Circus Minimus: Hallo Murray!

typed for your pleasure on 20 February 2009, at 11.05 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Telegram’ by The Brian Jonestown massacre

Upon waking up Wednesday afternoon, imagine my surprise when I received an Email with the Subject line ‘TV SHOW WANTS TO INTERVIEW YOU!’, from a Nicole Bader. Could it be a bold new forward-thinking magazine? Or perhaps some futurist-based television programme? Maybe she’s representing known robotics advocate David Levy? Nah; turns out she’s scouting out potential objects of ridicule for that chat show ringmaster, Maury Povich. Gah.

from: Nicole Bader
to: pulsedemon [at] gmail [dot] com
date: Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 2:35 PM

Hi Davecat,

My name is Nicole Bader and I work for a nationally syndicated television show in New York.

We are currently doing research for an upcoming program, and wanted to talk to you personally about your relationship with your Real Doll (s).

We simply are trying to gain insight and educate the public on these types of relationships.

Please contact me directly at [phone number] as soon as possible!

I look forward to hearing from you!

Nicole Bader
The Maury Povich Show
15 Penn Plaza, Grand Ballroom
New York, New York 10001

I’d also noticed that she’d sent a message to me via Myspace as well, which seemed a wee bit desperate, as I’m trying to ignore the fact that I have one and am advising all and sundry to do the same, but hey. So before my work shift ended for the day, I fired off a response:

from: Davecat
to: Nicole Bader
date: Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 10:57 PM

Hello Nicole –

Thanks for the offer to be on the Maury Povich show! Sadly though, I’m afraid I must turn it down. There’s a couple of factors that come into play:
+ I’ve no way to get to New York
+ carting Sidore round is more awkward than you’d think
+ some sort of monetary compensation would be needed, such as at least half the cost of a new body for Sidore — eight years is pretty up there in age for a Doll
+ studio audiences tend to put me off, and of course
+ a huge fear of misrepresentation, which is something that any true iDollator would empathise with.

If you’ll note on my blog, which I’m certain you’ve read, you’ll see that I’d turned down Tyra Banks, Geraldo Rivera, Dr Phil, Alan Colmes, and Jerry Springer for essentially the same reasons, so don’t take it personally! Again, thanks for the opportunity, though!

Davecat, with valued assistance from Sidore

Now, the funny (ha ha) thing was that at the same time I got Ms Bader’s request, I’d also received an Email from Meghan Laslocky, author of ‘Real Dolls: Love in the Age of Silicone‘, as we try to keep in touch periodically. She’d mentioned that Nicole had contacted her, asking after contact info from any Doll owners she knew; which, if you think about it, smacks a bit of lazy journalism. Instead of asking someone else, why not get your hands dirty and put out a request yourself? Apparently Nicole eventually did, as fellow Doll husband Mahtek told me that she’d made the same request round at that popular Internet forum that a lot of iDollators converge at, with predictable results (a lot of crossed arms, furrowed brows, and shaking heads).
So the very next day, I got another Email from her (bolding hers):

from: Nicole Bader
to: pulsedemon [at] gmail [dot] com
date: Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 10:06 AM

Hello Davecat!

I understand your concerns. We can provide certain solutions for all of your worries.

First and most importantly, many people I have spoken with have had certain hesitations, mainly because I’m asking for someone to possibly appear on camera to tell their story in front of an audience. As per my producing team, they will be fully respectful and briefed in every way, shape, and form. No guest will ever feel uncomfortable. My job is to ensure that.

Second, I assure you, the show is very well in tune with the needs and requests of ALL of our guests and we trulyare looking out for the best interest of the guest (s), while telling an interesting story and educating the American public so in fact this lifestyle will hopefully eventually be not SO taboo.

In the past, my staff and I have worked with different people in the transgender community, the porn industry, victims of peeping toms, victims of video voyeurism, and the list goes on. We treat each guest with enormous respect to how they want to be portrayed. We don’t talk for them, we let them tell what they want, to ultimately reach the American public to have them better understand their unique situation. To exploit or belittle anyone is not the way we focus our show. We simply provide the opportunity to get the word out on certain things.

In conclusion, if you are thinking about possibly working with us, compensation CAN be provided and travel and accommodations will also be all inclusive, including shipping Sidore, if that is the way you would prefer for her to arrive in New York.

Thank you for taking the time to respond and hopefully this better reaffirms my ultimate goal for this specific show.

The head producer of my team, Holly Mirabella, would very much like to talk to you about the exact details and reaffirm everything that I have gone over.

Please contact me directly at [phone number] to speak with us in detail about compensation, travel, or any other concerns you may have.

Thank you!

Nicole Bader
The Maury Povich Show
15 Penn Plaza, Grand Ballroom
New York, New York 10001

*sigh* As you’ll note, not once did she remark upon the whole ‘half the cost of a new Doll’ quote I’d thrown in there (that’s roughly $3250 USD, if you’re keeping score). With requestees that I’m not entirely keen on, I always make that one of my fulfilments, in order to sort the wheat from the chaff. If a potential interviewer, chat show host, or programme that I’m leery of honestly wants me to participate blindfolded in their Atrocity Exhibition, they’re gonna have to satisfy my demands. All told, an amount such as that would be a drop in the bucket for Murray Povich Industries.
And yes, I’m aware his name’s ‘Maury’, but that’s how Letterman always referred to him whenever he was hitting on Maury’s wife, Connie Chung, which brought me no end of amusement. And with good reason!
Anyway: my subsequent response?

from: Davecat
to: Nicole Bader
date: Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 7:35 PM

Hello Nicole –

If nothing else, you certainly drive a hard bargain! But I fear that I’m still going to have to refuse your offer.

I understand that your stated intent is to expose your show’s audience to the idea the concept of Dolls as companions, and that’s admirable. However, at this stage in the game, really, it’s the iDollator community who have to choose the fields of battle that we fight on whenever possible. Although the success of a film like ‘Lars and the Real Girl’ has opened a lot of people’s minds to the concept, unfortunately the majority of American society still can’t fathom the idea of a Doll being more than ‘just a sex toy’, and unfortunately, the majority of people that think that way are usually found watching afternoon television. Plus, the simple fact that you’d mentioned ‘the transgender community, the porn industry, victims of peeping toms, victims of video voyeurism’, indicates that the overall tone of the programme would undoubtedly be based on a sexual or a prurient slant, which obviously would not be a direction I’d want to be involved with.

So there you go! Once again, thank you for your offer, but I’m afraid that’s my final decision. Take care!

Davecat, with valued assistance from Sidore

he said, dusting off his hands when he was done typing. And egad, was that a huge paragraph, or what? But hopefully my intent should be clear.

Getting back momentarily to the five-page post on that online iDollator community site I’d mentioned, there were one or two people who said they might be interested in appearing on Murray’s programme, as I suppose they believe that there’s no such thing as bad press on American telly. I was reminded of how Laura of ‘If I Was a Rich Girl‘ professed her love for trash tv, particularly Murray, and her post about how he tortured a girl with a long-standing fear of pickles by dragging her to a pickle factory. Bizarre, yes, but it just goes to show you how ‘sensitive’ the show is in handling that which is different or unusual.

Hopefully that’ll be the gamut of tabloid chat shows, and their inappropriate requests! O wait, Oprah’s not put in her bid. *shudders* She could pull one of her wealth-flaunting stunts: ‘Everyone in the audience gets a new Doll!’ Ahh, if only

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Phil and his short-term memory loss / A stunning likeness! on February 3rd, 2011

Circus Minimus: Here we go again! on January 21st, 2008

8 have spoken to “Circus Minimus: Hallo Murray!”

  1. Kat writes:

    It sounds kooky but I get some of the really strange ones re: my part in the furry community. Once in a while, I make contact with someone who has genuine interest and already has apprehensions about alarming me.

    However I have, in contrast, gotten the likes of SpikeTV trying to throw another really brainless show together. Are they just out of ideas?

  2. Davecat writes:

    If you think about it, did SpikeTV ever really have any ideas??

  3. Laura writes:

    You went much too easy on them. I would have demanded a ‘I was a Geek in High School’ but Look at Me Now’ make over for Sidore and a DNA test to boot.
    While I do love the Murray show (and Letterman!) I think you made the right choice 🙂

  4. Mahtek writes:

    The show may be sensitive to you, but you can be sure the audience would be brutal. Sidore would be best advised to stay away from those shows until she can master the proper technique for swinging a folding chair as a weapon.

    You properly picked up that they are only interested in the sexual aspect. No need to worry about being asked any questions needing high level brain function. Those questions and answers would only confuse the audience.

  5. Kat writes:

    Yeah. Spike Tv…..well……
    Incidentally I re-read this article to Stego and he promptly cracked up, remembering the odd requests we get.


  6. PBShelley writes:

    Good job in deflecting yet another mudpie-flinging session! The show’s representative may say, the production staff may say, and the host may say thet they will Bear You No Malice, but in the end it’s what words they edit and the camera-use they choose to snip together. The end result most likely will be sensationalist.

    Add to that pungent little mixture the audience. Just LOOK at any random daytime talk-show’s audience. Now look at them look at you. *shudder*

    I feel that I can add a “’nuff said” at this point 😉

    BUT: I feel that the print media is still the best way to go (with photos by Stacy Leigh 🙂 )

    One, it leaves more to the imagination, and as The Dolls are so much creatures of the imagination, or enhanced there, that that medium allows more reasoned approaches toward investigating their mystique (assuming an interviewer of open-mindedness).

    Two, The Dolls simply do not present themselves well on camera, ESPECIALLY given the director’s most-likely tendency to have them appear “freakish”; sensationalism = ratings after all.

    Three, Journalists can more easily be “cleared” well before an interview, while television’s ringmasters -er, “conductors” (let’s say), will say and promise anything in order to get the show THEY want, not what you intend. As evidenced by your growing collection of query-letters LOL

    In any case, keep fending them off until Oprah guarantees airfare, lodging, and a new doll for us (apiece), and the latitude to ensure that our story is told honestly and will be viewed sympathetically. If it isn’t, the rights to have the interview cancelled.

    Oh, and we’d get to keep the dolls 😀

    There really probably isn’t any other show worth the while and hassle to be on, to be honest.

    Hey, stranger things have happened!

    Regards to all,
    PBS, Lily-chan, and Eden-in-a-box

  7. Davecat writes:

    How is it possible that you have read my very mind as if it were an open book? More like, an open issue of ‘Highlights for Children’? 😀

    But yeah, that was exactly what I was thinking; I could be onstage and make a compelling pro-Synthetiks case with an eloquence to rival that of, I dunno, Jarvis Cocker, but when the editor crew get their hands on it, the aired episode would more than likely be vastly different to what was said in the studio. And once you agree to appear on shows such Murray Povich’s, you’re pretty much giving up your rights to your words, ideas, and personality. And I seriously doubt, apart from maybe something on PBS, that there are any television shows in the States that would be non-sensationalist and even-handed in their interviews with iDollators, cos sadly, the majority of the American telly viewing audience loves its dwama. How else would one explain ‘reality’ tv? Or awards shows? Or any show with the word ‘America’ in the title? Or etc etc

    Print is somewhat of a more forgiving media, for exactly the reasons you’d mentioned. Unless you’re in Korea, that is. 😐

    Give the lasses a kiss from the pair of us! 🙂

  8. PBShelley writes:

    Dammit, I just spent half an hour typing a repsonse and it was all for naught! Got an error and when I refreshed the page it was gone 🙁

    Just a lesson to all you kiddies out there: COPY your entries before you click “Post”!!! Then at least you can Paste it into another Reply window…

    Gah, how could I forget!!!???

    In essence, I guess I could sum up my aborted Reply thusly: YES!

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