actually are. Reality tv, exaggerate? The Times did some real muckraking to come up with that one. The shows play up conflict by portraying some people in a bad light and taking snippets of the extreme to represent the norm. Sounds like most reality tv. Also sounds like the news.

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