The bright line between journalism and public relations continues to dim and blur. For example, Rolling Stone, a highly regarded magazine that became famous long ago for its “new journalists” including Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe, gave The Devils Ride an early Valentine’s gift yesterday.
The Devils Ride is a sort of unintentionally funny, serial television mocumentary about two ersatz motorcycle clubs in San Diego called the Laffing Devils and the Sinister Mob Syndicate. The Laffing Devils used to be a real motorcycle club before they were kicked out of the San Diego Confederation of Clubs. The Laffing Devils name and insignia are now wholly owned by Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment which produces the television show. The Sinister Mob Syndicate was created by Bischoff-Hervey simply to provide the Laffing Devils with a dramatic antagonist.
One of the two producers, Eric Bischoff, has a background in professional wrestling and is the author of a book titled Controversy Creates Cash. The other, Jason Hervey, came of age as a child star in the nurturing and heartwarming environment of network television.
The third season of The Devils Ride premiers Monday night. For this show it is the weekend of what reporters and editors call “the advance.” The big problem for reporters has always been “copy hunger” which means finding something, anything to say. So virtually any scheduled event is likely to be reported at least three times. First comes the “advance” that tells readers what is going to happen. Next comes coverage of whatever happens. Next comes “the follo” which repeats the coverage of what happened and usually includes a few specious words about what the happening meant. For The Devils Ride this is the weekend of the advance which is more important for television shows than football games. So far Bischoff-Hervey has enticed The Aging Rebel to write three advances for the new season.
Yesterday it was Rolling Stone’s turn. The media whore who actually jumped out of the cake in a string bikini was Blaine McEvoy who is an Associate Editor at the magazine. He used to be an Assistant Editor at Men’s Journal. Yesterday he helped all the Laffing Devils and all the Sinister Mobsters earn their green wings and these are some of the copulatory noises he made.
“These guys have a burning passion for their bikes, their turf and their brothers, which all stem from their careers in the military,” McEvoy quotes Hervey as saying. “That’s where the rigidity comes from – many of these guys were Marines who served multiple tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.”
One of the stars of the television show is a former Hells Angel, pilot and bike builder named Ralph “Rockem” Randolph. Randolph is smart enough to grasp how the interplay between news and publicity actually works and he confesses to McEvoy that he is a “Sin Mobber for life.”
McEvoy’s research led him to discover the amazing fact that “local and national authorities including the FBI broadly classify both groups as violent gangs.”
And, he quotes Rockem’s insight that “Harley-Davidson used to mean something. It used to stand for biker attitude – outlaws and their sweaty mamas rollin’ around and looking for a good time. That’s what we’re about. That’s what we stand for.”
You can read the entire article here. You might want to slip on a jimmy hat first.