First of all, look who's back:
It's Stuart Brazell, the photogenic and venal woman who cast (alleged murderer and suicider) Ryan Jenkins on "Megan Wants a Millionaire!" This time, instead of being interviewed by the ridiculous Larry King, she's being interviewed by the ridiculous Jane Velez-Mitchell on a ridiculous Headline News Show called "Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell."
Just what are the important "issues" she grapples with on this episode? Well, besides the case of Ryan Jenkins-- and the scandal that is reality television in general-- she discusses the sad case of Yale murder victim Annie Le, and then
A horrific gang rape that makes me sick to my stomach. A young woman lured away from a party, tied up and brutally raped, allegedly by five men in a dormitory bathroom. First a murder, then a gang rape -- are universities the latest battleground in the war on women?
Here's Jane Velez-Mitchell's dispassionate examination of the case:
Now, this next story is really gut-wrenching. We`re gong to turn to a horrific crime against a female college student in just the last week. First, Annie Le`s tragic murder at Yale, now this: a young woman gang raped inside a bathroom at Hofstra University.
It turns my stomach. Police say the 18-year-old victim was at a nightclub on a Long Island campus Saturday, dancing with one of the suspects, Rondell Bedward (ph). He is also a student at Hofstra.
Cops say he grabbed her cell phone and walked out of the club. She went after him, which was allegedly all part of a sick plan. Police say he lured her to a dorm where a second man was waiting and then the two forced her into the men`s bathroom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DETECTIVE LT. JOHN ALLEN, NASSAU COUNTY, SPECIAL VICTIMS SQUAD: They bound her and they repeatedly entered the stall one at a time, trying to engage in different sexual activities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police say three other men then came into the room and the victim begged them for help but she didn`t know they were allegedly in on it. Police say they all took turns raping her.
The victim called campus police and four of the five suspects were arrested; the fifth still on the loose.
What is going on at our universities? Is the war on women now being waged on America`s campuses? It seems so.
That is a gut-wrenching story, told with real descriptive, wallowing relish by the host.
The only problem? It looks like it's not true:
The student who alleged she was gang raped by five men inside a Hofstra University dormitory bathroom on Sunday has admitted to making the entire story up, the Nassau County District Attorney's office confirmed on Wednesday night.
Charges against the four men arrested have since been dropped.
Perhaps the real war is being waged against men unjustly accused of gang rape by national television talk show hosts? What will Ms. Velez-Mitchell have to say about the case now? Will she apologize for actually giving out the name of the man who might not actually be guilty?
Will she say, "You know what? Maybe it's not quite so dangerous a world as I made it out to be on September 16th. Maybe there's not a war on women, but rather a few dangerous predators, and women don't need to look at every single man they come into contact with as an enemy in some kind of W*A*R!"?
The full transcript of the "nauseating" and "gut-wrenching" episode in question is here.
Here's a little taste of how she rehashes the Ryan Jenkins case:
Drugs, alcohol, violence; we are taking you inside the dangerous world of reality TV. Ryan Jenkins starred in two VH1 reality shows before allegedly brutally murdering his wife.
Model Jasmine Fiore was found stuffed inside a suitcase. This is really gross. Her fingers cut off, her teeth ripped out. She was so mutilated cops had to identify her by her breast implants.
The whole nation watched in horror as this real life drama unfolded. Ryan Jenkins went on the lam and it all ended in a very seedy motel room, where he hanged himself.
VH1`s "Megan Wants a Millionaire and "I Love Money 3" immediately yanked from the air; but the bigger issue, how was this psycho monster cast on a dating show? In this chilling VH1 clip, Jenkins seems quite normal.
So far, not much new. But I am anxious to get to the bottom of just how Mr. Jenkins was cast on the show. Can't wait for that insight.
Straight out to my expert panel: Terry Lyles, psychologist -- we need you so badly; Kim Serafin, senior editor, "In Touch Weekly" -- we need you too; Tanya Acker attorney who also appeared as a mentor on VH1`s Charm School so we need you too; and Stuart Brazell, casting director and you apparently actually cast Ryan Jenkins.
It's funny that Ms. Velez-Mitchell says she needs a psychologist "so badly." I guess maybe when you falsely accuse someone of gang rape on national television, you do need help. Anyway, to continue:
But I want to stress, it`s very important to say you were not responsible for doing the background check on him, where some of his previous record fell between the cracks. You`re deep in the reality TV world, Stuart. What impact has this horrific murder-suicide involving a reality TV star by the name of Ryan Jenkins -- looking at him right now -- what`s it had on the industry?
Okay, so Ms. Brazell didn't do the background check. Who did? Now is the time to ask that question, and maybe we can move on to other things. Like, you know, how a talk show host falsely accused someone of gang rape on her national talk show. Well, here's how Ms. Brazell answers the softball question that Ms. Velez-Mitchell threw at her:
STUART, BRAZELL, CASTING DIRECTOR: You know, I will say that the fans of these VH1 shows, when it`s kind of been coming out that VH1 is going to stray away from this programming, go for, you know, more celebrity-based shows, they love these shows. There`s a reason why VH1 has had success with these shows. There`s a fan base, that`s what they crave. They love this kind of outrageous behavior these shows offer.
Once again, Ms. Brazell-- as she did on Larry King-- implicates reality show fans. She is blameless; she's just giving the people what they crave.
They crave it! Dictionary.com defines "crave" thusly:
1. to long for; want greatly; desire eagerly: to crave sweets; to crave affection.
2. to require; need: a problem craving prompt attention.
3. to ask earnestly for (something); beg for.
4. to ask (a person) earnestly for something or to do something.
–verb (used without object)
5. to beg or plead (usually fol. by for).
Ms. Brazell is giving people something they beg for. That they require. That's all. She is so modest, and the viewers of VH1 reality shows should be on their knees, showing their appreciation to her.
Later, Ms. Velez-Mitchell offers this howler:
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ...[E]veryone stay right where you are, we are diving deep into the dysfunction of reality television right after the break. Stay right there.
And when she returns from her break... she does not dive deep into anything other than what we all already know about reality television. Her expert panel laments the coarsening effect that these shows have on our culture, leading to this:
ACKER: We have seen in this same week, if a Member of Congress heckle the president, we`ve seen rap stars go on and snatch an award from a 17- year-old girl and then we`ve also seen a really well-respected athlete throw a tantrum on the national stage.
Just so we're clear: Reality television is partly responsible for a member of congress "heckling" the president, Kanye West's MTV awards antics, and Serena Williams' standing up for herself by arguing a bad call in an important tennis match.
What she forgot to mention is the worst behavior of all:
Falsely accusing a man of gang rape on your national television show. Isn't that a little worse than "throwing a tantrum" (I am tired of that word, as I explained here) during a tennis match?
But I'm sure that Ms. Velez-Mitchell will only say that she's giving viewers what they crave.
By the way, thanks to frequent and invaluable commenter shampoo for alerting me to the fact that Stuart Brazell was on this hideous show.
JVM pic source.