Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hell Just Froze Over

Because I'm sticking up for a reality show.  A reality show I've never seen, and yet, whether rationally or irrationally, I despise.  And in doing so, I'm going against one of my absolute favorite politicians, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.

You see, earlier this week, Gov. Christie blocked Jersey Shore from receiving a small (just under half a million dollars) tax credit that's designed to entice film and TV to come to the state and spend money.  And that's what this reality show did--along with countless other vapid twentysomethings who want to party with Snooki and the Situation and a bunch of other people whose names I don't know but everyone else seems to.  And their dollars are worth the same as everyone else's.  Not so fast, say Christie (and other N.J. leaders).  This show spreads "misconceptions about the state and its citizens."

Imagine, for a moment, if Boardwalk Empire were shot in Jersey (it's not), and Christie made a similar statement against it--saying it spread misconceptions about the state and its politicians.  Let's even take a real leap and assume that such a statement would be true.  Now let's imagine the reaction to Christie pulling the tax credit from the show, hoping that the reaction would be to shut down production, or at least force it to move.  There would be outcry, because this would be government censorship--a state government stifling creativity.

Now, I don't know if trying to shut down Jersey Shore is stifling creativity--quite the opposite, in fact--but the simple fact is that it's government censorship, plain and simple.  Would the world be a better place without drivel like this on our TVs?  Probably, but that's something for the market to decide, not the governor, judiciary, or legislature.  In a situation like this, I'm with Voltaire (as channeled through Evelyn Beatrice Hall): "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Of course, Snooki and company could always pack up and head on down the road to Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania for the next season of their nonsense.  That, even I might tune in to watch.

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