Jennifer Pozner: Reality TV Critic

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

How do you critique reality television when it’s supposed to be about real life and human behaviors? Media critic, Jennifer Pozner, critiques reality television by exposing its lies, analyzing stereotypes and discovering what it all means about society.

Pozner started as a journalist writing about women in the media and women empowerment. When reality television boomed she started critiquing how women were portrayed in reality series. Through her blog, twitter account, articles, lectures and book, Pozner has become a serious reality television critic.

Her blogs, WIMN: Women in Media & News and Reality Bites Back, have witty critiques on specific reality series and her analysis of women on the shows. Her writing is woven with sarcasm, humor and research creating a solid point; reality television is a guilty pleasure that’s degrading women.

In her enlightening lecture, “Project Brainwash: Why Reality TV is Bad for Women (…and Men, People of Color, The Economy, Love, Sex and Sheer Common Sense!),“ Pozner goes beyond critiquing, she analyzes why reality shows put people in stereotypes. She uncovers answers to reality industries secrets, like, who profits from reality shows and why are certain shows created?

If her blogs and lectures aren’t enough, this media critic also has published a book, which hits shelves in November. “Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV,” exposes reality shows in their raw form by removing all fairytale qualities. Pozner has also had her work published in numerous publications like Newsday and Chicago Tribune. She has offered commentary on CNN, FOX, MSNBC, ABC News and has been a guest speaker for many events. She has won a few awards and was even named one of “20 Inspiring Women to Follow on Twitter”.

Pozner may have started out as a feminist journalist but her critiques and thorough investigation of reality television have made her someone to listen to. She has immersed herself into the reality television world, seeking the truth behind it and she won’t stop. Her fan base is growing causing her to be a powerful critic and an enemy to reality television.

Listen to Pozner yourself and watch her interview with The Today Show, for “What Women Want to Watch on TV,” to hear her talk about women on reality television and other issues.

Critic Profile: Rob Sheffield

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Rob Sheffield and the cover of Love is a Mix Tape

Rob Sheffield and the cover of "Love is a Mix Tape"

Rob Sheffield a current contributing editor and music and pop culture blogger for “Rolling Stone” magazine. His blog can be found at Sheffield has a wealth of experience in the music journalism field.  Prior to working for “Rolling Stone” he was a contributing editor at “Blender” (RIP) and “Spin” magazines.  Sheffield can also often be found as pop culture “talking head” on various VH1 specials.

Sheffield’s blog “Pop Life” consists of humorous looks at musical pop culture events, like the MTV Video Music awards and the American Music Awards. “Pop Life” also features pop music reviews from artists like Pavement, Katy Perry, M.I.A., and Lady Gaga. In addition to  “Rolling Stone” Sheffield has also written two books, 2007’s “Love is a Mix Tape” and 2010’s “Talking to Girls About Duran Duran.”

One of the most clever examples of his writing is his entry on Adam Lambert’s 2009 AMA performance. As he describes the performance he crafts clever gems. In one instance he refers to Lambert fans as “glamskanks” and describes the performance as a “full frontal Glambgasm,” both plays on Lambert’s nickname of Glambert.

Fellow music journalist, and personal favorite of mine, Chuck Klosterman speaks highly of Sheffield’s body of work.  Klosterman states, “No rock critic, living or dead or otherwise, has ever written about pop music with the evocative, hyperpoetic, perfectitude of Rob Sheffield.”

And I couldn’t agree more.

Perez Hilton…The Ultimate Critic

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010


The biggest critics of teen stars seem to be the parents of teenagers who think that teen celebs are horrible role models for their children. Other than the parents, Perez Hilton has become known as one of the most influential and notorious pop culture critics out there…and he doesn’t dismiss the little teen celebs either!

Not only does he have an active blog but he’s very popular on Twitter with over 2 million friends. He has his own YouTube channel and a fashion blog (where he talks about teen celebs fashion too).

Example of how he is a critic to the tween/teen world is shown throughout his entire website. He recently wrote a story about Miley Cyrus living with her boyfriend Liam Hemsworth. Instead of taking her side, he totally disses her and her father…and you can clearly see where he calls her skanky and trashy. (He tends to do this a lot with his Miley posts.)

Some take his words as rude and insincere but his blogging is unique because he says pretty much what’s on everyone else’s mind…and he does it with no shame at all.

He was one of the first people to do so. Not everything he has to say about teen celebs is negative; he seems to love Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez.

Would he be the best critic for actual teens to read? Probably not. He has a tendency to use raunchy language and provocative drawings on pictures, but he does critique the teen celebs pretty well.

Many think that he shouldn’t target the younger celebs because of their age, but why not? They put themselves out there, try to act like adults, and secretly probably like the publicity anyway.

Do you think he should exclude teen celebs from his blog? What are your thoughts on his critiques?

DC’s Own Comic Critic

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Yes, the Washington Post has it’s own comic book reporter. Michael Cavna writes the “Comic Riffs” blog for the Washington Post‘s website. Michael Cavna

It’s not just comic books and cartoons that Cavna writes about. He covers a wide variety of topics from politics to TV and movies, and usually finds a way to tie those into comics.

In fact, I wouldn’t describe Cavna as a critic or reviewer. Rarely, if ever, does he write a single review of a comic book or cartoon. According to the description of his blog, Cavna “celebrate[s],contemplate[s], eviscerate[s], and pontificate[s] on cartoons.”

One of the prime examples of Cavna’s topicality is when he wrote several blog entries defending Comedy Central’s show “South Park” after they were censored for attempting to show the Muslim prophet Muhammed last April.

Cavna’s comic book blog represents the growing trend of geeky things (like comics) going mainstream. Many of his posts revolves around comic book’s moving from the printed page to the big screen. Just after this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Cavna reported that Marvel had already released a teaser trailer for their upcoming Avengers movie in 2012.

His style of writing about comic books for the general audience is one that I try to emulate anytime I write for this blog or for student publications like Broadside and It is the way that comic book reporting should be, and hopefully will further influence people into reading and appreciating comic books as much as Cavna and I do.