Throwing Shade

BLOG: 'Party Down South 2' trailer proves trashy publicity is not good publicity

As unfortunate as the truth may be sometimes, it's still the truth.

And for South Mississippians, apparently the more trashy the publicity, the more clicks it receives.

When Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel approved on Wednesday a recommendation that all military personnel helping with Ebola efforts in Africa be quarantined upon departure, South Mississippi learned soldiers in Gulfport's NMCB 133 would have to follow this protocol after leaving Liberia.

The story gained no traction on our Facebook page or website. The comments were scarce.

When we reported that "Party Down South 2" was filming in Biloxi and a woman from Wiggins was a cast member on the show, I'm surprised the website didn't explode from all of the clicks on the story.

Admittedly, it was the first thing I read when I got to the office last week. The hundreds of comments had to be closely moderated for days, and the 6-inch story was one of the most read items on Sun Herald's website for three days.

Do we care more about a television show or the future of Ebola? Are we reading stories that really matter? Why are we so consumed with trash television that depicts Southern culture in a terrible light? I put myself in the same category -- I hate everything "Party Down South" represents, but I still watched the trailer that was released on Entertainment Weekly's website.

First of all, reality television is so misleading. Unlike the characters on "Party Down South 2," I didn't know traits of a 24-year-old southern man included taking a shower in ketchup and mustard and driving off-road vehicles in circles of mud repeatedly. I've never twerked on top of a watermelon or called "dibs" on someone because I found them attractive. I've never punched a friend in the face in a drunken rage, and I may have danced with a stuffed animal once, but I can't remember if I've gotten into an argument with a stuffed deer in a drunken stupor.

As long as we keep feeding into trash television and misleading tourism, Mississippi will always struggle to receive positive publicity on a national scale.

Is all publicity good publicity? Maybe. But should we sell our souls to a false description of our culture for the chance of making a prime time slot or entertainment news headline? I vote no.

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