Monday, September 14, 2009

The PR conspiracies of Kanye West and American Idol

Kanye West bursting on stage to scare the living daylights out of teenage good girl Taylor Swift during the MTV Video Music Awards -- this was a surprise?

The collective amnesia of America's consciousness didn't go back just a mere three and a half months ago when comedian Sacha Baron Cohen flopped butt first from the sky in rapper Eminem's face at the MTV Movie Awards. Within 24 hours, the whole episode was unmasked as a ruse by Andy Samberg's writer.

MTV, which features very few music videos or movies, is in precious need of all the buzz it can, so if you're a conspiracy-minded person like me, you've got to be wondering about this latest "outrageous stunt," which generated 300,000 tweets in the hour following the "confrontation."

MTV started the precedent of staging outrageous stunts to get people talking, from the Super Bowl halftime show of "wardrobe malfunction" fame to Madonna's infamous kiss with Britney Spears. America swallowed them all hook, line and sinker.

Hollywood is a big illusion manufacturing machine, so it's not a stretch to imagine them concocting elaborately-staged "incidents" to create buzz around the water cooler the next day. No Zapruder films yet, but that's just a matter of time.

This is PR's version of the Matrix, the staged moon landing and Pearl Harbor being allowed to happen -- what you are seeing may simply not be real but being planned by a cabal of highly-paid publicists and entertainment studios and networks. Robert Langdon should forget about the Illuminati and book the next flight to LAX.

My longest-lasting PR conspiracy theory has been with Fox-TV's American Idol, and I'm not talking about rigging the vote for the contestants. There seemed to be a direct correlation to the show's slowly-decaying ratings and the behind-the-scenes shenanigans. It reminded me of the Department of Defense during the Bush administration -- when nothing was happening, they goosed everybody with an orange alert. Believe me, I'm not the only one who thinks this is true. Eight years of a Bush presidency has conditioned me for conspiracies!

Paula Abdul's departure announcement from the show raised my eyebrows, since virtually every non-named source in the New York Times story about what went on behind the scenes came from Abdul's camp and the Fox/American Idol people fawning over their love for their former resident kook. At one point, it even looked like Abdul was being asked to come back, with Fox setting up focus groups on whether she was wanted by the public or not. Straight up, indeed!

It doesn't stop there. Superbly timed judges' cat fights, air kisses, speculation of other judges leaving the show... there's no down time for the publicists even after the winner is crowned.

So the next time MTV has an awards program, grab your popcorn, your drink of choice, check your mind out at the door and wait... just wait... because you know it's going to come. Out of left field, above the audience, from behind the stage, maybe outside, high above in a B-52 bomber, that "outrageous" stunt is going to bolt from out of the blue like Amy Winehouse showing up at a monastery door. You've been "bitten" once, you didn't get "shy" before, but now you've wizened up and you "won't get fooled again."

1 comment:

Natalie | The Bobby Pin said...

I'm still waiting for an announcement from any of the involved that it was staged. It came immediately after the Eminem thing.

Taylor looked horrified and Beyonce won the big award and didn't get to give her speech. I just don't think MTV would go for giving a country star the last word.

And they escorted Kanye out -- he immediately posted a horrible apology on his blog (screen grab on my post about it

(of course they also let Russell Brand host twice, so who knows)

As for American Idol - yeah, totally agree. I can't even watch it.