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Southern Charm: So There’s This TV Show …




Obviously that headline is tongue-in-cheek …

Southern Charm – the reality television show starring former S.C. Treasurer Thomas Ravenel (a.k.a. “T-Rav“) – is the talk of the Palmetto State this week after its official debut on Bravo Monday evening. Even this website’s founding editor Will Folks (a.k.a. “Sic Willie”) landed a brief appearance on the “docu-drama” – which tracks the lives of six wealthy socialites in Charleston, S.C.

According to its (many) haters, Southern Charm is the equivalent of a five megaton nuclear bomb being detonated over the Palmetto State’s historic Holy City – an “embarrassment” of epic proportions casting a cloud of negative fallout across South Carolina.

“Cannot wait … for this ‘charming reality’ to go south,” Charleston, S.C. blogger McKenzie Wild wrote. “If I were a betting person, I’d wage a bet that there will be nothing southern and/or charming about this show.”

Of course Wild admitted she watched …

“Yes, I realize that by watching I am not exactly helping the cause (aka ensuring the show flops and promptly descends to the graveyard of failed-reality-show abyss) but it is like driving by a car accident: You don’t want to slow down and look. But you just cannot help it,” she wrote.

Here’s the thing, though …

Last time we checked, South Carolina embarrassing itself on the national stage was par for the course. Except in most cases the causes of the embarrassment lacked a majority of their teeth – or the ability to walk and chew gum simultaneously. Or basic comprehension of the English language.



Or worse, they were (are) government officials embarrassing our state using our money.

Seriously … how can anybody recall photos of S.C. Lieutenant Gov. Glenn McConnell parading around a national Republican women’s event in his Confederate General’s uniform (with slaves in tow) and accuse Southern Charm of “embarrassing” Charleston?

And that guy – who has wasted millions of tax dollars on his Confederate obsession – is a finalist to become the next president of the College of Charleston.

And what about S.C. Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell – who is currently staring down a grand jury investigation over multiple corruption allegations. In addition to his crooked deals, this guy  assassinated the character of one of the reporters investigating him and strong-armed her newspaper into backing down (by allegedly threatening to withhold an annual $12 million bribe given by the S.C. General Assembly to the newspaper industry).

But apparently he’s not “embarrassing” Charleston either …

Don’t get us wrong: Ravenel – whose life was the primary focus of the show’s first episode  – certainly provided socially conservative viewers with plenty of “objectionable” behavior during the first episode. He bedded a socialite thirty years his junior – and later went skinny dipping with several other young ladies. He made a joke about his prior use of cocaine at a dinner party. He flaunted his wealth – including his South of Broad mansion and a Lowcountry plantation equipped with a $1 million polo field.

Here’s the thing, though: As Ravenel said repeatedly on the show, he’s just engaging in his own pursuit of happiness … which last time we checked was one of the three things at the heart of what this country used to stand for.

And speaking of things this country stands for, if the details of Thomas Ravenel’s personal life offend anyone – all they have to do is change the channel.

No one’s holding a gun to anyone’s head forcing them to watch …

Sadly, though, South Carolinians cannot “change the channel” of GOP corruption that’s playing in Columbia, S.C. They have no choice but to keep watching – and keep paying ever-escalating sums of money to keep those thieves “on the air.”

Anyway, while “T-Rav” certainly has his share of haters in the SCGOP – a party he’s officially disassociated himself with – not every Republican was offended by his show.

“I may not be as socially liberal, but I respect the hell out of him for staying true to himself,” GOP consultant David Carter told FITS. “The world is too scripted as it is. People like Thomas restore the balance.”