In an election season when many Americans already feel like voting a few presidential candidates off the island, MySpace and reality show guru Mark Burnett want to cater to that impulse: The News Corp.-owned social network and the man behind Survivor are creating Independent, a political reality show they hope will run on both the Web and broadcast TV.
The show will pit aspiring political candidates against each other in a contest for a $1 million prize, which must be donated to a political cause or used for the winner’s own attempt to run for office.
Isn’t this kind of redundant? Politics is already more or less a reality show, with a whole bunch of hyperconfident contenders publicly vying for a top prize and the public slowly voting all but one of them out.
Of course, if someone wanted to pluck out whatever civility and substance is left in American politics, this is probably the best way to go about it. No doubt we can expect that eventually, when the appeal of the show in its initial form runs dry, we’ll see a Fear Factor edition in which the candidates are required to eat bugs or otherwise cavort with creeping, slimy creatures as contestants on such shows constantly seem to be doing. Lovely.