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So, I get an email... UPDATED

From: Courtney 
To: John 
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2012 1:11 AM
Subject: New NBC Competition Series - "Stars Earn Stripes"

Hi there,

I wanted to reach out to you about a new show we have premiering on NBC Aug. 13th at 8/7c – Stars Earn Stripes. It’s a new reality TV series, produced by Mark Burnett and Dick Wolf, that is unlike any other. Eight celebrities will be taken to a secret camp, where their limits will be tested. Each celebrity will be paired with a REAL military or law enforcement agent to compete with real weapons, real ammunition, real explosions on missions unlike any other seen on television. In the end, it’s all about understanding one thing, true bravery.

We have a new clip for you below which premiered at this year’s Summer Press Tour. Please let us know if you’d like to continue receiving content for the show. We hope you enjoy!


Now, in truth, I don't really want to push the show, so I stripped out the links that were in the note, but we're going to give Courtney a little pop for her efforts at mass market emails.  I did send her a note in response...
Courtney -

There's no way you could possibly know this... but you're typing to someone who served under General Clark.

We called him the PoD. The Prince of Darkness.

This is nothing to with you - but the PoD is a venal, backstabbing ass of the first order. He never did me personal harm, but I watched him ruin others with the same motivation a cat torturing a mouse has.

The professional military I work with think it's *hilarious* that the PoD finds himself doing this. But not in a way that is a recommendation.

I wish the show well, but with Clark being the talking head, there's no way I'm going promote it.

Nor am I going to watch it. You may call it real bravery on the part of the celebrities, but real bravery involves facing it and embracing it day after day, at the going rates. Not having to hold it together enough to get through a couple of episodes of a show.

Which doesn't mean it's a bad show pitch, or that it will be a bad show.

Just that my readers aren't your target audience.

Keep me in your rolodex for other ones, however!



Courtney responded - with class and aplomb.  Apparently I'm not the only one who's not a fan of the PoD...
Hi there John,

Thanks for letting me know. I’ve had a few that are cut from a similar cloth. I appreciate your feedback and we will be sure we remove you from the list for this show. However, as more opportunities arise, I will be sure to reach out in order to gauge your interest.

Thanks so much John!


Heh. Yer replying email is obviously from the heart, judging by lapses in wording. In my experience, people who've been there, done that, got the t-shirt don't brag about it unless you get them really really drunk and it's really late at night. Then you want them to stop talking, because of the ickiness of what they have to say.
 Yeah, I'm not the cat.

"What the Lieutenant *meant* to say..."
Given that ;you actually have a cinematic history with the POD, bringing his monumental masterpiece to the silver screen, I am not surprised that you do not want to be involved in the sequel.  I've always thought that your production could have done better at the box office if you had only included bulldozers a la John Wayne in the "Fighting Seabees".

I'll leave it to you to explain the details of your movie career with POD.
Hey, John.  you made a serious typo.

You wrote that Clark was "POD."

Should have been "POS."

You're welcome.
As the one who introduced the world to the PoD as the PoD, I stand by what I wrote.

But tell us how you really feel, J(NTA)!

BTW - when can I expect the Toy Truck?
(snickers) If they were to put Penn, or Baldwin through the Marines Officers Infantry course, I just might watch it.
I still remember the PoD giving us all a tutorial over the VideoCon all across the ALLIED FORCE command structure on how to integrate air with artillery (complete with overhead projector so he could show gun-target lines, maxord altitudes, etc., etc.--very basic stuff). Remember...this was an air war with a four-star and a three-star involved (the latter's son flying A-10s in the fight...and coming back one day with an SA-9 in his tail) who had a little experience with fires integration.

I'm sitting there watching in the Corps TOC with the rest of the staff (and a fellow O-6 named Ray Odierno) thinking to myself, "WTF? This is s**t we learned as brand new green beans in Hog RTU. Does this guy really believe: a) he's the first one who's ever thought of this, b) guys at his rank in the air arm who have done this for 30+ years wouldn't have thought of this, and c) the fact THAT NO ARTY WAS CURRENTLY BEING USED may have a bearing on why it wasn't being employed?"

Then I caught myself, "Ah, it's Wes."

Then I noticed the masterful calm being exhibited by the USAFE/CC. This guy had a pretty good sense of humor and A LOT of patience for ANY idiot, Air Force, Army or Navy/Marines. Truly, I watched him NOT tear a USAF O-7 limb from limb for in extremis buffonery as a member of the LANTCOM staff when I was the O-10's Director of Staff at Langley...everyone in the room was averting their eyes from what was about to be a True Blood "true death" experience (stake, explosion of blood and gore, et al.) but, no, The Boss spent 15 minutes explaining why the man was going down the wrong road, all the while the latter was arguing with him.

This patience, both with Wes and lesser lights, I think helped him become the Chief of Staff. With Wes, he just pretended he was paying attention and (this is what really impressed me) NEVER cracked a smile...kinda like watching the CNO answer the Congressman who thought putting more force on Guam might result in the island tipping over.
 I'd have to agree with J(NTA) about Clark. I'm sure the Armorer is just being gracious.

Or he really is a squish :-)

Can't say I'm interested in the show just based on its premise. LIke Joe, if they put them through the Marine Officers basic Course, I'd watch. I'd watch if they put them through Army IOB Course too. Better yet, Marine OCS or Parris. I'd pay good money to see it if they put Segal though it.
I would just like to see some Hollywood wanabe tough guy puke his shoes in the back of a UH-60 flighing nap of the earth to the LZ.  Oh, and to insure maximum discomfort, the LZ should be somewhere up a holler in Apalachia.
Western Civilization is coming down around our ears, going to Hell in a handbasket, or pick yer own metaphor, and they give us more silliness like this. Purveyors of silliness need to be slapped silly.  Say, is Shirley MacLaine still alive? P.J. O'Rourke considered her to be super double extra-silly.
As anyone who's ever had a British car or motorcycle knows, Joseph Lucas is the real Prince of Darkness.
 I'm a well-known squish.  I've said so.
Were you aware that this blog entry is the #1 Google response for a search of "venal backstabbing ass"?
 Um, no.  Good.  Nice to tie the PoD to that.

That's the kind of squish I like being.