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Paris' Simple Life Beats Bush's Saddam Interview
December 19, 2003 9:53 AM   Subscribe

Paris Beats Bush
More viewers watched The Simple Life than George Bush's interview with Diane Sawyer. What does that say about America?
posted by fenriq (41 comments total)

 
I dunno if I'm as upset as I should be. If GW was about 35 years younger, him and Paris would probably be dating.
posted by jonmc at 9:55 AM on December 19, 2003


Really?
posted by Outlawyr at 9:56 AM on December 19, 2003


More viewers watched The Simple Life than George Bush's interview with Diane Sawyer. What does that say about America?

That given the choice between looking at two utter fools, most people would rather look at the hot one.
posted by Skot at 9:57 AM on December 19, 2003


What does that say about America?

It says, ultimately, that it's more fun to watch a spoiled rich girl embarrass herself and enjoy the schadenfreude than to listen to listen to the a powerful dolt prattle and feel the intimations of doom.
posted by jonmc at 9:57 AM on December 19, 2003


Bush can console himself with the knowledge that he was more popular than a "Whoopi" rerun, which had 7.3 million people watching on NBC.

The fact that over seven million people watched a rerun of one of the worst shows ever to grace television worries me far more than whether the President's interview received the highest ratings.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:58 AM on December 19, 2003


If Paris were interviewed by D. Sawyer, I wouldn't watch her. More Americans do not vote than do vote. Many Americans watch TV for this or that sex show, entertainment, favorite series--and not for an interview with a political figure they see in the media endlessly. Thus: it shows nothing about anything.
posted by Postroad at 9:59 AM on December 19, 2003


What it says about America is that: virtually all Americans already know pretty much everything they need to about President Bush. America knows how President Bush feels about Iraq, Hussien, terrorism, etc. And that anything of significance that the President said during the interview would be aired on every new channel (CNN, FNC, etc) for hours on end. And we have a chance to see and/or hear President Bush on a daily basis. And clips of the interview were broadcast on other news outlets.

In other words, this was not a "one-shot" deal -- there was nothing special, newsworthy, or groundbreaking about the interview. He had already given a brief speech regarding the recent capture of Hussein, given a talk at Walter Reed Army Medical Center this week, etc.

In a nutshell, this is NOT a news story, nor is it remarkable, nor is it some sort of indictment of American culture, intelligence, etc.

The Simple Life TV show, in and of itself, however, IS an indictment of American culture, intelligence, etc.
posted by davidmsc at 10:03 AM on December 19, 2003


What it says about America is that America secretly wanted to watch two teenage boys kiss.

Obviously, America still doesn't understand the Internet.
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:23 AM on December 19, 2003


Paris Beats Bush

No doubt. On another subject, I hear she was on a television show the other day.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:29 AM on December 19, 2003


Paris Beats Bush

Who do you think would win at trivial pursuit?

(I'd put my money on Paris, but only because of the Movies and TV questions, I think W. might get a few of the Sports ones)
((either way it seems like it would be a looong game))
posted by milovoo at 10:36 AM on December 19, 2003


Who cares?

A television interview with the President, this horrible fucking baby-eating President especially (for Seth), is just a chance for a bunch of stupid rhetoric and canned answers to be dispensed and delievered with a suprisingly straight face. So from an insight/information/in-general usefulness perspective there's really no difference between watching Paris Hilton kiss people at an Arkansas fair and watching W. rattle off some goddamned dishonest cooked up nonsense.
posted by xmutex at 10:37 AM on December 19, 2003


I'd say it shows precisley which bush the U.S is really interested in.
posted by randomnfactor at 10:42 AM on December 19, 2003


I'd rather watch the one that is supposed to be funny, not the one that is funny but supposed to be serious.
posted by archimago at 10:52 AM on December 19, 2003


What does that say about America?


well, it doesn't say it about America especially, this sad fact says something about TV audiences in general (I'm not sure Diane vs Bush would have beat Paris vs Farm in Britain or Japan or Italy)

we need to learn to live with the fact that people (or, ahem, "masses") would rather watch a whippet-thin, apparently-not-very-smart 19-year old blonde (famous for having sex on ghostly-green night-vision camera) act generally dumb in a farm than watch a smart over-50 blonde grill the President like no other journalist had on the topic of those phantom WMD's
posted by matteo at 11:17 AM on December 19, 2003


I love Paris Hilton. I vote. I would vote for Paris Hilton. There, I said it.
posted by tomharpel at 11:21 AM on December 19, 2003


monju said: "The fact that over seven million people watched a rerun of one of the worst shows ever to grace television worries me far more than whether the President's interview received the highest ratings."

Whoopi is so not the worst show ever. Has everybody forgotten Scarecrow and Mrs. King? Or Jake and the Fatman? How about Fall Guy? T.J. Hooker? Full House? Puh-leeze. As bad as Whoopi is, there's always something worse. Like an interview with the national governor for instance.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:23 AM on December 19, 2003


Full House? Jake and The Fatman? dude! I will hurt you.
posted by mcsweetie at 11:25 AM on December 19, 2003


What does that say about America?

That nobody really wants to hear him talk. Seriously, it's unsettling. Like hearing a dog try to talk like a person.

But then watching Paris Hilton is a lot like going to the Haunted House at the carnival, and a skeleton jumps out at you, and you're scared, but then you realize it's actually a person who just looks like a skeleton.

Together, they fight crime.
posted by Hildago at 11:26 AM on December 19, 2003


Hey, the Fall Guy was good.
posted by majcher at 11:40 AM on December 19, 2003


What does that say about America?

It says that people watch TV to be entertained. If they want to be informed about something important, they switch to a better medium. If something important does happen to be on TV, it will show up in that better medium the following day.
posted by badstone at 11:45 AM on December 19, 2003


Maybe, just maybe, it says that even americans are getting as sick of the mind-numbing minutia of us politics as the rest of the world long has been.
posted by Electric Jesus at 11:53 AM on December 19, 2003


What does that say about America?

That maybe George should consider surreptitiously posting a night-vision sex video to the internet. Bonus points for feigning outrage a few days later.
posted by whatnot at 12:04 PM on December 19, 2003


That maybe George should consider surreptitiously posting a night-vision sex video to the internet.


no sex. the right recipe for Presidents is violence, lots of violence (marketed of course as righteous violence -- "the Far East is falling", "Central America is falling", "the Middle East is falling". The old Domino Theory, after all. Terrorism is the new Communism -- an End to justify the Means is all you need).

and of course you need happy endings.
mainly, happy endings. (in 4 year cycles)

a Hollywood recipe if there ever was one.

so, to answer to your comment, Bush has already posted his Paris Hilton greenish video on the Net, and all over the world's TVs -- his Iraq GunsGoneWild videos



Presidents can't get even close to sex -- violence is their porn
Look at Clinton, or at the cheap shots against JFK for his womanizing -- sex is verboten. killing is cool.

indeed, most successful, popular First Ladies (with the exception of course of mrs Kennedy) have always looked asexual -- and even the beautiful daughter of Black Jack Bouvier was an ice queen

(and anyway, sex with Mamie Eisenhower anybody? with Bess Truman? with Eleanor Roosevelt?)



posted by matteo at 12:28 PM on December 19, 2003


Let's settle this once and for all. Bush vs. Paris on Jeopardy! Mano-a-tarto, no holds barred, winner take all. And throw in Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery. THIS IS RATINGS GOLD
posted by ElvisJesus at 12:35 PM on December 19, 2003


Frank Rich wrote a really awesome piece in the NY Times about the Paris Hilton phenomenon and why people watch stuff like that. This is the abstract. If any MeFi hackers know how to access that story without paying, it's a really good read. I came away from it with some sympathy towards Paris, who is happily ridiculing herself on TV for our amusement while other rich celebs wouldn't deign to fraternize with the common folk.
posted by vito90 at 12:38 PM on December 19, 2003


Candidate Paris?
Would she, oh mah god, be Republican, or like, Democrat?
posted by Dukebloo at 12:52 PM on December 19, 2003


That given the choice between looking at two utter fools, most people would rather look at the hot one.

I suppose this is a shallow comment but I'll make it anyway. Paris Hilton is young, rich, and thin. However, her face is pretty ugly and the makeup she wears doesn't help.
posted by rdr at 12:58 PM on December 19, 2003


Frank Rich's ny times article
I googled an excerpt of the abstract.
posted by cardboard at 1:06 PM on December 19, 2003


Come on, as much as we like to type how much we love/hate Bush/Clinton whatever here, our national elections almost never creep above 50%. Their are too many apathetic voters out there. Does it really matter, yes, does anyone care? I think not a mojority.
posted by wuakeen at 1:12 PM on December 19, 2003


But did you see that mini-skirt?! And the little german outfit? Homer drools.

But, see it's like this. First I watched Bush. Then I started flipping to the Simple Life show (that I've only watched once) during the commercials. Then I was watching the Simple Life and flipping to Bush during the commercials. Then I watched the Simple Life. It was more educational, more honest, and more fun.

If he can't keep an interested viewer don't blame the hot girl.
posted by Yossarian at 1:19 PM on December 19, 2003


Wolfdaddy: What it says about America is that America secretly wanted to watch two teenage boys kiss.

Wait! What did I miss?! I thought Sawyer interviewed Bush alone!?! Man, I miss all the good stuff!
posted by JollyWanker at 1:24 PM on December 19, 2003


Thanks cardboard, you master hacker!
posted by vito90 at 1:28 PM on December 19, 2003


I googled an excerpt of the abstract.

To go off-topic for a moment, I love the fact that we're now in a world in which such a sentence not only exists, but makes perfect sense.
posted by Grangousier at 1:33 PM on December 19, 2003


"What it says about America is that: virtually all Americans already know pretty much everything they need to about President Bush"

I think davidmsc hit it. Whether Americans love Bush, hate him or intend to vote for him in '04 or not - they don't expect anything surprising to come out of his mouth, at least in a national TV appearance, anyway.

In person he might do something fun - like drop a little dog on it's head - but in canned performance he never would.

He's standardized himself, like a Big Mac of a president, and quite intentionally. Up from a dissolute background of drinking and carousing, self discipline is now one of George W. Bush's great strenths. In his speeches, he never deviates from those words - so carefully chosen by Karl Rove and his scriptwriters - which hypnotize Americans into believing that Saddam Hussein is Osama Bin Laden.

Paris Hilton might do something really unexpected and embarassing on TV. George W. Bush - aside from occaisonal verbal stumbles - never will. His laser-like focus comes from God, explains david Frum.
posted by troutfishing at 1:36 PM on December 19, 2003


Hey! - Is this one of those "political" posts I've been hearing about? Stop that, you bad, bad people. You're ruining Metafilter, I say.
posted by troutfishing at 1:38 PM on December 19, 2003


It also shows that people really don't want to watch Diane Sawyer. She's a hack who jumped the shark a long time ago.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 2:18 PM on December 19, 2003


Paris Hilton is young, rich, and thin. However, her face is pretty ugly and the makeup she wears doesn't help.

Yep, I'll agree with that assessment. But you forget that she's got pretty good hair. And the lack of any brain at all doesn't do wonders either as her patented blank stare expression is utterly enthralling in its pre-emptive lack of cognition (that may be a nonsensical statement but it felt good to write).
posted by fenriq at 2:39 PM on December 19, 2003


Paris is at least more entertaining (and maybe less of a train wreck) than Anna Nicole--that much i'll give her.
and thanks, Outlawyr.
posted by amberglow at 3:07 PM on December 19, 2003


I'm not surprised. This administration has no credibility, so I change the channel whenever monkeyboy comes on.
posted by fleener at 6:25 PM on December 19, 2003


paris and nicole are just so damn slapable.
pow! zing! to the moon, alice!

hrm. did i say that out loud, or just think it?
posted by quonsar at 6:25 PM on December 19, 2003


Anybody else out there now see the whole night-vision "leaked porn video" thing as more of an intentional PR stunt, to get her name in the news (or at least in Gawker?) Once upon a time, "scandals" like that were the messy tail end of a celebrity's Warholian 15 minutes. Now, like starlets getting their big break from a Playboy appearance, they almost seem like a cheap ploy to gain some name recognition, or in the case of fading celebs, a pathetic cry to "Remember me!"
posted by arto at 2:41 AM on December 20, 2003


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