Thursday, June 17, 2010

Discovery catches some flack for the death theme to attract viewers

While the cliffhanger ending of Little People, Big World has obviously worked better than Discovery/TLC and the Roloffs could have imagined - Matt is trending topic on the internet and is in all the gossip sites - going the way of Jon and Kate without the divorce -- but they're also starting to catch some flack.

The Washington Post has an article "Discovery Does Death" and does a good job portraying how the episode of LPBW played up the death storyline throughout the episode.

"Fatal attraction: Discovery lures viewers with a morbid theme"

There are a couple of corrections I would make to the Washington Post article. One, as we pointed out - the dramatic scene with Matt collapsed on the floor was not filmed in the fall, it was filmed in the summer of 2009.

Second, I must defend "bloggers" a bit. It's interesting to see how a story can spread and facts can be reported incorrectly when more and more sites that don't usually follow the Roloffs jump on a story.

Almost all of the article or blog postings were shooting down the rumors. The majority of headlines said "Matt Roloff Heart Attack rumors -- He did not have a heart attack" or "Is Matt Roloff dead? He is alive and well".

Our site can vouch for the fact that the show succeeded into leaving trusting viewers worried about Matt. Within hours there were thousands upon thousands of inquiries and search terms of people asking "What happened to Matt Roloff?" Did Matt Roloff have a heart attack? Did Matt Roloff die".

From that, most sites and blogs were publishing stories "Matt Roloff is not dead" -- because the show had successfully fooled trusting viewers into worrying about Matt -- as the Washington Post article pointed out - with the whole theme of Matt talking about his poor health and dying throughout the show and then to end with Matt on the floor.

We actually didn't see too many - if any - actual reports that Matt had died or that he had a heart attack. Almost all of it was saying it was false. Then as soon as that started to become popular, the spammer sites re-post a headline such as "Matt Roloff heart attack - video" -- which are just fake headlines that lead people to spam and virus sites. Then because of that, there are just more and more things on the internet with that headline and that's what makes a particular subject catch steam on the internet.

As our readers know -- since we "Keep Up With the Roloffs" all of the time, it's interesting to see what happens when people and sites who aren't as familiar with the Roloffs jump on board.

Some of the reports about the "rumors" were saying that Matt was alive and well because his wife, Amy, was posting on his Facebook that Matt was fine and in New, no that's not correct. Amy posted on her charity foundation, but certainly not on Matt's profile page.

Other reports from more mainstream publications about the rumors said that when Matt found out that people thought he was dead, he posted a picture of himself on Facebook and assured his worried fans he was okay.....No, that's not correct either.

As our readers know, what really happened was Matt was posting on Facebook as he usually does. He was posting during the airing of the show. Then when it became clear that there was thousands of people worried about him and rumors of a heart attack of even of his death -- that's precisely when his posts were suddenly removed -- or as Matt now claims - when he had a "security issue" so his staff deleted them. So it wasn't a case of Matt posting to calm the fears of his worried fans. It was the opposite -- it was Matt (or Matt's staff if you believe Matt) removing his posts just as they were realizing that they were getting all of this attention for the death and heart attack rumors or if you believe Matt - it was just the worst possible timing to have a "security issue" that caused his staff to wipe out his posts. Yet as the story grew, suddenly the sequence of events became "Matt posted later that night after the show aired to assure fans he was alright" - which isn't what happened Monday night at all. They let the story build steam before Matt finally posted his message and made his statement to TMZ.


Anonymous said...

Why don't we all just stop helping the Roloffs suceed with their fame and fortune.We can all start by not watching their up coming season 6 show. Another way is by not going to their farm for tours and don't buy any pumpkins doing pumpkins season, and don't buy nothing off of their website. And to top it off stop booking them and getting them to come and speak at different church's school's, fundraising social events. If they can heart us all in our hearts and minds why don't we all do the same to them and the TLC channel by just not having nothing to do with none of them at all period. We will all then see how they will all fade away for good. And if Matt and his family continue to strive good well then let it be only by the locals in their commuinty because I my self am thru with them all as of right now.

Anonymous said...

Matt and the tlc guys are now trying to do damage control? Isn't it a little bit to late to do something now? You guys should have though about that before airing that pointless ending to the season finale show on Monday night June 14 what's done is done. No turning back now Matt and tlc.

Greg said...

I don't think they are doing damage control.

I think Matt is LOVING the attention and is laughing his a** off at how he played the audience for suckers.

Same with TLC. They love any publicity.

BeckyM said...

The everyday viewer is learning more and more that "reality" television is not real. News sources are using bloggers (CNN has Ireports which I refuse to read as they are not researched "news") and photos can be manipulated to show whatever they want.

I predict that future generations will become even more cynical and disbelieving of what they see in the media, especially television and the Internet.

I also believe that though this specific incident will boost ratings in the short come, that the fake and staged illness scene by Matt will backfire on them all.

The show has jumped the shark.

Peter said...

FTR, Matt deleted his facebook posts again. In his only facebook post about his great demise depicted on tv, he said he was going on a camping trip with the boys for Fathers day.

Then he deleted.

Oh, must be another "security issue"...

Like someone else said, why does he bother posting if he just deletes it?

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy the Roloffs. Please don't cancel it.

Anonymous said...

To bad I live for this show!