That’s the name of the latest and greatest show that network TV has in store (or as Balko says “I think reality TV may have finally hit bottom”). So what exactly is this fabulous concoction whipped up for our viewing pleasure?
The show features law officers in Phoenix setting up grandiose sting operations to lure criminals with warrants into their waiting hands, and cameras.
“Ah, I see,” said the blind man. This is pink underwear, tent city, “America’s Toughest Sheriff” Joe Arpaio country. Supposedly the good news is that this latest publicity grab won’t cost “his” taxpayers forty three million dollars in settlement payouts for dead and injured inmates.
“It is a reverse Punk’d,” says Fox President of Alternative Entertainment Mike Darnell.
“Instead of the worst day of your life and then a joke at the end, this is the reverse. This is the best day of your life, and then we arrest you.”
Well I can just hear the announcer’s voice now in the promos: “For those of you who like to mix reality with a little Schadenfreude…” But hey – it’s OK to get a little pleasure out of other people’s misery, right? I mean, if they’re bad people…
“If it were a regular person you’d feel bad for them, but they are all wanted by the law,” Darnell says. “It’s Cops as comedy and no one’s ever tried it before.”
According to Darnell, all of the marks are non-violent criminals.
Non-violent criminals? Does that go all the way down the ladder including folks who have forgotten to, or been unable to pay their traffic tickets? I don’t know the answer to that, but I'm glad to know that this will be done only to non-regular people.
These types of stings are possibly ethically justifiable on some sort of “they had it coming”/ “just saving the taxpayers money” axis. After all, it’s a lot cheaper if you can fool people with outstanding warrants to come to you than it is to round them up.
But it’s the viewer himself sitting at home on the couch actually enjoying someone else’s “worst day” that is so troublesome. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?