Creative programming makes politicians get real

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Call me woefully lacking in global-affairs prioritization, but my favorite news story of the year thus far has to be the renegade MP on reality TV. George Galloway, the ultra-lefty who hung out with Saddam and got the boot from Britain’s Labour Party, joined the “Celebrity Big Brother” house with Dennis Rodman and the rest of the B-list earlier this month. His Muslim constituency got peeved that Galloway – who proclaimed sex to be a favorite pastime upon entrance to the house – would be hanging out with scantily clad glam girls (and one glam transvestite). His entire constituency realized that if he was locked up in a reality house until voted off, he couldn’t very well attend to matters of state. Protests began outside the Respect MP’s office. When I read in a British tabloid that Galloway was on all fours and pretending to lap milk like a cat, I felt the urge to immediately fly to London, camp out at Heathrow like Tom Hanks in “The Terminal,” and fixate on the TVs. Galloway, competing for a charity banned in the U.S. for terrorist links, would undoubtedly rather star in a multiterm reality series called “10 Downing Street.” But as he dresses in a Dracula costume and dances around to the Sugababes’ “Freak Like Me,” I’m enjoying a hearty conservative gigglefest. After all, there is nothing better than watching Galloway’s gaggle of constituents face the cold reality that he’s a publicity ravenous froot loop. Hence the value of reality television intersecting with politics. How many undecideds would be left on election day if voters had to live with their ballot choices for a week? And as the fifth season of the ubiquitous “American Idol” premieres this week – with spinoffs spanning the globe, from pan-Arab “SuperStar” to an “Ethiopian Idols” competition – and Galloway has barely survived the first round of “Big Brother” voting, I began thinking about what reality shows I’d like to see next. “Extreme Makeover: House Edition”: Debates into the wee hours can really take a toll on one’s complexion. But wouldn’t Congress be a happier bunch with some stylish duds, pearly whites and sharp ‘dos – none of the aforementioned at taxpayer expense? Bring some individuality to a House with eight representatives surnamed Davis. With a team of experts and the flash of a hair-Dreier, see Barney Frank and Katherine Harris work that bipartisan flair and watch Dennis Kucinich search for a winning look. See Charles Rangel get fitted in wool crepe to shield him from those pesky drafts. “U.N. Idol”: This wouldn’t be so much as seeing Kofi Annan croon Justin Timberlake hits (or Midnight Oil – get it?), but would put those cookie-cutter speeches by egotistical despots under the scrutiny of a ruthless judging panel. For example, a bit of Hugo Chavez’s September speech to the U.N. General Assembly: “… All of this amidst internal and external aggressions, including a coup d’etat and an oil industry shutdown organized by Washington, and despite the conspiracies, the lies spread by powerful media outlets, and the permanent threat of the empire and its allies – they even call for the assassination of a president!” In would come the judges. Simon: “Are you ever a crybaby.” Paula: “I think you really gave it your all … but you just sound so angry.” Randy: “Yo, dawg, ‘threat of the empire’? You’re sounding like ‘Star Wars,’ man.” “Being Blunt and Boehner”: The race for GOP majority leader is on, and Reps. Roy Blunt of Missouri and John Boehner of Ohio are duking it out for Tom DeLay’s old post. But first, the congressmen have to share a house with Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston for a week and convince the couple of the worthiness of their respective agendas. You might think Bravo’s “Being Bobby Brown” stars aren’t politically minded, but an episode last year proved otherwise. Brown declared that cigarettes have killed more people than terrorists, to which Whitney Houston brushed off what he was saying. Brown asserted that George W. Bush is the terrorist, to which Houston snapped, “George Bush is protecting the country!” After some cross-talk, Brown concluded, “He ain’t protecting me – he put my (bleepity-bleep) in jail!” How do I know this? Call that half-hour in front of the TV political research. Then I flipped back to Fox News. I swear. Bridget Johnson writes for the Daily News. E-mail her at [email protected]last_img

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