Dog Chapman, he of the balding mullet and pepper spray cans the size of fire extinguishers, was exposed to his audience as a sputtering, uncouth racist with little or no emotional control of himself. The deed was done by a disillusioned and disappointed loved one. The consequences of this exposure was that his lucrative meal ticket, the reality show Dog the Bounty Hunter, was suspended/canceled and his public image ruined.
Does this sound familiar to you? It would if you were a film buff, a fan of Andy Griffith or Patricia Neal, or a devotee of the works of Elia Kazan. The similarities to A Face In The Crowd are obvious. If you've never seen this film, rush out right now and make it happen. Now I've never really understood the appeal of Patricia Neal and frankly I was more of a Barney Fife girl than an Andy Taylor one, but Lonesome Rhodes? - that's another story entirely.
Imagine a coarse opportunist of the small town drifter variety(Andy Griffith). Promoted by a repressed talent scout (Patricia Neal), reading words written for him by an Ivy League intellectual (Walter Mathau!). Lonesome Rhodes is a mass media sensation, but contemptuous of his audience and a user of anything and anyone that happens to come within his orbit. Neal, motivated by her own anger and disappointment exposes Rhodes for what he really is, not what his audience sees. That act is the ruination of his career.
There's a connection between these two stories - Dog Chapman and Lonesome Rhodes - and the connection is unmet expectations, love/hate and revenge. Another bigger element in the movie is the power elite who, knowing full well what their media stars are made of, use them for personal gain. There's a lesson in there somewhere about the banishment and reinstatement of Don Imus, the predictable "wack-a-mole"-like presence of Al Sharpton and media bias in news reporting.
If there's money to be made, Dog might be back. A&E is already amending their original statement of cancellation to one of suspension for the cable show. If the outcome of this is the survival of Chapman is, it will be because of the value of Dog the Bounty Hunter, not the worth of Dog the man.