Gen. Wesley Clark, Todd Palin, and Nick Lachey Blow Things Up For America

Blue Steel.Courtesy of NBC Universal

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Remember that night you drank too much Drambuie and then had a dream in which Wesley Clark, Picabo Street, Todd Palin, Superman, a WWE Diva Champion, and Nick Lachey were all shooting bazookas and other loud weaponry at inanimate objects in the desert?

Well, mega-producers Dick Wolf and Mark Burnett read your mind, stole your idea, and made a summer reality show out of it for NBC.

Stars Earn Stripes (premiering Monday at 8 p.m. EDT—with a two hour season opener) pairs each C-list celeb with a military or law enforcement tough guy. Together, they simulate wartime scenarios, all of which look like deleted scenes from Joel Schumacher movies. Every time Dean Cain or Todd Palin make something go boom, they raise money for their partner’s charity.

All of this is conducted under the watchful eyes of hosts Samantha Harris and ex-Army general/ex-presidential candidate/ex-non-reality-show-personality Wesley Clark (just for a frame of reference, the guy used to save the lives of Kosovars).

Yes, the show means well. Nick Lachey and co. gush endlessly about how lionhearted our men and women in uniform are. The episodes are set to music that somehow manages to sound even more glowingly patriotic than the score to Air Force One. Things detonate violently.

It’s also one of the most patronizing things to which you could ever subject yourself. But if watching the one-time 98 Degrees frontman fall out of a helicopter in the name of charity and freedom sounds appealing to you, then I suppose it sounds appealing to you.

Here’s a TV spot, in case you need any more convincing one way or the other:

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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