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Trish's new show gets ripped

Trish's new show gets ripped

In a story that I am relieved to say did not appear on Officer.com, several retread celebrities have been sworn in as reserve officers of the Muncie, IN Police Department. CBS is entrenching itself as the premier source of misinformation about law enforcement with a new reality program called Armed & Famous, which will debut at some date when I hope I am out of the country or in a coma. This new show follows the highly successful CSI franchise, where the world has learned that DNA is routinely extracted from a discarded cigarette butt, analyzed in less time than it takes to plug the latest remedy for erectile dysfunction, and the suspect associated with the DNA located and arrested by people who aren’t even cops, and who only work one case at a time. Hey, if you saw it on TV, it must be true.

The newly commissioned cops are Jack Osbourne, son of Ozzy, Trish Stratus, who is apparently a wrestling star, LaToya Jackson, who wasn’t a member of the Jackson 5 (and now we know why), Wee Man, the 4′7″ skateboarder from Jackass, and none other than Erik Estrada, who played CHP Officer Francis â€"Ponch” Poncherello on CHiPs about 30 years ago. Comedienne Kathy Griffin has a TV show called My Life on the D-List. How far down the alphabet do you have to go for these guys?

It’s not that I object to celebrities being cops. Several have distinguished themselves as such. Dennis Farina, who has played a cop in several TV shows and films, was a real-life Chicago PD detective. Ernie Hudson was Senior Deputy John Barnes on the unappreciated and short-lived 10-8: Officers on Duty, and the prison warden on the OZ cable series. He is also a long-time reserve deputy sheriff in San Bernardino County, CA. 1960s teen idol Bobby Sherman made it to Captain as an LAPD Technical Reserve Officer, training academy recruits in first aid. The difference is that these folks went to work as cops to be cops, and to do police work. There weren’t any cameras following them around, trying to make their work entertainment for Joe Beercan.

I suppose that professionals in other occupational fields have gotten similarly irritated when their jobs were featured on other reality shows. Paris Hilton, who is famous for being famous, had a program where she and her sidekick were farmers. I don’t know that farmers were upset about that, but I hear that many of them are quite proud of being farmers, and might resent the implication that anybody can do what they do. I was taught that it’s not too cool to make fun of the way that someone earns their living. That ethic must not play at CBS.

The A&F cops won’t have a lot of opportunity to become loose cannons. They’ll have regular officers assigned as trainers and supervisors, and of course no one will go anywhere without the TV crew in tow. And if, God forbid, something should go truly sideways, that won’t make it onto prime time. The Muncie newspaper has already reported that the celebs’ academy graduation ceremony took three takes. My class only got one, and it resulted in having no class photo, because the officer that was detailed to take it was drunk. No retakes there. And there were probably other new reserve officers in the Muncie class, some of whom may intend to do actual police work, but we’ll never know who they were.

My principal objection is that this program threatens to cheapen the policing profession by inferring that anyone can be a cop. This is like truck driving school for cops. Take the course and you, too can be a police professional! Stop cars! Point guns at people! Search their houses! LaToya can do it! Why can’t you? Somehow, I just know that one of these play cops is going to show up on a talk show, speaking authoritatively about their â€"time on the street.”

Back in the 1970s, a Ph.D. criminology professor decided to complete an officer training course and do some field work as a uniformed officer with a city police department. He then published a gritty memoir of his experiences, which actually sold pretty well. What it did not emphasize what that the author spent about six months, all told, as a cop. This would not normally inculcate one with a vast array of experiences, but it has been parlayed into a highly profitable career as an expert witness, mostly for the plaintiff, in sue-the-cop civil cases. Get a little notoriety, and people will believe anything.

Maybe this will turn into a television trend, where former stars can breathe life into their dead careers by performing jobs normally left to those that are less fun to watch. This has real possibilities. â€"Mr. Daniels, you are charged with first-degree assault with a firearm. A public defender had been appointed to represent you, but in his place, please welcome Andy Griffith, TV’s ‘Matlock!’ Counsel, how does your client plead?” Or, maybe you’re about to go under the knife when the anesthesiologist tells you, â€"Take deep breaths, and count backward from ten. By the way, your liver transplant is going to be performed by Howie Mandel, host of ‘Deal or No Deal,’ but also formerly Dr. Wayne Fiscus in ‘St. Elsewhere.’ Quit trying to talk, sir. There’s a tube in your throat.”

If Armed & Famous makes it into a second season, I’ve got a great casting idea for them: O.J. Simpson. He wasn’t convicted of the felony, you know.
Posted By: wrestling-radio.com on Dec 08, 2006 Source: gerweck.net

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