Reality-Show Reality Check
March 11, 2014

Last night's season finale of The Bachelor was both surreal and shockingly real: For the first time in the show's 12-year history, the show's final episode (and subsequent "After the Final Rose" special) anointed the protagonist Bachelor a bad-boy antihero.

Before he gave registered nurse Nikki his final rose (but not an engagement ring), Venezuelan-born retired soccer player Juan Pablo endured no small amount of controversy. From calling gay people "more pervert" [sic] to slut-shaming a contestant who romped in the ocean with him, Juan Pablo had certainly been playing by his own rules. And ABC, for the most part, let him dig his own grave.

As a series of smart, sensible women decided to leave The Bachelor of their own accord, says Linda Holmes at NPR, "the show actually allowed their eligible bachelor, who represents the prize for which all these contestants are competing, to be portrayed as (1) not too bright, (2) kind of self-centered and boring, and (3) coarse and vulgar."

For a show so set on portraying a perfect vision of romantic love, the fact that ABC decided to turn on its Bachelor is pretty groundbreaking. "Generally," says Holmes, "the near-universal desirability of the Bachelor/ette is sacrosanct." Holmes continues:

The true story is that somewhere, somebody who makes The Bachelor decided that they needed a different framing for the season — one in which their bachelor was kind of...a jerk. They made a choice to cut him loose. To throw him, in reality show terms, under the bus." [NPR]

Read the rest of this fascinating piece at NPR. Samantha Rollins

Really?
1:28 p.m. ET
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sylvia Driskell, a 66-year-old woman from Auburn, Nebraska, wants to sue every gay person in the world.

Driskell will represent herself in Driskell v. Homosexuals, claiming she is an earthly "ambassador" of "God and His Son Jesus Christ." In her seven-page, handwritten petition, Driskell writes that "homosexuals say that it's not a sin to be homosexual, and they have the right to marry, to be parents." She goes on to argue that children raised by "liars, deceivers, and thieves" will "grow up to be one of the three, or all three."

Driskell ends her petition by noting that it is "imperative" for her to "start standing up for the moral principles on which our great nation, our great states, and our great cities were founded on." U.S. District Judge John M. Gerrard has been assigned the case, filed May 1, but no summons have been issued thus far. Meghan DeMaria

The icing on the cake
1:26 p.m. ET

There are many ways to inform a boss that your days with a company are numbered. Some are professional, some are ill-advised, and at least one now includes cake.

Mark Herman, a newscast director at Tucson's KOLD station, posted this photo of his very original, very sugary resignation letter on Reddit:

As his next place of employment, WKRN in Nashville, reports, Herman said his thinking behind the stunt was that "nobody can be mad or sad at a cake." Sarah Eberspacher

This just in
1:21 p.m. ET
Elsa/Getty Images

It is "more probable than not" New England Patriots staffers deliberately tampered with footballs during the 2015 NFL playoffs, according to an investigation commissioned by the NFL and made public Wednesday.

Released more than three months after the Super Bowl, the Wells report concluded that a Patriots locker room attendant, Jim McNally, and an equipment supervisor, John Jastremski, likely deflated footballs during the team's AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. Moreover, it determined quarterback Tom Brady "was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities." However, the report found no evidence other players, the team's ownership, or coach Bill Belichick knew of the tampering.

In a statement, Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league would consider possible disciplinary action. Jon Terbush

This is incredible
12:54 p.m. ET
Screenshot/WFLA

A Florida woman who was being held at knifepoint by her boyfriend has Pizza Hut to thank for her safety.

Cheryl Treadway's boyfriend Ethan Nickerson took her phone away and was holding her hostage, but Treadway somehow convinced him to let her order a pizza mid-confrontation. Treadway opened up the Pizza Hut app, and in the "special instructions" section where most people would request extra cheese or napkins, she wrote "911hostage help!" and "Please help! Get 911 to me."

When the restaurant received the order, a cook told the manager about the instructions. The Pizza Hut employees called 911, and the the Highland County Sheriff's Office sent a team of deputies to remove Treadway and her children from the house.

Florida's WFLA reports that Nickerson "may have been high on meth" during the situation. He was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a weapon without intent to kill, battery, false imprisonment, and obstructing justice by depriving communication to law enforcement. Meghan DeMaria

Watch this
12:25 p.m. ET

Nobody has ever gone broke by giving the people what they want. That's the clear guiding principle behind the new trailer for Magic Mike XXL, which elides over much of the ordinary business of movie trailers — like, say establishing the plot — in favor of two straight minutes of beefy, hunky dudes getting down:

The trailer does spare a brief moment to set up the basic premise of Magic Mike XXL, as the dudes head to Myrtle Beach to compete at an unspecified dancing convention. Beyond that, however, it's all style, as male strippers played by Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, and more take the stage to show off what they can do.

Magic Mike XXL hits theaters on July 1. Scott Meslow

Really?
12:17 p.m. ET
Eric Kayne/Getty Images

I haven't confirmed this with my editors or anything, but I'm pretty positive that if I accidentally confined someone to a room for almost a week without any food or water, I wouldn't be contributing here at The Week anymore.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), however, has no such qualms. In 2012, the agency arrested Daniel Chong, a student at University of California-San Diego, when he was caught smoking pot. They handcuffed him in an unlit holding cell and promptly forgot about him for five days, leaving him to drink his own urine to survive.

In March, the DEA finally punished the six agents responsible, subjecting them to nothing more serious than a short suspension. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has called the DEA's decision "unacceptable," and is calling on Congress to pursue reform. Bonnie Kristian

supreme grumps
12:08 p.m. ET
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

An analysis of Supreme Court decisions dating back to the court's earliest cases in the 1700s found that with time SCOTUS has become increasingly accessible — but also increasingly long-winded and grouchy. While decisions are easier to read than they used to be, they've ballooned in length — think 4,000 words for Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and more than 10 times that for Citizens United (2010) — and use an increasingly unfriendly vocabulary.

And when we look at the language choices of specific justices, the current court lineup is historically unpleasant (at least on paper): Sitting Justices Samuel Alito, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy, and Antonin Scalia all rank in the top ten unfriendliest decision writers in SCOTUS history. Their colleagues were either more temperate (Roberts and Ginsburg) or too new to the court to be included in the study (Kagan and Sotomayor). Bonnie Kristian

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