James Lee, the extreme environmentalist who took hostages at the Discovery Networks headquarters before being shot to death yesterday, had previously pitched a reality show to Discovery that the cable channel rejected. Titled “Race to Save the Earth,” the show would be a competition in which — and I quote — “contestants would come from all over to compete with each other and come up with ideas to save the planet.” That’s as specific as he got with the premise. He didn’t list any kind of challenges or action of any sort.
In 2008, following his protest outside Discovery, Lee even enlisted the help of others to make his reality show a reality, offering “about $200,000 worth of commercial real estate property in Hawaii plus $10,000 in cash for the best TV show idea to save the planet.” His guidelines:
“The title of your TV show should be very catchy … Think of titles like ‘American Idol,’ ‘The Apprentice,’ and other shows that are obviously good and memorable because of their catchy, well-thought out, titles. Then think of the titles that are obviously bad and try to avoid making your show title sound like those,” Lee wrote. [MSNBC]
Man, he had a real gift for teaching, didn’t he? “It should be good like other good titles, and not bad like bad titles.” “Think of some bad titles, and then throw those out.” You know, I’m not sure if anyone has said this about the lunatic who took hostages in an attempt to implement unrealistic changes to a cable network, but I’m beginning to think he might not have been the smartest guy.