MTV's Long Fall From Pseudo-Grace

Having seen one too many $2000 My Super Sweet Sixteen party dress and Laguna Beach butt-floss bikini, The LA Weekly's Nikki Finke is finally ready to tune her television to MTV and chainsaw the fucker in half (kids, ask your parents!). In this week's column, Finke laments the network's—which, we hear, used to primarily present delightful mini-movies set to the most popular songs of the day—loss of semi-innocence; after all, what kind of basic cable channel can claim a rock-and-roll soul when it cynically underwrites some Hollywood do-gooding just because the host is a movie star who boffs Justin Timberlake?

[Viacom co-president Tom Freston] semi-apologized to the analysts for putting on shows like Cameron Diaz’s Trippin’, which he termed a “pro-environment show essentially.” Said Freston: “We knew it wasn’t going to be a big ratings success. But when we thought in terms of the pro-social part of things we do, and the image part of things we do, it made a lot of sense.” What he didn’t say was the truth: We only ran that show because this really hot celeb who dates Justin Timberlake hosted it. We all know the subtext: Ignore those do-gooder shows MTV throws up as a sop to our audience, and pay attention to our profits.

We still see an opportunity for continuing token attempts at MTV's occasional "pro-social" programming mission. Why not sign up Laguna Beach's breakout star Kristin for a second installment of Trippin'? She can, like, bring Happy Meals to the earthquake victims in Pakistanigascar and junk.