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From Natalie Andrews at the Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire:
While many lawmakers spent the summer break campaigning or with constituents, Senators Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) and Martin Heinrich (D., N.M.) spent a week stranded in Eru, a deserted island in the Marshall Islands, with nothing but their clothes and three items between them – and a TV crew. The senators paired up to create “Rival Survival” – a reality show set to air on Discover Channel about two political adversaries spending six days and six nights on a deserted island.
Two senators, I’m sure, chosen totally on the basis of their survival skills:
Tune in next year when John Thune and Kirsten Gillibrand have to hash out their partisan differences in a sauna!
Now, I don’t want to tell the folks at Discovery how to do their job (my TV production experience having ended with my abrupt dismissal from the Oxygen Network), but this strikes me as a missed opportunity:
The island is truly deserted, said Discovery Channel spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg. There was no source of freshwater and the waters surrounding the island are home to “the largest shark sanctuary in the world.” There was also no source of food on the island, making it likely that the senators had to wade into shark-infested waters to eat.
“There was no cheating, they had to work together, they had to play nice together,” said Ms. Goldberg.
Wait, let me get this straight: You had the opportunity to put members of Congress in water teeming with aquatic death machines… and you thought the ratings hook would be how they worked together? Get back to me when you produce the show where Barbara Mikulski has to fight off a hammerhead. If you’re going to kill off whatever modicum of dignity remains in American government, at least do it with some panache.