It’s true: a Mainer engaged to ‘Idol’ judge

Posted Jan. 15, 2009, at 6:20 p.m.

Before we get to the reality subject of the week, I must tell you the latest news (which some of you already may know). Maine’s very own Mike McCuddy — a schoolteacher turned general contractor — is engaged to the newest “American Idol” judge, Kara DioGuardi.

I have verified the news with top-secret inside sources and the engagement took place in December. The love story I’ve been told is quite romantic, but out of respect for the couple’s privacy, I’m not going to dish just yet. (Although if Mike wanted to give me an exclusive, I’m ready and waiting for the call).

Congratulations to who I’ve been told is a very happy couple and I wish you the best. I imagine their nuptials will be slightly more upscale than my pending wedding, which likely will turn into an episode of “My Big Redneck Wedding.”

Now onto the reality update for the week.

After watching an episode of ABC’s latest, “Homeland Security U.S.A,” I’ve found myself with a dilemma. While I find nothing wrong with series such as “Cops,” “Speeders” or any other law enforcement reality show that gives us an inside look at the law, I think this one might go too far.

Perhaps it’s because we’re in the midst of such a politically charged time, but I’m just not sure this is appropriate and I can’t put my finger on why I feel that way.

For the show, producers have been given access to the Department of Homeland Security, and have the full cooperation of Customs & Border Protection; Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE; the Transportation Security Administration; and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Although they claim to have unprecedented access, I would hope that it has been limited for television purposes. Why have all these agencies in place to help catch bad guys if there are no secrets about how they do it?

Don’t get me wrong, I realize that these men and women put their lives on the line every day they’re on the job, with the end goal of protecting their country and making the United States a better place. But is it a subject that’s appropriate for reality TV? Shouldn’t things like this be kept to Ann Curry specials and A&E documentaries?

There are 11 new episodes yet to air, so check it out at 8 p.m. Tuesdays on ABC.

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