Someone Pays When Reality TV Goes Too Far

The Miami Herald's Leonard Pitts Jr. tackles the problems of reality TV in light of the suicide of the estranged husband of a star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

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Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (Getty)

Leonard Pitts Jr., in his Miami Herald column, takes a look at problems surrounding reality TV in light of the suicide death of the estranged husband of a star of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

One imagines the promo will pretty much write itself.

"Don't miss a moment of the high fashion, high drama and hijinks as Real Housewives of Beverly Hills returns for Season 2. Join the pampered princesses of the world’s most famous Zip code as they struggle with questions all the money in the world cannot answer. Can sisters Kim and Kyle repair their broken relationship after last season's fight? Can Camille find happiness in her new life without Kelsey? And, what will Taylor do when she finds out her estranged husband committed suicide after seeing his private life played out as a cheesy soap opera to sell hemorrhoid medicine and feminine hygiene products to a mass audience?"

Maybe you find the foregoing an unsuitably cynical response to last week's news that a fellow named Russell Armstrong hanged himself and that people around him blame it on the pressures of seeing his wife, reality star Taylor Armstrong file for divorce as his finances crumbled (the L.A. Times calls him a "struggling entrepreneur" with a $12 million debt) and an audience looked on. But it seems to me the real cynicism is embodied in a TV show's decision to treat people's actual lives and misfortunes as entertainment. 

Read Leonard Pitts' entire column at the Miami Herald.

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