CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Love it or hate it, "Buckwild" is not going away.
Sen. Joe Manchin did not cancel the MTV show, no matter what you've read on Facebook or Twitter. His supposed influence over certain state boards and football teams notwithstanding, it is doubtful junior senators hold much sway over what will fill the soon-to-be-vacant "Jersey Shore" time slot.
"Buckwild" is still scheduled to debut at 10 p.m. Jan. 3.
Rumors about the controversial show's cancellation - hailed as an Appalachian version of the network's "Jersey Shore" - swirled after a spoof that appeared last week on the fake news site "The Diggerer."
On Nov. 30, Diggerer editor Todd Carpenter wrote a story headlined "MTV Buckwild Cancelled Same Day It Was Announced." The tongue-in-cheek entry spins a tale of how Manchin shut down production of "Buckwild" because he was worried it would portray the Mountain State in a negative light.
The story even featured quotes from Manchin, albeit completely fictional ones.
"I did this for West Virginia, for our children, and for the memory of my wonderful uncle, A. James Manchin," Carpenter quoted Manchin as saying.
"I'd like to think he's here in spirit helping us put a stop to these types of negative stereotypes. I also did it for America. I would hate for Americans to start hating West Virginia as much as they do Jersey right now."
Again, Manchin never said any of those things. But that didn't stop some West Virginians from taking the bait.
Twitter user Luke Mason wrote on Nov. 30, "Apparently Joe Manchin is canceling 'Buckwild.' I'm pissed I really wanted to see that."
Not everyone was disappointed.
"Did Joe Manchin really cancel 'Buckwild?' PRAISE THE LAWD," Twitter user Adreona Cole wrote on Sunday.
Mari Yost had similar feelings.
"Thank God Senator Manchin stepped in to take a stand against #Buckwild At least he cares about the state of West Virginia and its people's reputations!" she tweeted on Monday.
Interestingly, Sen. Manchin's true opinions are not much different from Carpenter's made-up quotes.
"It is absolutely atrocious," Manchin said of "Buckwild" in a real Wednesday telephone interview with the Daily Mail. "It's a shame, first of all, that that would be called entertainment, and that it would have to be done in West Virginia."
He said he was aware some Twitter and Facebook users were crediting him with canceling the show.
"I wish I could," he said. "I'd loved to be blamed for that."
Manchin said he has not watched the trailer for "Buckwild," released last week, but has read a lot about the "irresponsible behavior" featured in the show.