Last year, if I remember correctly, there was a major controversy surrounding RTE’s reality TV show Operation Transformation. As I recall some person of authority strongly attacked one of the contestants for something or other.
The incident resulted in wall-to-wall coverage and comment, generating massive publicity for the programme.
And now, amazingly, the same thing has happened this year.
So here’s the reality of reality shows.
This show, like all other reality shows, has just one principal aim – to make lots and lots of money.
The principal resource for such shows is an endless supply of naïve, desperate people who are willing to humiliate themselves in front of the nation in the hope of solving their problems and/or enjoying their 15 minutes of famosity.
The more people that watch the show the bigger the profit, so a big effort goes into promoting the product and by far the best, and most cynical, promotional strategy is the creation of controversy – hence the annual charade.
Somebody called Dr. Ciara Kelly was the vehicle for this year’s controversy.
It may be that this doctor is completely unaware of the standard strategy of promoting such shows; it may be that her motives are entirely genuine.
It may be that her one mission in life is to do all she can to help people like Eilish, the victim in this year’s controversy – but, somehow, I doubt she’s as naïve as her victim.
Dr. Kelly should have dropped the matter once the annual controversy had garnered the required publicity but she lost the run of herself and began lecturing the nation on the evils of drink.
The doctor tells us in her article that:
Yes, I was speaking to Eilish, but I wasn’t talking about Eilish.
So, she was exploiting Eilish’s weakness as a vehicle to deliver a rant to the nation? Not exactly a professional approach to a medical problem.
Here’s some of what she said to her victim.
I’m disgusted (by your behaviour) because there are people around the country following you.
There are young people watching this show, there are kids watching this show and I thought that was appalling.
This week was an abomination.
I was embarrassed for you and I was disgusted to see you, you let the programme down. You let your followers down and with respect to Eilish, you let yourself down.
Ok, I might be missing something here but these brutal, deeply insulting comments do not sound like they were aimed at the general population.
They sound more like an individual abusing her position of authority to stoke up a controversy to promote the commercial interests of a reality show.
No reasonable person would deny that drink abuse is a very serious problem in Ireland. But if Dr. Kelly is serious about helping the situation I would suggest she does it in a measured, professional manner.
I would suggest she desist from exploiting vulnerable people to promote what looks like self-promotion and the promotion of RTEs commercial interests.