Wedding Reality Show Bombs Vieques

Wedding Island

We spent all that time protesting all over the country and in Vieques itself to force the Navy to stop using it as target practice for this? Tomorrow, July 17th, the TLC channel will be premiering a “reality” show called Wedding Island, which is set on la Isla Nena. The show, which is basically a vehicle for a business, Weddings in Vieques, is yet another attempt to gloss over the troubling history of the island, which has still not been properly cleaned up, and is still struggling with massive poverty, just as it is being gentrified by upscale hotels, catering to tourists oblivious to these things.

The star of this episode of Wedding Island is Sandy Malone, who runs Weddings in Vieques, and claims to be an ardent supporter of the island in her bio page:

After graduating with a BA in Journalism from The Ohio State University, Sandy attended The Fund for American Studies Institute on Political Journalism at Georgetown University.  She rose from intern to Managing Editor of Campaigns & Elections Magazine in less than a year, and then moved to Manhattan to write the first Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition.Although most of her stories also ran in the printed paper, Sandy turned to the dark side and left journalism to move back to her hometown and accept a position at a public relations firm. Her first client was the Government of Puerto Rico.

A year later, she was practically living on Vieques leading reporters through the live fire zone on a daily basis, helping to bolster the governor’s campaign to force the US Navy to leave the tiny island after a fatal bombing accident.

But check out Campaigns and Elections MagazineIt champions the recent ruling rolling back the Voting Rights Act; advocates funding for groups against gay marriage; and wonders whether new rulings like the Citizen United one will open up new opportunities for campaign funding. It’s “About Us” page reveals an editorial advisory board including right-wing flacks like Ed Gillespie, Mary Matalin, and Terry McAullife.

Of course, maybe the politics of that publication has changed drastically since Malone left. But do we really need another reality series from 495 Productions, responsible for 32, count ’em 32 shows, including Dirty South, Wedding Wars, and, unsurprisingly, Jersey Shore and several of its spinoffs? I realize I’m casting aspersions on the guilty pleasures of some of you, but I hope never to be trapped in a Bridezilla marathon again if I can help it.

In this clip from the Ohio State newspaper, Malone emphasizes the difficulty of maintaining decorum in 95-degree temperatures. Must have changed because of global warming, because weather.com reports average summer temperatures top out at 89. Of course Campaigns and Elections would probably deny climate change in the first place. This fear and loathing of the tropics is also reflected in the GIF above, which maintains that the mainland US is “civilization” and “Vieques Island” is something else.

Dave Galarza tells us that New York Solidarity with Vieques urges concerned viewers to watch the show Wednesday July 17 at 10pm Eastern and participate by sending reactions to TLC and weighing in on their FB site: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NYsolidaritywithVieques

UPDATE 7/18:

Dave Galarza informs through this article us that Sandy Malone somehow has enough access to an unspecified governor of Puerto Rico to fly one of her clients out of Vieques in a government helicopter to seek medical attention on the main island. This as activists continue to report lack of access to health care on Vieques for the majority of its residents.

An article that appeared yesterday in The Washingtonian suggests that Malone is not a full-time resident of Vieques, and splits her time between Vieques and her condo in Germantown, Maryland.

And finally, there is at least circumstantial evidence that Malone’s claim to having being a journalist may be untrue. A search of Google News and Lexis/Nexis reveals zero bylines attached to Malone in either Campaigns and Elections magazine, where she claimed to have been a managing editor, and The Wall Street Journal, where she claims to have been a contributor. So perhaps it was unfair to associate her with the politics of Campaigns and Elections. In fact there are no bylines attached to the name of Sandy Malone anywhere on the internet (unless Edward Snowden or the NSA is blocking access to them). What there is evidence of is that Malone once worked for a Washington, DC based PR (I mean public relations here) firm called Vertrue. If it’s true Malone has padded her résumé, it’s not the first time a media manipulator has lied and/or exaggerated about a nonexistent career in journalism.

6 Comments

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  1. I cannot believe that this person has the audacity to make these comments about Sandy Malone, when she was a lobbyist fighting for the Navy to leave Vieques in 1999! She was the one who brought the first reporter from the New York Times to the Fire zone, so that the message could get out about how they were destroying this beautiful island. “Wedding Island” is not exploiting the island, she is trying to give the island a positive view. How many of us RESIDENTS have made a joke here or a complaint there about how difficult it is to obtain certain items here or that we have to take an hour ferry ride to find basic items (easily obtainable back in the states say at a 24hr mart or a convenience store) because its just too difficult to find here on VQS? I see “Wedding Island” as promoting the island in a positive light, showing not only the beauty of Vieques but also providing revenue and jobs to local businesses and residents. As a local Viequense I am excited about what this show could mean for the local economy & personally I cannot wait to see the show!

  2. Buenas Tardes:

    No se por que tanto revolú den una oportunidad al programa a que se muestre luego den una opinion. Lo que no entiendo yo si vivo en VQS y los que vivimos aquí no hemos gritatado tanto. Yo si vivi lo de la marina en carne viva llevo aqui 33 años . Por Dios vean y luego juzguen!!!

  3. Hacerle casos a esas tonterías nos hace ver un poco ridículos… Entiendo que hay que ver el programa a ver con que vienen antes de criticar. Para mi VQS es un paraíso escondido y su simpleza la hace ver aparte de las demás. Creo que es buena oportunidad para traer dinero a la isla. Las bodas en PR es un “big deal” y deja mucho dinero.

  4. Aquí se está confundiendo la gimnasia con la magnesia. Este es un programa de ENTRETENIMIENTO y me ha encantado que Vieques tenga esa oportunidad de exponerse como destino. Ya vi dos programas y es un “reality show” sobre “destination weddings” donde Vieques es el escenario. Esto no es un documental ni una serie sobre la historia de Vieques…. Vieques no es el tema central del programa sino la boda, los novios y sus situaciones.

  5. I worked with Sandy at the Wall Street Journal. She was an editor, not a reporter. Editors do not get bylines. Your conspiracy theories are kind of embarrassing to read and discredit anything else I might have read on your site. I came here because I was wondering what people were saying about Sandy’s show… And I won’t be reading any more here. Moving on to someone with a clue…

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