Here’s a story from me about the advent of TMZ in DC. One of the folks I spoke with was Mary Matalin, who peered down her nose a bit at the idea of DC reality shows (of course, she was in K Street, but that was in a different league of shows that blurred the line of reality/fiction). “The connection between Hollywood and politics goes way the heck back, the first public diplomacy,” she mused. “I guess reality TV is something recent, just a subset of that historic connection… If people find that having TV cameras follow them around is fun, then go for it, but it’s long been said that politics is show business for ugly people.”
When I asked TMZ’s Harvey Levin about DC’s shortage of beautiful people, he responded: “I don’t think we judge things by who’s ugly who’s pretty: it’s just a story. The better way to think about it is a lot of people think that DC is boring and it’s not—these are people who are elected because they have some charisma.” Sure, that’s why C-SPAN is so well rated.