NBC pulls the other one Date: Wed, 6 Jul 1994 10:37:00 -0400 To: wizards-star-list@ssr.com

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NBC pulls the other one From: james.randi@genie.geis.com Date: Wed, 6 Jul 1994 10:37:00 -0400 To: wizards-star-list@ssr.com Subject: X-Genie-Id: 7610077 X-Genie-From: JAMES.RANDI THE MORNING AFTER.... You will have received my rushed comments on the NBC-TV program "CURED!" that aired last night. Calls have been pouring in here, and I trust that my appeal to send mail to NBC has been acted on. That program was so shocking, I hardly know how to express my anger. NBC claimed that the Bubonic Plague was cured with homeopathy, because, they told us, three times as many who used homeopathy survived, compared to those who used conventional medicine. (1) Who supplied these figures? (2) Conventional medicine did ZERO for the plague, used bloodletting and KILLED the patients, while homeopathy did ZERO for the plague, used plain water and allowed the strong to survive. The commentator stated that the principles of "qi" as preached in ancient Chinese medicine have been proven to be valid. That's a blatant lie! Claim after claim was paraded out as fact, when IT IS WELL KNOWN THAT THESE MATTERS HAVE BEEN EXAMINED AND FOUND TO BE FALSE. How is it that NBC can choose to poison the intellectual community to sell sponsor time? I cannot believe there are no controls over broadcasting such nonsense as this, without adequate opposing opinions. The skeptics who did appear, were edited beyond effectiveness. I'm infuriated! We're awash in dis- and mis-information, force-fed to us via the irresponsible media. And we can't seem to stop it! Is there some self-destructive element at work here? Surely the NIH should consider making a statement on that program. If, that is, it's not too deeply into "alternative remedies" itself. But I'm sure there's so much red tape involved that it can't be done -- even if there was any intention, which I doubt. The "skeptic" angle used on the "CURED!" program was strictly formula: be sure to allow the skeptics to deride the claims, be sure they look strident, uninformed and wild-eyed, and be sure at least one of them IS uninformed and half-prepared. Keep them down to about 3% of the input. As soon as one has spoken, follow with a strong endorsement of the claim to neutralize what has been said. Try to get children, the American flag and pets into your rebuttal; that's always strong, and it works. And, work on the old folks. Make them feel they've been denied a choice of care, by the evil forces represented by the skeptics. Remember, no one can act against what you present without appearing to be anti-free speech, stubborn, unreasonable and medieval. And the senate and congress are full of starry-eyed crusaders who will bravely lead and defend you in your efforts, so have no fear! Folks, we're in big trouble, and NBC summed it up for us last night. That was a challenge thrown in our faces. PLEASE SEND THAT LETTER, and get everyone you can to do so, too, especially academics. We must do something! JR ======================================================================= From: james.randi@genie.geis.com Date: Tue, 5 Jul 1994 22:19:00 -0400 To: wizards-star-list@ssr.com Subject: NBC-TV does it again. X-Genie-Id: 7332543 X-Genie-From: JAMES.RANDI Tonight the NBC TV network broadcast a 2-hour crock of nonsense titled "Cured!" It was the expected load of misinformation, wild claims about totally unproven, "ancient wisdom" and "alternate therapies." Elizabeth Dukakis, the actress, was the host guru, proclaiming that everyone has a right to choose alternate, cheaper modes of medical treatment. OK, I accept that. BUT THEY ALSO HAVE THE RIGHT NOT TO BE LIED TO. At intervals, the skeptical point of view was allowed a few seconds to introduce a sour note, saying that it just might not be so, then the dog-and-pony show started up again and assured us that such a minority opinion can't prevail. The sponsors? Beside the regulars, there were manufacturers of homeopathic "remedies." Where the hell is TV taking us? Even the major networks are taking over the lying game just to hold viewers and sponsors! I URGE THOSE OF YOU WHO SAW THIS AND WERE EQUALLY ALARMED, TO WRITE TO NBC AND MAKE YOUR CONCERN KNOWN. PLEASE. SIT DOWN AND WRITE. IT'S THE ONLY THING THEY WILL REACT TO. IT'S IMPORTANT. James Randi.

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