Saturday, September 17, 2011

Survivor Samoa: CBS Turns Deadly Tsunami into a Tale of Affirmative Action, Marketing, and “Love”

By Nicholas Stix
Revised and expanded, September 17, 2011, at 2:38 a.m.

There is clearly no depth too low for CBS, when it comes to plugging its popular reality show, Survivor. The show is back in Samoa, and the network is ruthlessly promoting it, with politically correct “news” stories that are thinly disguised PR, and is even exploiting the destruction of one “survivor’s” life.


Comes the lead-in by CBS Early Show host Chris Wragge, on September 13:

Survivor: Samoa begins tomorrow night right here on CBS. It’s the first time the show has returned to the island nation since the deadly tsunami two years ago….

CBS News “journalist” Betty Nguyen, in the studio:

It happened so quickly. Just before 7 a.m., kids on their way to school -- and many others were just waking up. A massive, 8.1 magnitude earthquake hit near Samoa on September 29, 2009. And what happened minutes later changed so many lives.

Joe Annandale: “We started panicking when we saw the water receding.”

Nguyen: Joe Annandale and his wife Tui knew what to expect of the tsunami -- but NOTHING could prepare them for what would unfold.

Wait just a doggone minute. Clichés are already intolerable, but mutually contradictory clichés?

Either the Annandales did or did not know what to expect of the tidal wave. Nguyen has them simultaneously riding two horses going in opposite directions. That ride can’t end well.


Tui was one of 189 people to perish that September afternoon, many of them, children. The devastation to the island was un…imaginable….

The tsunami destroyed much of the island, but it couldn’t kill the people’s spirit.

So intoned, with overwrought reverence, Betty Nguyen, on CBS’ Early Show on September 13.

The Boss remarks: “So what, the people are happy, just as if the tsunami never happened?”

Annandale is a resort owner, and though many other resort owners gave up on rebuilding, he didn’t [Nguyen:] “… [B]ecause his is not a survivor’s story, but a love story.”

Nguyen went to an otherwise idyllic Pacific island, Samoa, that got hit by a tidal wave two years ago. But it could have been any generically “exotic” South Sea island—as long as it was the locale for a profitable CBS show—for this was a generic story of tragedy and re-birth… and hope … and affirmative action … and marketing.

Survivor is one of CBS’ biggest franchises, and a female TV “doctor” of South Asian descent employed by Survivor had been working on the show on the other side of the island, which didn’t get hit, and so Nguyen plugs her rescue efforts, real or hyped, since she gets to thereby plug one of CBS’ properties, and plug a South Asian employee, which the networks and cable stations obsessively do, these days.

Then Nguyen profiles elderly white resort owner, Joe Annandale. According to Nguyen’s storyline and the widower, the dead wife is “everywhere” in the idyllic resort they built, and which she designed. Except that, in the real world, she’s gone, and the resort is a reminder of everything he’s lost!

This is supposed to give viewers hope? This is supposed to be a happy ending? For lobotomized zombies, maybe. I see this poor son of a gun, grieving for his love of 40 years, and I want to shoot myself!

“[B]ecause his is not a survivor’s story, but a love story.”

Annandale: “And her last words—and I still remember—her last words is ‘Jesus, help us.’”

Nguyen & Co. must have loved that part.

Jesus, help us, indeed!

And the worst of it was that Nguyen wasn’t even telling the story of that island or that man. She was reading boilerplate with emotionally overwrought intonations, that could just as well have been about anywhere. All she had to do was insert the type of disaster, the place name, and constantly insert the word “survivor,” so as to crudely imprint the show on viewers’ memories:

Nguyen: “The [disaster] destroyed the [type of locale], but it couldn’t kill the people’s spirit….

[B]ecause his is not a survivor’s story, but a love story.”

Tune in tomorrow, when Nguyen will continue with Part II, on “survivor economics.” You can’t make this stuff up!

A computer program could have written the story.

So, what is a Betty Nguyen? She’s female, attractive, non-white, and must, of necessity, have the right politics.

Time was, being Asian (Nguyen is a Vietnamese name, as anyone of my generation will readily recognize) didn’t generate any affirmative action points, but the Asian-American Journalists Association has been agitating for years—successfully, apparently—to change that.

Following South Korean immigrant Cho Seung-Hui’s April 16, 2007 massacre of 32 students and instructors at Virginia Tech University, I spent 10-15 minutes arguing on the phone with an AAJA propagandist out in California, who insisted on referring to Asians as “people of color.” When I pointed out to her that that phrase was a euphemism for “black,” she peed on my pants through the telephone wire from over 2,000 miles away—quite a feat—in insisting that she knew no such thing.

The reason I was speaking with a race hustler flack was that AAJA was working hard, and with a good deal of success, to prevent anyone in the MSM from committing journalism, in the wake of Seung-Hui’s massacre.

In spite of having, on average, a much higher IQ than blacks and Hispanics, and a better work ethic, today’s professional Asians want you to know that they are just as competent as the rest of the racial socialist coalition, when it comes to punching out brain-dead boilerplate, be it for “human interest” stories, multicultural propaganda, or marketing thinly disguised as journalism.

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