Ready to foam at the mouth on cue? Check. Willing to yell and scream when prompted? Check. Able to browbeat and weep for dramatic effect? Check. Looking to make a twit of yourself on national TV? Double check.
Fuggedabout Jwoww, the Housewives, and the Kardashian mob, there’s a new boob headed for reality TV — District Attorney Charles Hynes!
Brooklyn’s top legal eagle for the past 23 years needed a reality check himself — or an emergency voir dire at the very least — when he agreed to star in “Brooklyn DA,” a six-week peek into his office and staff that promises to follow “hard-charging prosecutors [with] larger-than-life personalities both inside the courtroom and out,” while spoon-feeding us the embarrassing eccentricities that come with “living right on the edge.”
It’s the stuff of National Enquirer heaven, but the million dollar question is — why?
True, Hynes could do with resuscitating his comatose, long-in-the-tooth public image in time for the looming September Democratic primary. True, his crime-fighting star has seen better days since his meteoric rise to fame in 1987 as the attorney who nailed the murderers of Michael Griffith, an African-American teenager attacked by a wolfpack of white teens in Queens, in a milestone case that shed a spotlight on white-on-black crime.
These days, the once-zealous crime fighter is fighting unsavory charges of his own, and an overblown stint on reality TV can only wreck his case.
In a January article headlined “Brooklyn deserves a new D.A.,” the Village Voice accuses Hynes of glossing over sex predators in the borough’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities to bootlick powerful rabbis and pander for votes.
Then there are the hugely unnerving claims of his alleged official misconduct.
Jabbar Collins, sprung from prison in 2010 after serving 15 years for a murder he didn’t commit, is suing Hynes for $150 million for allegedly manipulating evidence and witnesses.
David Ranta was also released last month, after spending 23 years behind bars on a wrongful murder conviction that was overturned when an eyewitness confessed that borough prosecutors coerced him into fingering Ranta in a line up.
In a twist worthy of reality TV, Hynes’s own integrity unit determined the case was bungled by its boss.
These and other assertions have overshadowed Hynes’s valuable crime-prevention innovations.
He instituted drug-treatment programs for felons, anti-truancy programs for wayward teens, and an assimilation initiative for parolees to ease back into society, while criminalizing domestic abuse, and creating the state’s first family justice center.
“Brooklyn DA” airs on CBS next month, and it’s set to be a gold mine for ratings-driven producers looking to sensationalize their way to the bank, courtesy of the histrionics, strategically placed cliff-hangers, and starry-eyed victims with a tenuous grasp on actuality — and their assorted slips and flubs — they are likely depending on to form the show’s bedrock.
The district attorney could have scored more wins by keeping his nose to the grindstone and delivering justice to Brooklyn’s crime victims — like he’s supposed to.
Instead, he chose to raise his profile by surrendering to reality TV shysters, whose stock and trade is passing off what amounts to a painful, public perp walk as entertainment.
Hynes would have done well to remember that actors act, but reality stars act out — the worse, the better.
Keep up with my columns on Twitter @BritShavanaRead Shavana Abruzzo's column every Friday on BrooklynDaily.com. E-mail here at sabruzzo@c
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