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Sweeps! A televised seance to communicate with those lost on Sept. 11!
October 25, 2001 3:59 PM   Subscribe

Sweeps! A televised seance to communicate with those lost on Sept. 11! [Drudge Report now reports that it's nixed b/c of a "public outcry." You don't say....]
posted by adrober (7 comments total)

 
Steve Rosenberg, the studio’s domestic syndication president, anticipating concerns by viewers, says the shows 'will be done tastefully…and won't be exploitative.'

I think that's logically impossible.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 4:59 PM on October 25, 2001


Don't the family members have the right to consult Edwards, regardless of supernatural expectations or not? If his show is exploitative in this case then it is always exploitative. I don't see too many [or any] accusations of exploitation from audience members. I tend to hear it from skeptic groups.

This sounds more like knee-jerk anti-paranormal backlash than anything else. If the media can confront grieving people right after a tragedy, push them with questions, and sell ads in the meantime why can't Edwards do the same? I smell a double standard.
posted by skallas at 5:28 PM on October 25, 2001


Skallas, give it up, man. First, John Edwards IS always exploitative. He exploits the hopes of ignorant people for money. But the people who go to his show go their by their own volition, so I can't get too upset.
However, making a tv special to milk money out of mass murder leaves a bad taste in my mouth. And it should leave a bad taste in yours.
You're also working from the false presumption that people don't see other cases of the media exploiting the tragedy. I see it happening all the time.
posted by Doug at 5:50 PM on October 25, 2001


But the people who go to his show go their by their own volition, so I can't get too upset.

Exactly right. They go of their own volition and have every right to participate in something that's for entertainment purposes. If the audience members want to believe Edwards is doing what he says he is then that's their prerogative. Whether Edwards can talk to the dead is irrelevant when it comes to what should and shouldn't be broadcast.

I think Oprah is exploitive and deals with a new age spiritualism of sorts but eventually, if not already, she'll bring in 9/11 victims, yet I'm not calling to shut her down.

You're also working from the false presumption that people don't see other cases of the media exploiting the tragedy.

Obviously the outcry mentioned in the initial post probably wouldn't be from people who equate media exploitation with talk show exploitation.

However, making a tv special to milk money out of mass murder leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

This is not true, the article says that the WTC victims would have been part of the already planned episodes. Someone who lost someone from the terrorist attacks will eventually be on that show, the difference is now it just won't be advertised that way.
posted by skallas at 6:24 PM on October 25, 2001


"the difference is now it just won't be advertised that way."

And to me, that makes all the difference.

People can go see John Edwards, I don't really have a problem time with that. I had a family member die in recent years, and lied to my mother about my belief in an afterlife to make her feel better. Sometimes people just need to hear things that make them feel better. BUT, this interaction isn't just between Edwards and his customer. It's broadcast on national television. Advertising it as, "John Edwards talks to victims of the WTC" is, to my mind, horribly exploitative. It's not a charity. He's not doing it to help people. It's a television show, and its sole reason for existing is to make money. So in this case, he is making money from people's sadness and loss.

I can't imagine a better definition of exploitation than a special episode of a tv show in which family members of the WTC talk to their dead loved ones via some shmuck from LI.
posted by Doug at 6:59 PM on October 25, 2001


Truly, a poor excuse for a human being.
posted by spinifex at 9:04 PM on October 25, 2001


Agreed. Pretty vile.
posted by ratbastard at 9:16 AM on October 26, 2001


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