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Yesterday, I published an interview with the most recently eliminated Top Shot competitor. I pinned the blame for Paul Marinaccio’s losing performance on his lack of a hat. (True story. The Corner Shot gun uses a video screen. In the wrong light, you can’t see squat.) Top Shot’s PR person called to convey Mr. Marinaccio’s displeasure. The NJ Detective felt I’d mischaracterized his explanation as whining. So I tweaked the post a bit, adding a tip of the hat to winner Jake Zweig. We good? I heard nothing back and thought nothing of it. Then, at some ungodly hour, Christian camp counselor Dustin Ellermann went all Old Testament on me . . .

Given his fast and furious Top Shot Tweeting, and the Twitter silence of the lambs comprising the rest of the cast, and the fact that Dustin clearly believes that he speaks for the program, I reckon the self-described “Renaissance man” won Top Shot season three. But he’s not going to be winning any hearts and minds in the media.

Well, OK, he will. Top Shot is, apparently, beyond media criticism. Not here, obviously. (I guess he missed the previous post unfavorably comparing Top Shot to watching grass grow.) The legacy media and “see no evil” gun press are happy to promote Top Shot as pure entertainment. Dustin’s brand of “aw shucks” humility morphs magnificently into the meme.

So let’s call Dustin’s thundering Tweet a “pay no attention to that Rottweiler behind the curtain” moment. At least Ellermann didn’t pull the equivalent of a Jimmy Swaggart by, say, brandishing his gun at a pimp outside a nightclub. But if he does . . .

TTAG will be there. Come to think of it, I’m kinda disappointed that Top Shot hasn’t drawn any media criticism for “glorifying guns.” It would be nice to see a little argy-bargy between gun grabbers and TS competitors voicing the pro gun rights side of the argument.

Never mind. As for what Dustin’s “blacklist” means, I’ll ping the program’s PR person later today. Meanwhile, memo to Dustin: the truth hurts. Now, where’s that other cheek?

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  1. This is the second time in as many weeks that we’ve been given the cold shoulder from a TV show’s publicity people.

    First Discovery’s PR reps stop returning my calls once they realize we haven’t been pushing Sons of Guns as the epitome of firearms TV shows like Guns & Ammo has and *gasp* daring to criticize the show for poor adhesion to the Four Rules.

    Now we get in trouble for publishing what someone actually said.

    It sucks to call it like we see it. Maybe if we start selling out to them they’ll be nicer to us…

    • Maybe these PR guys should read the comments. You bring it up ask the commenters what wethink and people actually *gasp* disagree with some of the thoughts. I like it because it promotes discussion but it seems Hollywood has extremely thin skin. Police departments also seem to have very thin skin. “Don’t criticize us. We’re saving lives!” but that’s a different topic for a different day

    • This comes under the heading of “kill the messenger”. TS appears to be taking lessons in media relations from Obama and the Dems.

      • I wondered how long it would take for someone to bring the President into this!
        The quote “Come to think of it, I’m kinda disappointed that Top Shot hasn’t drawn any media criticism for “glorifying guns.” It would be nice to see a little argy-bargy between gun grabbers and TS competitors voicing the pro gun rights side of the argument.” says it all – there is no longer some massive conspiracy to take guns away from people. It no longer part of the culture war, excpet for those who refuse to realise they have won.

  2. Two black lists in a months time, Robert? Now that is impressive!

    Actually, there are ton of gun bloggers out there who bemoan Top Shot as nothing but “drama Lama” – their words; not mine. The other favorite thing the blogosphere likes to ridicule is Sons of Guns. I know of a behind the scenes story about that, but I dont really care about pissing on reality TV. Its just TV, people.

    • “The NJ Detective felt I’d mischaracterized his explanation as whining”

      haha excuse alert,this is exactly what what is explanation sounded like for both himself and Aherns. i guess he does not like the way his own words sound? this show need more military folks next season.

      “Dustin’s brand of “aw shucks” humility morphs magnificently into the meme.”

      Dustin is so fake, he puts on this Christan pious persona, i bet he would crumple in an FOF engagement.

  3. So Guns And Ammo ihas signed on as the print PR arm of The History Channel? Yippee for them. Not that this is a voting democracy, but I don’t think emulating ‘Guns&Bullits’ is a good idea.

    They’re sinking under the weight of an outdated business model and their knob-slobbering ‘reviews’ that somehow praise every defective POS gun as the Second Coming of the M1 Garand.

  4. The show’s ideas about shooting competitions are a bad joke. It’s akin to saying lawn mower races are just like NASCAR or F1. A corner shot, gimme a break. What’s next, a Call of Duty shoot-off?

  5. You can tell them that because of the shameful behavior of season 2 competitors, the Jewish Marksman has boycotted them.

    There is also a certain internet gun accessory retailer I’ve curtailed purchases from because they have hired top shot competitors.

        • George I thought is on ok guy. He seemed to be always honest even if you didn’t like what he had to say. And the times he sucked he didn’t make excuses. I’d buy him a beer and talk long range rifle.

          The other military guys, I’d thank them for their service and that’s about it.

      • IMHO there were many incidents of unsportsmanlike statements and behavior unbecoming of competitive shooters.

        Again, IMHO, Jay Lim was a great ambassador for competitive shooting sports, yet he was treated in an unsportsmanlike ways by other competitors because he was not former military. It was awesome when he sent the loudmouth Marine packing in the .22 competition challenge.

        The behind the scenes gamesmanship was unbecoming a sportsman, who should always seek that “the best man/woman wins.” (and try to be that person!)

        I know everyone says the show was heavily edited and some of the so-called conflicts were woven out of whole cloth, but I can only go by what I saw.

        • Lim was awesome. His specialty seemed to be surviving sudden elimination rounds. The military club, working as a group to knock out non-members, seemed very non-sportsmanlike and unfriendly.

  6. I’d rather we get blacklisted than kowtow to these types of people any day.

    Chris that’s one of the best analysis of G&A I’ve heard in awhile.

  7. Isn’t being blacklisted by Top Shot kinda like the stinky kid on the playground letting you know he doesn’t want to play tag with you.

    Who cares….that show S-U-C-K-S!!!!!

  8. This week’s episode was the first one from this season I watched. Nothing else was on thanks to some special about Jackie O.

    The thing that got me, and I thought for sure would have showed up here but didn’t, was right in the beginning when one of the teams decided to shoot at a rock in the burm instead of the targets. Now, I don’t know for sure what type of ammo they were using, but in every slow motion shot it looks like standard FMJ.

    Shooting at rocks with any ammo is a bad idea; using FMJ makes it really bad. The chance of ricochet is too high. For a show about shooting to recommend aiming at rocks in a burm as a good tactic is extremely irresponsible, and they never even discussed or pointed out the safety hazards involved with this. These are supposed to be Americas premier shooters, including last season’s winner who made the suggestion, but from what you can tell in the show none of them stopped and said “wait, is shooting at a rock really a good plan, what about ricochet?”

    Maybe this was some kind of special rock and everyone knew it, but I have seen ricochet from rocks before, and it isn’t pretty so my rule is “No shooting at rocks, period!” and when shooting at targets my rule is “No shooting at targets with rocks behind them.”

    Am I wrong on this? Seems I remember an incident recently here with a slightly buried rock at a newly reburmed police range causing injury (and an IOTD that got repealed when the buried rock was revealed if I recall). Did no one else think this was a bad practice when they saw it? Does anyone here prefer shooting at rocks over targets (as was suggested in the show)? Is the shows insurance company asleep?

  9. Since we only get basic cable we are more or less “boycotting” the History Channel by default.

    Every now and then, though, I’ll find myself in a hotel room or similar place that has History but it seems like it’s a lot more about people running pawn shops or junkyards than it is about “history.” I mean, sure, people criticized it when it was “All WWII, All the Time” but these “reality” shows have only the most tenuous connection to “history.”

    Might as well drop the “history” moniker altogether and call it “The Testosterone Channel” and market it as a male-equivalent of Lifetime or the Oprah channel.

  10. 1st i think the show has the drama of jersey shores so for that reason i don’t watch it 2nd i question his faith he states he from a christen camp what about turn the other cheek…forgive your neighbor….forgivenss and all that BS…as far as i am concerned his rant fell on deaf ears

  11. Trolling the gun-blog internet for web hits, huh? Must be working.

    Seriously, I don’t understand your beef with Top Shot. Colby is a windbag, the editing makes mountains out of molehills for “drama”, but it’s a shooting show that’s doing a good job of normalizing gun ownership and marksmanship. If that’s the price of admission, so be it.

    This perma-snark on TTAG is getting pretty tiresome. People magazine may get a lot of buyers at the supermarket, but it’s still a terrible magazine. Is that where TTAG is headed? In that case, no thanks.

      • I like that. If someone is going to complain and not be part of the solution, then you know how much their complaint is really worth.

        On another note:

        I like to watch TS with my 10 year old son. He catches the safety concerns (like FMJ at rocks). It has caused him to be very particular in how he sees safety and acts safely.

        I also like to see him react to the drama llama aspect of the show. He really gets into it. I sit back and enjoy his responses.

  12. I find Top Shot an entertaining show, but, just like wrestling, you have to watch it with the sound turned off to get rid of the stupid “reality” parts. Although those parts do make for an excellent time to go to the fridge.

  13. Top Shot is anything but. They lost me when they began throwing knives and stuff like that. Add to that their improper or non-use of such fundamental accessories as a sling and I believe the show is less about reality and more about fomenting drama and colorful targets blowing up.


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