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Michael Vick 'documentary' is an exercise in hero worship

January 31, 2010|By David Zurawik | david.zurawik@baltsun.com

Notice also the long-lens, at-a-distance archival shots that are used where images of the Bad Newz killing field are absolutely necessary. If you have the stomach for it, do a Google search of Bad Newz Kennels, and compare the images you find in that search with the sanitized video in this so-called documentary.

"The goal [of the series] from the beginning was Michael finding his truth," James DuBose, CEO of the company that partnered with Vick to make the film, said in an interview Friday. "And the meaning to that is: 'Admit your mistakes, own up to what you did, and let us document you rebuilding Michael Vick, not the football player, but Michael Vick, the man."

DuBose explained the co-production deal with Vick by saying it followed the same model he used in making reality TV series for BET with performers like Keyshia Cole: "It's a partnership, I think that's the difference. It's not just producer-talent."

Loretha Jones, president of original programming at BET, explained the purpose of the series this way in a news release: "What happened to Michael is endemic of what is happening to young Black men today. Michael could be anyone's brother, father, uncle or son. It is our hope that this project will give viewers a glimpse of how he is rebuilding his life and moving forward as a human being and not just another sports figure."

Maybe that is all anyone needs to know about "The Michael Vick Project."

"The Michael Vick Project" premieres at 10 p.m. Tuesday on BET

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