Friday, January 17, 2014

Ben Jones speaks out about new "Party Down South" reality show

Ben ("Cooter Davenport") Jones of "The Dukes of Hazzard" has never been afraid to speak out on stuff he feels strongly about over the years, such as the 2005 movie treatment of "The Dukes" and Warner Bros.' rumored plans to remove the Confederate flag from "Dukes" merchandise a couple years back. Now, he's got a viewpoint to share about the new reality TV show "Party Down South," currently being promoted by CMT and premiering last night. Here's his statement, reprinted with permission ...


It seems to me that by relentlessly promoting the sleazy “Party Down South” during commercial breaks for the family-friendly “Dukes of Hazzard” that CMT is cynically insulting the sensibilities, the values, and the intelligence of our audience. Any sensible viewer would have to ask “why?” and the answer, unfortunately, lies in the tastes and sensibilities of the folks in Santa Monica, California where CMT program decisions are made, and in New York City, where CMT’s corporate ownership Viacom is located. The idea of these folks making decisions about country music programming, heartland values, and the ways of Southern and rural Americans is ludicrous at best. But their decisions demean our heartland’s culture and debase our traditions.

When the unacceptable becomes acceptable, when the bar is continually being lowered, what then is unacceptable? Unfortunately, we already have the answer: not much.

I am offended that CMT is insensitive to their obvious and blatant insult. I guess these folks are just too immersed in their own lifestyles to understand their audience. And according to their press releases, the network has bought a number of these so-called “reality” series. They are counting on shows like “Party Down South” (previously named “The Dirty South”) to pay the freight for what was once a great Country Music and Americana network. Hopefully, this foul and dreadful show will meet an early demise, and be replaced by upbeat, positive Nashville entertainment.

 Anyhow, I am always amazed at the good hearts and moral tenacity of our fans. I guess we all learned a little bit about right and wrong somewhere along the way. Thanks for your clear message to CMT. They really need to hear it. Spread the word, y’all.

Personally, I am sick and tired of having my native Southland portrayed in the national media by shows like “Party Down South” aka “The Dirty South”. Shame on these people. "Dukes Of Hazzard" fans can leave comments for CMT on this page:

 Ben Jones aka “Cooter”

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