I read your review, and applied some more brainpower to this conundrum. Doubtless there will be blackouts all over California tomorrow.
One point mentioned in your review is that Stacey is ironically at least partly the bitch she was portrayed as. Even with clever editing, it’s difficult to portray a person as something he’s not, especially over an extended period of time, like we saw in Survivor.
That being the case, if Dirk was portrayed as a little weak-minded, weird, and a flake, he would have to be showing those aspects of his personality for them to be captured on film and exploited. Doubtless he’s more than that, but Dirk seemd to be the least reliable and level-headed player with the exception of Sean.
I don’t find him to be as reliable a witness as you do, and I don’t give his testimony as much credence.
I’m not saying it didn’t happen, I’m suggesting that we would have to have more corroborative evidence. Otherwise, it’s Burnett’s word vs. Dirk’s.
We seem to agree that there is too much influence occuring from the production side of the game. Exactly what degree of influence was exerted and its effect will probably remain a matter for speculation only.
We also agree that there will inevitably be a greater degree of give and take between contestants and staff as a consequence of the fluid nature of reality shows. This is to be expected and accepted.
The soap opera “feel” of this kind of game show may explain the publics lackadaisical atittude toward tampering.
Based upon what you’ve read, what penalties if any do you feel should be forthcoming against CBS and Burnett?
I tend to think that due to the unique nature of the venture at the time that deliberate tampering with the outcome is unlikely and the crew’s influence was probably motivated by trying to get get footage. I don’t see any cause for penalties.
However, I do think that safeguards need to be put into place. Something akin to the insider trading rules which govern Wall Street should be appropriate.
Perhaps interactions between crew and contestants should be limited, and recorded whenever they occur.
On the other hand how would this effect the bombshells that the host tradittionally drops during tribal council?
Some of the best of the show is engendered from the host screwing with the contestant’s minds, dropping big hints, and engendering paranoia.
Clearly though, at the very least, production needs to be warned that any suggestions or information they pass on to contestants needs to pass the same test that Wall Street uses. Is it material? Is it nonpublic (unknown to the contestants?)
Finally, like Wall Street, there needs to be what’s known as a “Chinese Wall” as far as the conveyance of information goes. What this means is that material nonpublic information cannot be disclosed except in a public forum.
For example, if the host says during Tribal council “You guys have been running low on food. Tagi tribe seems to be eating well because they’re catching fish.” That would be an acceptable disclosure.
Having a producer take somebody aside from Pagong and showing them how Rich catches fish, and telling them how that’s increased Rich’s status, and suggesting that he do the same or he’ll get voted off would be an unacceptable disclosure.
One may argue that even the former of the two shouldn’t occur, but I think some laxity is allowable due to the nature of the show. The former is meant to stir things up and make things interesting. The outcome is not being planned or created. In the latter example the information is being delivered in a different fashion where manipulation is clearly the intent.