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December 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Sen. Joe Manchin III

If MTV producers had hoped to stir up the same sort of controversy for Buckwild that accompanied the debut of Jersey Shore in 2009, they apparently have succeeded. One month before the new reality series debuts, on-air promos have already angered some residents of West Virginia, where it is set, and prompted the state’s junior senator, Joe Manchin III, to fire off a letter to MTV President Stephen Friedman in which he called the show a “travesty.” According to the Washington Post, Manchin has seen only previews of the show, but that was enough for him to accuse of MTV of coaxing the show’s young cast “into displaying shameful behavior.” In an interview on NBC’s Today show, he remarked: “To portray this as the norm is wrong. … Is this entertainment? Is this what you have to do today to make a profit?” When Today show host Matt Lauer suggested that such depictions are the norm for reality TV, Manchin shot back, “This is not reality, this is not real West Virginia. … They come in here and coerce these students or these young people, they pay them money, promise them fame and fortune, they had four and five takes until they got it outrageous enough to show it. Now, that’s not reality.”