05/27/2010 05:24 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

TV's 'Survivor' as Mirror to America

In the final episode, good prevailed when fellow contestants voted against the evil, manipulative, lying, 'swearing on kids' lives' player, Russell. They voted in favor of the loyal, honest, but physically challenged player, Sandra. Is this art imitating life? Or, life imitating art? Or, what is reality TV, anyway?

Americans are gullible. We want to believe and trust each other. The fact that veteran players who knew they were playing against a team called 'The Villains' for their past dirty deeds were still snuckered into believing the lies the most notorious villain, Russell, was telling. Can anyone blame them? Russell stated he was telling the truth at one point in the game and as proof stated he would swear on the lives of his children. It worked; they believed this statement. Game or real life?

So, it is any wonder Americans could be duped by Bernie Madoff, who was also telling lies? Particularly those in the Jewish community who thought that a Jew would not take advantage of another Jew? It is also easy to believe how Americans could get duped by subprime lenders who were earning large fees, and the entities who were selling them as AAA rated securities. Is our nation more gullible or is there more greed out there?

In the game, whistle blower, Sandra, went to member of 'The Heroes' team to attempt to convince them of Russell's nefarious intentions. Was she taken credibly? No, other players did not believe her and feared the more powerful Russell. Sound familiar? Of course, 'Survivor' is a TV show, how about the whistle blowers who attempted to alert the SEC to Madoff's scam? In real life the SEC also did not believe those who came forward with lesser status and make claims against the rich and powerful Madoff.

Russell, like Bernie, did not care about others, it was about winning at all costs. Both represent the worst of corporate greed. Those companies are out to do whatever they can to maximize their interests and profits even if what they have to do is immoral, unethical, or damages their community. Art imitating life?

I suppose viewers are escaping their own reality by watching reality TV. It seems the players on these games have to stoop to increasingly lower levels to grab the attention of the audience. We've seen so much bad stuff occur in our daily lives, we want to see even worse stuff going on television. Perhaps, we can a sense of relief our lives aren't so bad after all. It is saying something when the American people voted for the dirtiest, most manipulative player as the 'best' player of the game. 'Outwit, Outplay and Outlast'. It is clear America does not care how a player does it, just that he is entertaining.

At what point does the mirror we are looking in begin to crack?