Deutchman Quoted on Reality TV – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
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Deutchman Quoted on Reality TV

Kayla Gutierrez, who will be a high school senior, is taking a summer journalism course at Northwestern University. For the class she wrote a trend story to pitch to her high school newspaper. The trend she chose was the increasing popularity of reality TV shows, and in her story she quoted Iva Deutchman, professor of political science. “Reality television is a logical extension of what we call ‘infotainment’- the blending of entertainment and information,” said Deutchman. “It started out with television talk shows and candid camera. Now, it’s the next step in this kind of evolvement, even if the next step is let’s have five homosexual men make over a straight guy (‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’).”

As for content of the shows, Deutchman points to class. “Maybe I can get somebody to eat a rat or cheat on their husband,” Deutchman said. “These are things people are presumably doing. We might want to investigate why somebody is doing it, but it’s not clear to me that cheating on one’s husband is not worse than eating a rat. What separates some of us who are willing to eat a rat from others who aren’t willing to eat a rat? The answer is a class issue,” she explained. “Some people have never been on an airplane or been in a five-star hotel in a city they only dream about. For them, the chance is worth eating ten rats. This is a society that defines reality by your 15 minutes of fame.”