Chris Graham: West Virginia’s image problem
“This show plays to ugly, inaccurate stereotypes about the people of West Virginia,” said U.S. Sen. and former West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, raising issue with the reality show, set to premiere in January, that depicts a group of Appalachian party animals whose antics include a dump truck pool party and an effort to build a human slingshot.
Which makes these guys stereotypical West Virginians … how, exactly?
(Earth to Sen. Manchin: Ever watched “Jackass?” Wait … are you saying Johnny Knoxville is from West Virginia?)
So the show is set in West Virginia because the, ahem, stars live there. Got it. It’s still a brick or two shy of the load borne by New Jersey for six seasons of guidos on “Jersey Shore,” which as you can tell from the name of the show is set in New Jersey, and as a result didn’t exactly give the Garden State anything in the way of good, positive PR.
Meanwhile, this “Buckwild” show hasn’t even debuted yet. Though now, no doubt, the attention given to it by Sen. Manchin will ensure that it debuts with the proper level of attention from people who otherwise wouldn’t have heard of it.
Kind of like how nobody outside of a half-empty football stadium in Charlotte wouldn’t have heard about the skit performed by the UVa. pep band that poked fun at its rivals from West Virginia University if it wasn’t for Manchin’s predecessor as governor, Bob Wise. It was Wise who demanded that the university apologize for the skit, a “Bachelor” parody featuring a coed from UVa. and a coed from WVU made up in overalls, pigtails with a talent for square dancing and dreams of moving to Beverly Hills, Calif., a reference to the TV show “The Beverly Hillbillies.”
WVU was offended at the caricature at the same time that it sends its own mascot out on the football field wearing a coonskin cap and totin’ a musket that the current mascot actually used recently to kill a black bear on a hunting trip.
Which is not quite swimming in the back of a dump truck or building a human slingshot, but … well …