To: Subject: Please watch.... Date: Mon, 29 Apr 1996 13:31

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

From: James Randi --- Wizard To: Subject: Please watch.... Date: Mon, 29 Apr 1996 13:31:50 -0400 I've been informed of another "Put It to the Test" episode coming up on ABC-TV tonight at 8pm. Apparently Noreen Renier's and Paul Mckenna's claims will be examined. If ABC does the same kind of shallow, inept, "investigation" as they did last time, we won't see much but a whitewash. Please watch this spectacle -- those of you who can -- and give me your opinions. And, more importantly, please write to ABC-TV to express your opinions -- pro or con -- about the treatment. My prediction? This one won't be any better than the last. Remember that the media are not interested in whether they inform their clients; they only want to titillate them and amuse them. The incautious viewer can and most often will believe that a huge organization producing a million-dollar show has told them the truth and has made efforts to check the validity of what is presented. That is not so; selling the sponsors' products is the whole intention of the production. ABC-TV will not give a moment's thought as to whether viewers will be emotionally or informationally damaged by their show. They will only look at the ratings. Their ethics and honor are elements that are ignored in favor of giving trusting viewers a distorted, biased, and fictionalized view of what those viewers have every right to know is farcical. ABC-TV just doesn't care. The bottom line is the dollar-value of what they show the public, how many cars, how much toothpaste, and what acreage of water-beds leave the stores the next morning. Ethics be damned. We can always stick on a few more public-service messages to keep the FCC pacified and get the license renewed.... Ah, but we can always depend upon PBS-TV to give us the facts, can't we? In the case of certain very dedicated shows such as NOVA and "Front Line," yes. But when it comes to fund-raising, certainly not. We are offered Deepak Chopra, the spokesman for the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and current King of Quackery, to stimulate our generosity. Only my revulsion was triggered, especially when "Discover Your Guardian Angel" was added to the Chopra rantings to cap off the insult. Let's face it, guys. We can't control the media, even when their permits to operate are up for renewal. There are dunderheads in the Congress -- which is supposed to protect us -- who fawn over gurus, psychics, fortune-tellers and pseudoscientists, all in the spirit of "political correctness." We are well into the New Dark Age. Buy batteries for those flashlights. James Randi ************************************************** ** PROVIDED FOR YOUR REFERENCE BY THE MODERATOR ** ************************************************** Requests to be added to or deleted from the randi-hotline mailing list, must be sent to the service address: Internet: PLEASE BE PATIENT. All requests are processed before each new mailing to the list and these can be widely spaced. You *will* be added if your request was sent to the correct address. Mail to James Randi can be sent to: Internet: The Amazing One reads all mail and will generally respond eventually. This can change with growing volume, of course... Thanks to Anson Kennedy, back issues of the randi-hotline are now available on the World Wide Web: Back issues of the randi-hotline are also available via anonymous FTP to: USA: directory: /pub/an/anson/Mailing_Lists/geller-hotline directory: /Randi Please try first, since is very busy. EUROPE: directory: /pub/Randi Our gratitude goes to Anson Kennedy and Massimo Macucci for providing the ftp sites at netcom and, respectively. Randi also has a web page - check it out at


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank