The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

January 25, 2013

Manchin says he won’t watch MTV’s ‘Buckwild’

BECKLEY — You won’t find Sen. Joe Manchin in his easy chair, using the remote to surf to MTV so he can take in an episode of “Buckwild.”

Manchin despises the show that purports to show life as it is among the youth of West Virginia.

The senator triggered a firestorm of comment around the state, and elsewhere, last month after he called on MTV to cancel the program, in advance of its Jan. 3 debut.

MTV ignored his request and has been airing it ever since.

“Nope,” Manchin told West Virginia reporters Thursday, when asked if he has taken in an episode.

“Not going to, either.”

 To the inquiring reporter, he said, “I haven’t seen your name on the roster, either.”

“Listen,” he continued, “I don’t call that a reality show. I call it entertainment.

“As sick as it is, if that’s what you’re into, then watch it, because it’s entertainment. It sure as hell is not reality in West Virginia. That’s all I’m going to say.”

When the first publicity teaser appeared on the social network Facebook in December, irate West Virginians bemoaned the show as demeaning to their home state and, for the most part, sided with Manchin’s dissent.

Manchin followed his criticism by sending a letter to MTV President Stephen Friedman, asking him to remove the show, which he labeled “a travesty.”

The plea went unheeded.

“You saw the response,” the senator said, when asked if he ever heard back from MTV.

“They’re still running it.”

The program was filmed around Sissonville and other areas of the state and seeks to show how young West Virginians resort to a variety of means to amuse themselves, including a makeshift swimming pool in the back of a large truck.

Manchin said the show is unrealistic, since the true West Virginia is a state filled with hard-working, law-abiding and patriotic men and women.

“That’s not my form of entertainment,” he said of “Buckwild.”

— E-mail: mannix@register-herald.com

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