Stars Earn Stripes – New Reality Show Is A Slap In The Face To The Men And Women Who Serve

Mark Burnett, the producer of Survivor and the up and coming McDonald’s T.V. is producing a new reality show, Stars Earn Stripes, think Mission Impossible meets Dancing with the Stars, which according to the press, “pays homage to the men and women who serve in the U.S. armed forces and our first responder services.” Eight celebrities are teamed up with experienced members of either law enforcement or the military to go on very scary missions that push them to their emotional and physical limits. At the end of the week they send the losing team home and at the end of the season the monies won by the winning team will go to a military or 1st responder charity of the team’s choice. This show is being hosted by the Retired General Wesley Clarke, that gives it grit, and the passionate Samantha Harris of Dancing With The Stars, that gives it sex, and the whole thing is flat-out wrong and my father, who is buried in Arlington Cemetery, is no doubt turning over in his grave.

According to the hype, celebrities such as Todd Palin and Nick Lackey are going to “face the challenges of real American heroes.” Being a veteran’s daughter and having worked with 9/11 first responders I’m pretty fucking clear on some of the challenges that many real American heroes face, and have faced, and to imply that Todd, Nick, or any of the celebrities on the show are facing the same challenges and dealing with the same issues as say the soldier on the front lines or the 9/11 and Colorado firefighter is beyond offensive. As offensive as a show that has the gall to spin itself as a salute to America’s heroes because it is staffing the crew with vets and making the job of the soldier and first responders accessible, relatable, to the American public. I guess that’s why firefighters and cop salaries across the country find their wages slashed to minimum wage, because the American people don’t really get what they do. I guess that’s why soldiers on the front lines earn as little $327 a week and the rate of suicide among returning soldiers in 2012 is higher than the number of their brothers and sisters killed on the battlefield because the American people just don’t understand the job. No doubt after Congress gets a look at Stars Earn Stripes they will leave the pensions of firefighters and cops alone, along with setting aside the sums of money for treating the mental health injuries of the returning vets. Of course Rush Limbaugh will recant everything he ever said about firefighters and cops not adding anything to the economy.


According to General Wesley Clark, “This new series pays tribute to members of our dedicated armed forces and civil law enforcement and I know that the winnings, which will be donated to first responder charity and veterans groups, will make a difference and send an important message.”

What message? That fake heroics are the equivalent of real heroics? That if you sign up to be soldier, a firefighter, or a cop it’s going to be like what you see on T.V. complete with commercial breaks and really cool toys, make-up, and hot girls with guns? That Stars Earn Stripes is what war looks, feels, and tastes like? That Burnett and company will make millions more than the monies going to charity and are no different than the criminal who writes the book and profits from his wrongs only they’re profiting from the lives of real heroes?

The truth is heroes shun the spotlight, the truth is heroes don’t think of themselves as heroes, they stepped up to the plate, they did their jobs, and that’s that. We owe the people who serve a lot more than a bullshit reality T.V. show

Here is the link to the petition to stop the show.

Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools. Katherine Manaan MAWT