Thursday, January 30, 2014

When Politicans and Wrestlers threathen reporters: Rep. Michael Grimm and WWE Champion Randy Orton get mad

Professional Wrestling is fake. Like Santa Claus, its an open secret many of us grow up not being aware of. Fake however only tells half the story. Whilst the Wrestlers adhere to a choreographed structure they may improvise their lines and moves to heighten audience reaction. Its highly dynamic as the audience and performers are sensitive and play off each other's cues.

In wrestling, "kayfabe" is the art of preserving the illusion that wrestling is real. There was a time when Wrestlers remained in character at all times, limited access in those days allowed for choreographed press stunts which maintained the ruse. Wrestling is real the same way Reality TV is, the audience senses its choreographed but in reality the lines are blurred. Wrestling has a higher level of hyperreality as they at times will intentionally obfuscate truth to keep fans guessing, this is called a "work". When real scandals occur and get played out in the media, they often incorporate these events into storylines. The line between fiction and reality is always in flux.

Real betrayals have happened in the ring, a Champion wrestler dropped his title unexpectedly due to real-life conflict with management. Dubbed the "Montreal Screwjob" there is still speculation as to how complicit the players were and how authentic the shock and anger was. When Owen Hart tragically died after collapsing in a high-wire stunt during the 'Over the Edge (1999)' PPV, the pretend nature of the business confused many in attendance. Staged dramatic injuries and deaths are commonplace in wrestling.

Outside of Sports Entertainment, comedian Sacha Baron Cohen is the most visible in carrying this tradition of performance art trickery. Following in the legendary footsteps of comedian and wrestling fan, Andy Kaufman. These pranks operate on realistic heightened performances in front of unsuspecting audience members. Some "actors" are in play and consent is usually guaranteed by establishments and operators beforehand. For best effect, important people including those appearing on-air are kept out of the loop to ensure authentic reactions.

VIDEO: Randy Orton goes off on a Mexican Reporter
following up on an irritating, trivial question
REPORTER: You sound pretty fragile?
RANDY ORTON: Listen to this. You wanna talk sh-t to me on your own show here and make you look cool. You wanna look cool? Say it to my face. I'm serious. Look at me, look at me, LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!!!. Now say it again, say it again. I DARE YOU TO SAY IT AGAIN!
Call me fragile. I will headbutt your teeth through your skull. Do you hear me?
REPORTER: You spit on me. That's not polite
ORTON: Say something funny again Boy! Say something funny.
REPORTER: I'm not trying to be funny.
ORTON: I'm done
Its unclear whether this Mexican Reporter was encouraged beforehand to antagonise Champion Wrestler Randy Orton but his producers surely got the content they were after. Veteran reporter John Stossel profiling Wrestling for 20/20 won north of $400,000 in damages after actually being hit by wrestler David "Dr D" Schultz in response to some provocative questioning. An example of when "Kayfabe goes wrong".

VIDEO: Reporter John Stossel slapped by David "Dr D" Schultz

Making headlines today, Republican Congressman Michael Grimm had a wrestling style outburst on camera after the 2014 State of the Union address. It echoes the traditional Reporter confrontations that happen in Pro-Wrestling but without the gains. Just real emotion from a hot blooded New Yorker.

VIDEO: Rep. Michael Grimm threatens attack News reporter during interview
REPORTER: So Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances. We wanted to get him on camera on that but as you saw he refused to get on camera to talk about that. Back to you.

Congressman Grimm returns to confront the reporter after the feed returns to the Station
REPORTER: What? I just wanted to ask you…
CONGRESSMAN GRIMM: Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f—–g balcony.
REPORTER: Why? I Just wanted to ask you

cross talk
GRIMM: If you ever do that to me again...
REPORTER: Why? Why? It’s a valid question.
GRIMM: No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.
This episode does not signal the end for Congressman Michael Grimm's political career. Anger Management is important in leadership but if this is in keeping with his character the voters will forgive him. At best his colorful personality can be parlayed into a media career outside of politics. Outspoken former Congressman Anthony Weiner is the shining example. He originally found attention for his impassioned Wrestling-style promos on the house floor, his political career derailed by a sexting twitter scandal. Anthony has remained relevant in the media landscape with his brash persona, becoming the Charles Barkley of Political Media if you will.

He offers his "humble opinion" to fellow New Yorker Michael Grimm in an Op-ed for the 'Daily News'
Anthony Weiner's advice to Rep. Michael Grimm on how to get along with reporters 
First, if you don’t want to talk about a scandal in which you’re embroiled, whatever that scandal may be, maybe it’s best that you don’t do interviews for a while. For that matter, you may not want to attend community meetings, visit your office or go a sporting event. Fact is, an investigation that’s hanging over your head is the kind of thing people might be curious about. People ask you about embarrassing stuff even when you want to talk about other things. Especially when you want to talk about other things...
- Find other Kayfabe posts here
- Republican James Oddo lays the smack down

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Seinfeld on Howard Stern speculating why Dennis Miller is doing Political talk "He's doing what he wants to do... but I don't like it"

Jerry Seinfeld offers his thoughts on friend Dennis Miller. His thoughts speak more to Jerry's outlook more than anything else.
VIDEO: Jerry Seinfeld on Howard Stern (June 26, 2013)
HOWARD STERN: (31m 35s) You mentioned a few minutes ago Dennis Miller. Dennis, brilliant standup comedian
JERRY SEINFELD: Brilliant, one of my favorites
STERN: But when you see what he's doing now, he's doing a Political show and stuff like that. Because you love standup comedy, do you sit there and think "Why is he doing that? Why is he revealing his hand politically"
SEINFELD: I think I know why he's doing it
STERN: Why is he doing it?
SEINFELD: That's what he wants to do
STERN: Yeah but does it bother you in some way?
SEINFELD: In some way
SEINFELD: I love comedy
STERN: Right and now you feel he's not being the funny guy, he's sort of being the angry -
SEINFELD: He's free to do that, that's his choice
STERN: That's understood that's his choice but I wanna know how you feel about it?
SEINFELD: I don't like it
STERN: Have you told him that
STERN: But what don't you like about it specifically
SEINFELD: I just miss funny Denny just doing bits. But a lot of those guys Howard they don't want to lift those weights. Its like going into the gym everyday. You know how you walk in everyday and you go "I gotta do his again? A lot of guys don't want to do it. Its brutal... but you're blessing in life is when you find the torture you're comfortable with