Talker from Salon.com's "The Fix" section on arts and entertainment:
What reality can teach us: If you can get past the fact that the author of the pro-reality-TV story in the new Atlantic Monthly, Michael Hirschorn, is also an executive vice president at VH1, a channel with its fair share of reality programming, the piece does put forward an interesting thesis. Hirschorn calls reality TV "the liveliest genre on the set right now. It has engaged hot-button cultural issues -- class, sex, race -- that respectable television, including the august 'CBS Evening News,' rarely touches. And it has addressed a visceral need for a different kind of television at a time when the Web has made more traditionally produced video seem as stagey as Moliere." ("The Case for Reality TV," Atlantic Monthly)
The article can be found here (but keep the above information in mind when reading because the article is from The Atlantic Monthly, but was highlighted with the above information on Salon.com):
What the snobs don’t understand
The Case for Reality TV
his past January, I had the pleasure of serving as official spear-catcher for a CBS Evening News report on the increasing levels of humiliation on American Idol and other reality-TV shows, including some on my channel, VH1. The segment featured snippets of our shows I Love New York (a dating competition with an urban vibe) and Celebrity Fit Club (which tracks the efforts of overweight singers and actors to get back in shape, and, by extension, reignite their careers). “VH1, among other things, showcases faded celebrities who are fat,” said the CBS correspondent Richard Schlesinger.