Jewish World Review June 2, 2003 / 2 Sivan, 5763

Joe Scarborough

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“Alternative-lifestyle bachelor”? | If you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to reality TV, stick around. In the words of Bachman Turner Overdrive, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”

FIRST OF ALL, an admission: I have always thought of myself as Joe Middle-America. My tastes are decidedly mainstream. I’ll take McDonalds over French food any day of the week. I prefer Converse Chuck Taylors to $120 running shoes and I spent the 70’s watching “All in the Family, “the 80’s watching “Cheers” and the 90’s watching “Friends.”

But I’ve never really gotten into this reality show craze. Watching people choke down the bowels of animals or bathe themselves in a vat of worms is not my idea of must-see TV. But I am in the minority.

Reality TV continues to be all the rage with the kids, and now, Bravo is taking the concept to new highs, or lows, considering your outlook. In its upcoming series, “Boy Meets Boy,” Bravo will be airing a gay man’s version of “The Bachelor,” where a gay leading man selects his mate from 15 male suitors. If you’re shocked, you shouldn’t be, it was only a matter of time.

But here’s the troubling twist: some of the so-called suitors are straight and have no interest in switching teams, so to speak. It’s Joe Millionaire-meets-Jenny Jones. And it is a hook that has both pro and anti-gay groups concerned. As it should. Most Americans remember when Jenny Jones tried a similar stunt nearly ten years ago. That deception led to the murder of a TV guest, and a lawsuit that continues to hang over the Jones show today.

It sounds like shock TV is more geared toward gasps than entertainment. But make no mistake of it, Bravo is playing with fire. Let’s just hope the end of “Boy Meets Boy” has a happier ending than the Jenny Jones tragedy.

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Former Congressman Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.) hosts “Scarborough Country,” 10 p.m. ET, weeknights on MSNBC. Comment by clicking here.

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