Not all is happy in TV Land. Or MTV, CMT, or VH1—all channels owned by the behemoth media company Viacom, and all companies that have been affected by big layoffs coming down late last week and stretching into this week as part of a massive corporate restructuring. Though the dust has yet to settle, the layoffs and restructuring could see big changes on country music’s biggest television outlet.
As Saving Country Music has been reporting, many people are incensed over CMT’s new reality show Party Down South made by the same producers of Jersey Shore. Ben “Cooter” Jones, an original cast member of The Dukes of Hazzard as mechanic Cooter Devenport and a former United States Congressman, has taken the point on the matter. Now Ben “Cooter” Jones has crafted an open letter.
The depths Viacom and American corporate media have slumped to in their tireless endeavor to exploit and further stereotype the rural residents of the United States is nothing short of a black eye on the American culture, and an abomination of the entertainment medium. It is worse than most garden variety hardcore pornography on the psyche of the viewer, and on the dignity of the subject.
I’ve often wondered, why is it always the music channels that get hijacked from their original formats to become the preeminent purveyors of cultural filth? They start off by showing music videos, and somehow that organically translates to showing realty TV that displays the most vile of stereotypes. Every time the story is the same, whether it is MTV, CMT, VH1 or BET.
The fight to preserve classic country and present it to a new generation of fans may just have become a lot easier. After 12 years off the air, the original TNN, “The Nashville Network” has just announced it is coming back this summer, and is committed to “true country music.” TNN ran for 17 years from 1983 to 2000 until Viacom morphed it into Spike, leaving many traditional and classic country fans underserved.
The premise appears to be to ship a bunch of yahoos from the South up to The Hamptons in New York, and have them behave like a troupe of Barnum & Baily hillbilly oddities for the bemusement of New England’s sniveling upper crust, all while middle class suburbanites sit at home and live the stereotypical corporate country life vicariously through these redneck caricatures.