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Lauren Weinstein: If MTV Calls, Hang Up

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the if-only-it-had-been-live-instead dept.

The Media 761

Lauren Weinstein writes "Usually when one gets a call to participate in a news-oriented television program, subterfuge isn't a worry. But in the brave new world of 'newsertainment' -- a blurring of news and entertainment -- you really need to watch your back. Herein is the sordid tale (posted last night to Dave Farber's "IP" list) of what recently happened to me -- and my narrow escape -- when Viacom/MTV Networks came calling, asking for my help to educate the world's youth about important topics (in this case, the scourge of spam). Be warned. It could happen to you!"

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For those that just read the summary (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479163)

For people that didn't read the article, it's actually a new show on Comedy Central [digitalspy.co.uk] called Crossballs [crossballs.com] . It's not MTV itself, or even a show on MTV.

Comedy Central also produces the great The Daily Show [comedycentral.com] , which I'm sure a few guests are upset they appeared on after it airs. (Host Jon Stewart recently jokingly asked on the show why anyone is still willing to appear). It's more widely known, though, and they seem to be open about who they are.

For those that would like to read the article (5, Informative)

delta407 (518868) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479197)

I managed to grab a mirror [lerfjhax.com] before the server was reduced to a smouldering pile of copper and silicon.

Enjoy.

Re:For those that would like to read the article (5, Funny)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479384)

You appear to have lightning reflexes.

Re:For those that just read the summary (2, Informative)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479214)

Actually if you would of read it:

Not really a debate at all, the show is actually
a program for Comedy Central (yes, an MTV/Viacom network)

Re:For those that just read the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479252)

No, I did read it. MTV is not MTV Networks or Viacom. So, if MTV (the channel calls), it's not necessarily the same thing. MTV Networks is like OSDN to Slashdot. Sure, OSDN could call and ask to interview you, and then put it on a pardoy site they run. That doesn't mean Slashdot is doing it.

Re:For those that just read the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479289)

Way to get pedantic when you are still wrong for not reading the article.

Re:For those that just read the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479296)

I am not wrong. MTV != MTV Networks. The story headline says "If MTV Calls" not "If MTV Networks Calls." It's not the same thing. Sorry if you can't handle being wrong yourself.

Re:For those that just read the summary (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479305)

My dick is bigger than yours. Feel the pain as I insert it into your rectum.

Re:For those that just read the summary (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479337)

You were wrong and I was right. Just admit it and get over it. Turn your ego down a few notches, fucko.

Re:For those that just read the summary (2)

Aliencow (653119) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479402)

How fucking hard is it to say would HAVE instead of would OF? It doesn't even make sense for christ's sake !

Re:For those that just read the summary (3, Interesting)

Izago909 (637084) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479283)

Didn't the Daily Show win a major news or reporting award for their coverage of the last presidental election?

Re:For those that just read the summary (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479307)

They won a Peabody award [campusprogram.com] .

Re:For those that just read the summary (4, Insightful)

siriuskase (679431) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479348)

The Daily show does try to be reasonably accurate, in that their targets are people who are already in the straight news and presumably an intelligent viewer can sort things out It is almost a real news show for those who know to take it all with a grain of salt

Re:For those that just read the summary (5, Insightful)

siriuskase (679431) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479287)

I read the article, it's about an "embarass the guest" kind of show and since it's taped, Comedy Central holds all the cards. Definitely something you would never want to be on.

If you are ever asked to guest on a show you aren't familiar with, it is imperative that you get familiar with it. Any information you get from the producers should be in writing. If they insist on using only telephone or editable email (a red flag, BTW), print it out as a contract and ask that it be signed.

I Loooooove the Daily Show (1)

josh3736 (745265) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479359)

The Daily Show is awesome. Yes, it is not Real News®. But they do make it more than obvious. Stewart often refers to himself as a "fake newsman." He calls the show "a fake news show" all the time. I remember when they were doing a green screen bit (where they pretend to be on location) and the computer switched off (so you just saw the green). "Now you know our horrible secret!" Classic!

Re:I Loooooove the Daily Show (3, Funny)

EvanED (569694) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479452)

There was also a time they had a "live" segment from Washington and Stewart started laughing because it was light out at 11pm. Steven Colbert came up with a good retort for that one, but I forget what it was.

Then there're the occasional time they continually change the background. Like the other night when Colbert was covering the G-8 summit and got moved from Savannah, GA to St. Louis, MO in about 3 seconds during a cut to Stewart. Or the time Steve Correll (sp?) left Bagdad because he didn't realize the scope of our impending invasion, and successive cuts showed him packing up his stuff in a hotel room, in an aiport, on a plane, etc. They have a lot of fun with that thing...

Re:For those that just read the summary (1)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479365)

Actually it is a show on MTV. MTV/Viacom owns Comedy Central, which you would have known had you read more than just the summary yourself.

And it is nothing like the Daily Show, which (while I have not seen it in a while so my observations are based on past experiences) once in a while tries to do a serious discussion and at least treats their guests with some respect, something I'm not sure I can say about this show.

Re:For those that just read the summary (1)

lysacor (237887) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479408)

There is a major difference between being duped into trying to go onto a show that is going to trash your professional opinion and in some cases discredit your ideas those who barely believe in what you have to say...

And actually attending a show that you approve of entering for the mere fact of entertainment, and not education...

Yeah people get a few good laughs out of a few immature and completely asinine media event, but the overall effect from this can totally unfocus the publics view on a professional's personal outlook on a lot of different issues, marking them up to private interests or trying to sway the public opinion with less than realistic or truthful information.

We have plenty of FUD and trash that is distributed everyday (SCO's lawsuit against IBM, Microsoft proclamation that their product has a lesser TCO than using linux... so on and so forth) there is no reason to further put to shame the true professionals who's life work could really be damaged by media idiots who are just looking to make another quick buck.

IMHO these shows should really be reviewed by their media outlets...

I've seen Ads for this show.... (3, Insightful)

josh3736 (745265) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479409)

Since I usually have Comedy Central on in the background (as it is usually quality programming), I have seen a few ads for this new show.

It looks like it is gonna suck. Ass.

Most likely it'll flop after 3 episodes. And good, it looks rediculusly annoying.

It'll go in the pile of CC shows I hate, along with Colin Quinn's Tough Crowd. Which I'm amazed hasn't been canceled yet. Futurama would be so much nicer there!

Don't lose your head (0, Troll)

Cold Winter Days (772398) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479165)

Like he did [ogrish.com] .

I'd love to read it... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479169)

...but looks like your 50megs account has been Slashdotted.

FP! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479174)

click [anti-slash.org]

Jesus! (-1, Troll)

aldoman (670791) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479178)

Haven't we had enough of morally deviant predators grooming little kids to turn them into compliant bitches?

Now, I'm all for teaching kids (and adults) about the consequences of their actions, but the action that the RIAA are objecting to isn't file copying, it's not buying music. There's a distinction, and I want them to be honest about what they're saying.

What these kids are really being told is: "If you don't do buy Freshy Q's new CD, the police will take your mommy away. Sorry, I mean, Freshy Q is going to die in the gutter."

Now, sure, Freshy is dead meat if you don't buy because you're downloading his m3p, but the thing is, he's just as destitute if you don't buy because you're happy listening to him on the radio, or by streamed webcast, or on MTV-a-like channels, or (shocker) if despite - or perhaps because of - the many ways that the RIAA pays to get the music to you, you simply choose not to buy a CD.

That's the message that the RIAA is giving, once you strip the bullshit away. Buy more music. Buy music, or you've killed Freshy Q. It's not our job to persuade you to pay, it doesn't matter how generic or plastic our miming meat puppets are, the fact is, Billy, it's your responsibility to pay, and frankly, you should pay whether you like the music or not. It's all about stopping poor Freshy Q from starving.

Spooky prediction? Next year, it's Driver's Ed, but first a short message from our sponsors, the Ford Motor Company Inc.

"Hello class. I'd like to tell you the story of Wally Doe. We had to lay Wally off because you selfish little bastards are walking to school instead of pestering your parents to buy you a Ford Weener. Now Wally has to give handjobs for food. Say, kids, how would you feel about choking the chicken of a 400lb trucker to make ends meet?"

sdotted? (-1, Redundant)

wolverine1999 (126497) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479180)

Has the site been slashdotted already?

Re:sdotted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479190)

Appears so. Anyone have a mirror?

Article Text (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479218)

The L.A. Times article (avoid folding the long URL!):http://www.latimes.com/business/la-adfi-fres ton20jun20,1,5581013.story?
coll=la-home-headline sonline for now (registration required) tells the story ofTom Freston, chairman of Viacom's MTV Networks. The article suggests that Tom's style for MTV et al. might be the saving grace for Paramount and perhaps the rest of the entertainment industry.

If MTV's model is the solution, we're in for big trouble. Hear my saga and avoid the fate that almost befell yours truly -- experts and spokespeople in the IP readership, you could be next!

A few weeks ago, I got a call from a producer who identified herself as being with MTV Networks' "The Debate Project" -- who wanted to book me onto a new debate format show in production, to be taped a few days hence. She described the show (which she never actually specifically named) as oriented toward young people about important topics, with guests who were experts in their respective fields. They wanted me to debate a known spammer (who they wouldn't identify at the time) regarding the scourge of spam. It would be fun she implied, since the audience would of course be on my side.

While MTV Net producing a show like this seemed a bit odd, it's not unheard of for them to do topical programming. She assured me the program would definitely air on an MTV Network but wasn't sure which one yet. Odd, but I've gotten stranger calls from more ordinary news-oriented programs.

They sealed the deal by promising to send a car so I wouldn't have to hassle with driving in to Hollywood from The Valley through late Friday afternoon traffic, and even said they'd throw in $200 (egads -- payment for a "news" appearance -- unheard of in my experience!)

OK, I'll bite -- sounds more interesting than typical interviews anyway. Then followed more phone calls from other staffers questioning me at length on the topic of spam, an e-mailed message with similar questions, and finally all was set to go. They were really excited about my joining them the next day they kept saying, and would call me in the morning before sending the car.

That same Thursday night, with the show scheduled for Friday, I was increasingly uncomfortable. There was a bad feeling I just couldn't shake, an almost animal instinct of something amiss that I couldn't put my finger on.

When the show had originally called, I had done some cursory googling but couldn't fine anything relevant. This didn't seem too unusual for a show in production but not yet on air. Now I started googling in depth.

At first I found nothing again. But then I started working backwards from the contact phone numbers I had for the show's production staff. This time I hit pay dirt, and while the pages unscrolled on my screen a cold chill ran down my spine.

As the recent, angry testimonials I had found recounted, with a matching of modus operandi that left no chance for error, the show on which I was about to appear was a fraud.

Not really a debate at all, the show is actually
a program for Comedy Central (yes, an MTV/Viacom network) called "Crossballs" -- and its sole purpose is the embarrassment and humiliation of the expert guests who are brought on expecting a legitimate discussion program.

Crossballs is a rigged "reality" show, where real guests, who have been kept in the dark about the show's real format, are paired off against actors (playing the debate opponents) for the amusement of the live audience. The stories I read from
persons recently on the show included descriptions of crude, sexually-oriented verbal attacks (and worse, like being handed various sexual "apparatus") and concerns that their reputations would be ruined once the shows aired.

As the alien commander said in "Plan 9 From Outer Space": "That was TOO close!"

In a few hours I was scheduled to go on that show. If it were aired live I could have had some fun, since I now knew what was going on but they didn't know that I knew. But since it was taped there was no point. If I didn't react the way they expected, my segment would no doubt be removed or perhaps edited in some perverse way.

I left a late night voicemail message with the producer, cancelling my appearance with "extreme prejudice"...

Of course, I never heard from them again. No calls came. No car arrived. No explanations. No apologies.

I had escaped Viacom's reality TV trap. The other guests scheduled for that Friday afternoon were probably not as lucky.

So hear me oh readers of IP! When the e-mail arrives or the phone rings, and an earnest-sounding guy or gal asks you to
lend your expertise to the betterment of young people in a late afternoon debate deep in the heart of Hollywood... Turn off the computer. Hang up the phone. Unplug the network connection. It's probably MTV/Viacom calling from the brave
new world of "newsertainment" -- and unless you get your kicks from being humiliated before an audience of millions, this is one show you definitely don't want to be thinking back on years
from now.

One can't help but feel sorry for the legit news folks over at CBS' "60 Minutes" and other excellent news programs, who must share the Viacom name with the happy-go-lucky gang sucking victims
into fake "news" shows over on Comedy Central.

As long as this message is, it's merely the Executive Summary. Anyone interested in the gory details should feel free to contact me directly.

Take care!

MTV wanted me to do an unplugged (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479181)

MTV wanted me to do an unplugged. I told them to take a hike.

how silly. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479185)

from the if-only-it-had-been-live-instead dept.

No shit, that would've been fun. She (I assume it's a she) could've gotten on there and gone on and on about how the "penis enlargement pills" she bought "worked great for her" and how she "wishes she had a boyfriend so she could let him try them too". He heh heh. But then one day "it fell off" and so now she's turned to the side of the spam-fighters. And she has it in a box offstage, should she go get it?

Seriously, I consider *MSNBC* to be "newsertainment", so you can imagine my opinion of Mtv talk shows. *shiver*. I gave up on Mtv sometime in high school, a long time ago, once they stopped showing actual music.

Mtv is like a giant parabolic reflector, collecting idiocy from far and wide and focusing it into a small rectangular screen. (Yeah I know, RTFA, it was actually Comedy Central but it's all a big heaping serving from the same vegetard stew).

In Soviet Russia... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479227)

A small rectangular screen focuses idiocy from far and wide onto you!

Re:In Soviet Russia... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479239)

...this gag is still funny.

Re:how silly. (5, Insightful)

retro128 (318602) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479347)

Actually it's a "he". Poor guy, what were his parents thinking? :)

Since his server's been nuked, you can read a little about him here. [coasttocoastam.com]

Re:how silly. (1)

xigxag (167441) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479453)

For the love of God, mod parent up.

Punk'd? (5, Insightful)

mfh (56) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479187)

After Punk'd, I would never speak with anyone remotely appearing to give me a hard time over anything whatsoever. I'd just walk away. Who would speak to MTV anyway? Aren't they just a bunch of asshats with lots of money but no direction whatsoever? I mean, I'd love to party with those guys because it'd be a blast... but to work seriously (or try to) with MTV would be like a game of career-Russian-roulette.

I hope they punk Ray Lewis (5, Funny)

gelfling (6534) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479276)

Serously, I will cheer that Assston tries to punk a real badass like Ray Lewis or Allen Iverson and it ends in a quadruple homicide, high speed car chase, dead innocent civilians and a billion dollar lawsuit against MTV.

Re:Punk'd? (5, Informative)

wfberg (24378) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479300)

Since the shows are taped, they can't broadcast anything without a signed waiver, for fear of you sueing the bejesus out of them. Just stay clear of signing waivers that pertain to tapings of future events, and you'll be fine.

Here is the sordid article text (5, Informative)

scragz (654271) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479188)

Dave,

The L.A. Times article (avoid folding the long URL!):
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-adfi-fr eston20j un20,1,5581013.story?
coll=la-home-headlines online for now (registration required) tells the story of
Tom Freston, chairman of Viacom's MTV Networks. The article suggests that Tom's
style for MTV et al. might be the saving grace for Paramount and perhaps the
rest of the entertainment industry.

If MTV's model is the solution, we're in for big trouble. Hear my saga and avoid
the fate that almost befell yours truly -- experts and spokespeople in the IP
readership, you could be next!

A few weeks ago, I got a call from a producer who identified herself as being
with MTV Networks' "The Debate Project" - -- who wanted to book me onto a new
debate format show in production, to be taped a few days hence. She described
the show (which she never actually specifically named) as oriented toward young
people about important topics, with guests who were experts in their respective
fields. They wanted me to debate a known spammer (who they wouldn't identify at
the time) regarding the scourge of spam. It would be fun she implied, since the
audience would of course be on my side.

While MTV Net producing a show like this seemed a bit odd, it's not unheard of
for them to do topical programming. She assured me the program would definitely
air on an MTV Network but wasn't sure which one yet. Odd, but I've gotten
stranger calls from more ordinary news-oriented programs.

They sealed the deal by promising to send a car so I wouldn't have to hassle
with driving in to Hollywood from The Valley through late Friday afternoon
traffic, and even said they'd throw in $200 (egads -- payment for a "news"
appearance -- unheard of in my experience!)

OK, I'll bite -- sounds more interesting than typical interviews anyway. Then
followed more phone calls from other staffers questioning me at length on the
topic of spam, an e-mailed message with similar questions, and finally all was
set to go. They were really excited about my joining them the next day they kept
saying, and would call me in the morning before sending the car.

That same Thursday night, with the show scheduled for Friday, I was increasingly
uncomfortable. There was a bad feeling I just couldn't shake, an almost animal
instinct of something amiss that I couldn't put my finger on.

When the show had originally called, I had done some cursory googling but
couldn't fine anything relevant. This didn't seem too unusual for a show in
production but not yet on air. Now I started googling in depth.

At first I found nothing again. But then I started working backwards from the
contact phone numbers I had for the show's production staff. This time I hit pay
dirt, and while the pages unscrolled on my screen a cold chill ran down my
spine.

As the recent, angry testimonials I had found recounted, with a matching of
modus operandi that left no chance for error, the show on which I was about to
appear was a fraud.

Not really a debate at all, the show is actually a program for Comedy Central
(yes, an MTV/Viacom network) called "Crossballs" -- and its sole purpose is the
embarrassment and humiliation of the expert guests who are brought on expecting
a legitimate discussion program.

Crossballs is a rigged "reality" show, where real guests, who have been kept in
the dark about the show's real format, are paired off against actors (playing
the debate opponents) for the amusement of the live audience. The stories I read
from persons recently on the show included descriptions of crude,
sexually-oriented verbal attacks (and worse, like being handed various sexual
"apparatus") and concerns that their reputations would be ruined once the shows
aired.

As the alien commander said in "Plan 9 From Outer Space": "That was TOO close!"

In a few hours I was scheduled to go on that show. If it were aired live I could
have had some fun, since I now knew what was going on but they didn't know that
I knew. But since it was taped there was no point. If I didn't react the way
they expected, my segment would no doubt be removed or perhaps edited in some
perverse way.

I left a late night voicemail message with the producer, cancelling my
appearance with "extreme prejudice"...

Of course, I never heard from them again. No calls came. No car arrived. No
explanations. No apologies.

I had escaped Viacom's reality TV trap. The other guests scheduled for that
Friday afternoon were probably not as lucky.

So hear me oh readers of IP! When the e-mail arrives or the phone rings, and an
earnest-sounding guy or gal asks you to lend your expertise to the betterment of
young people in a late afternoon debate deep in the heart of Hollywood... Turn
off the computer. Hang up the phone. Unplug the network connection. It's
probably MTV/Viacom calling from the brave new world of "newsertainment" -- and
unless you get your kicks from being humiliated before an audience of millions,
this is one show you definitely don't want to be thinking back on years from
now.

One can't help but feel sorry for the legit news folks over at CBS' "60 Minutes"
and other excellent news programs, who must share the Viacom name with the
happy-go-lucky gang sucking victims into fake "news" shows over on Comedy
Central.

As long as this message is, it's merely the Executive Summary. Anyone interested
in the gory details should feel free to contact me directly.

Take care!

- --Lauren--
Lauren Weinstein

Re:Here is the sordid article text (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479244)

fuck shit karma whore bitch. fuck off.

Dumbass Mods (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479313)

Any mod who rated this +1 informative should be denied modding powers for life.

Slashdotted already!!! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479194)

Viacom/MTV Networks' "The Debate Show" Fraud Back to Lauren Weinstein's Blog To: Ip From: David Farber Subject: [IP] Warning to IP Readers: When "The Debate Show" Calls -- Hang Up! Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 09:32:50 -0400 Begin forwarded message:

From: Lauren Weinstein Date: June 20, 2004 1:26:40 AM EDT To: dave@farber.net Cc: lauren@vortex.com Subject: Warning to IP Readers: When "The Debate Show" Calls -- Hang Up!

Dave,

The L.A. Times article (avoid folding the long URL!): http://www.latimes.com/business/la-adfi-freston20j un20,1,5581013.story? coll=la-home-headlines online for now (registration required) tells the story of Tom Freston, chairman of Viacom's MTV Networks. The article suggests that Tom's style for MTV et al. might be the saving grace for Paramount and perhaps the rest of the entertainment industry.

If MTV's model is the solution, we're in for big trouble. Hear my saga and avoid the fate that almost befell yours truly -- experts and spokespeople in the IP readership, you could be next!

A few weeks ago, I got a call from a producer who identified herself as being with MTV Networks' "The Debate Project" - -- who wanted to book me onto a new debate format show in production, to be taped a few days hence. She described the show (which she never actually specifically named) as oriented toward young people about important topics, with guests who were experts in their respective fields. They wanted me to debate a known spammer (who they wouldn't identify at the time) regarding the scourge of spam. It would be fun she implied, since the audience would of course be on my side.

While MTV Net producing a show like this seemed a bit odd, it's not unheard of for them to do topical programming. She assured me the program would definitely air on an MTV Network but wasn't sure which one yet. Odd, but I've gotten stranger calls from more ordinary news-oriented programs.

They sealed the deal by promising to send a car so I wouldn't have to hassle with driving in to Hollywood from The Valley through late Friday afternoon traffic, and even said they'd throw in $200 (egads -- payment for a "news" appearance -- unheard of in my experience!)

OK, I'll bite -- sounds more interesting than typical interviews anyway. Then followed more phone calls from other staffers questioning me at length on the topic of spam, an e-mailed message with similar questions, and finally all was set to go. They were really excited about my joining them the next day they kept saying, and would call me in the morning before sending the car.

That same Thursday night, with the show scheduled for Friday, I was increasingly uncomfortable. There was a bad feeling I just couldn't shake, an almost animal instinct of something amiss that I couldn't put my finger on.

When the show had originally called, I had done some cursory googling but couldn't fine anything relevant. This didn't seem too unusual for a show in production but not yet on air. Now I started googling in depth.

At first I found nothing again. But then I started working backwards from the contact phone numbers I had for the show's production staff. This time I hit pay dirt, and while the pages unscrolled on my screen a cold chill ran down my spine.

As the recent, angry testimonials I had found recounted, with a matching of modus operandi that left no chance for error, the show on which I was about to appear was a fraud.

Not really a debate at all, the show is actually a program for Comedy Central (yes, an MTV/Viacom network) called "Crossballs" -- and its sole purpose is the embarrassment and humiliation of the expert guests who are brought on expecting a legitimate discussion program.

Crossballs is a rigged "reality" show, where real guests, who have been kept in the dark about the show's real format, are paired off against actors (playing the debate opponents) for the amusement of the live audience. The stories I read from persons recently on the show included descriptions of crude, sexually-oriented verbal attacks (and worse, like being handed various sexual "apparatus") and concerns that their reputations would be ruined once the shows aired.

As the alien commander said in "Plan 9 From Outer Space": "That was TOO close!"

In a few hours I was scheduled to go on that show. If it were aired live I could have had some fun, since I now knew what was going on but they didn't know that I knew. But since it was taped there was no point. If I didn't react the way they expected, my segment would no doubt be removed or perhaps edited in some perverse way.

I left a late night voicemail message with the producer, cancelling my appearance with "extreme prejudice"...

Of course, I never heard from them again. No calls came. No car arrived. No explanations. No apologies.

I had escaped Viacom's reality TV trap. The other guests scheduled for that Friday afternoon were probably not as lucky.

So hear me oh readers of IP! When the e-mail arrives or the phone rings, and an earnest-sounding guy or gal asks you to lend your expertise to the betterment of young people in a late afternoon debate deep in the heart of Hollywood... Turn off the computer. Hang up the phone. Unplug the network connection. It's probably MTV/Viacom calling from the brave new world of "newsertainment" -- and unless you get your kicks from being humiliated before an audience of millions, this is one show you definitely don't want to be thinking back on years from now.

One can't help but feel sorry for the legit news folks over at CBS' "60 Minutes" and other excellent news programs, who must share the Viacom name with the happy-go-lucky gang sucking victims into fake "news" shows over on Comedy Central.

As long as this message is, it's merely the Executive Summary. Anyone interested in the gory details should feel free to contact me directly.

Take care!

- --Lauren-- Lauren Weinstein lauren@pfir.org or lauren@vortex.com or lauren@privacyforum.org Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800 http://www.pfir.org/lauren Co-Founder, PFIR - People For Internet Responsibility - http://www.pfir.org Co-Founder, Fact Squad - http://www.factsquad.org Co-Founder, URIICA - Union for Representative International Internet Cooperation and Analysis - http://www.uriica.org Moderator, PRIVACY Forum - http://www.vortex.com Member, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy Lauren's Blog: http://www.vortex.com/lauren-blog

Archives at: http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interes ting-people/

------- End of Forwarded Message

How did he know? (2, Interesting)

chrispyman (710460) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479196)

It's interesting that this one person was able to figure out that the debate was just a reality show. Honestly I could see how many people could fall for a seemingly legitimate request.

Re:How did he know? (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479216)

Easy. What shows on TV AREN'T reality shows these days?

Re:How did he know? (5, Insightful)

mutewinter (688449) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479265)

"Reality" shows? You mean shows that have absolutely no connection with reality but have low production budgets?

Re:How did he know? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479421)

Reality shows are easy to spot. They're the ones where the pixelizing guy makes $1million due to the health-danger bonus.

-hadohk

Re:How did he know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479290)

The news?

Re:How did he know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479322)

Heh. You don't know how true that is.

Re:How did he know? (2, Insightful)

mutewinter (688449) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479232)

Thank God for Google. ;)

Re:How did he know? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479354)

Thank Google for god more like....

Poontangue (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479200)

Poontang, poontang, I love that sweet MTV poontang!

For $200? (1)

Arcanix (140337) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479212)

If I were an expert I would revel going on this show, but then again I like to argue with people...

Re:For $200? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479338)

The problem is this 'Lauren' is not really an expert. Real experts don't walk around calling themselves experts and appearing on news shows. Lauren is a bottom sucking slimeball that knows just enough to act like an expert and then makes money by just talking and bsing all day to other people as if she is an expert. As such her reputation is what matters to her. This is what keeps tricking people into giving her money. If she appears on this non-serious show her serious expert reputation might be hurt.

i find your statements intriguing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479387)

and wish to subscribe to your newsletter

Nice troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479447)

I'm glad you know so much about "her" [coasttocoastam.com] to warn us all. Whatever would we do without you?

Is this really any worse than... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479219)

...Askslashdot or the interviews section. Just say no.

Re:Is this really any worse than... (-1, Offtopic)

XaviorPenguin (789745) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479230)

That quote was not cool...-_-

Its just like Ali G (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479234)

INNIT!?

Re:Its just like Ali G (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479324)

You know someone like Ali G is garbage when even MTV thinks they are too low brow...

coward (4, Funny)

mabu (178417) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479253)

Even if the whole thing was a fraud, it should have been an experience to participate. Having known it was a setup, this would have been a great opportunity to spin things back on the hosts and have some fun.

I would have loved an opportunity like this. I would have actually showed up and pretended once they started taping, that I was actually an anti-SPAM (the food from Hormel) advocate, or something equally goofy. At least you could have stood up in front of the studio audience and made a nice speech denouncing the quality of tv programming and how out of touch Viacom is with honest and decent programming.

Instead you just bowed out... hell you didn't even let them send the car. Think of the potential. You could have called up an enemy and sent him on the show, or found a homeless guy and told him he could get a free meal and a ride for participating. The possibilities were endless.

Re:coward (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479271)

"Even if the whole thing was a fraud, it should have been an experience to participate. Having known it was a setup, this would have been a great opportunity to spin things back on the hosts and have some fun."

It was NOT LIVE.

If you did something clever back at them, they would edit it to make you look like a retard.

Re:coward (5, Funny)

mabu (178417) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479291)

It doesn't matter. The studio audience would be LIVE.

If I were in that situation and I felt it was a trap, I'd say F*CK every other word. Let them try to edit that out.

You could pull a "Tim Robbins" and wear a t-shirt that says "This TV show is a SHAM" or some other really nasty image/saying. Let them try to edit that out!

You could call up the local obnoxious radio morning crew and tell them of the plan and work with them to cook up a dirty counter-trick. There's a pair of those sleazeballs in every area that live for this kind of stuff.

ENDLESS POSSIBILITY FOR FUN... and it was all blown.... too bad.

Re:coward (3, Insightful)

antic (29198) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479315)

And then when they use that footage against you elsewhere to imply that you're unprofessional?

Best to not waste time with it or, as someone else said, send in some guy off the street for a free ride.

Re:coward (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479362)

You better be real careful how you do this. Once they get footage from you, and you make them angry, they can screw you up in a hundred different ways and they will. If you're an established celebrity, their efforts may not have any effect, but if you're not well-known they will do everything to ruin you, if for no reason other than to warn others to not mess with them.

Personally, I'd go one step further than the headline and say "if any news/entertainment media calls, hang up!" These days, they're just too profit-centric to be trusted.

-hadohk

Re:coward (2, Informative)

chimpo13 (471212) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479416)

They edit out shirts on teevee all the time. They also edit out "not paid for" product placement when they're in someone's house/business. Say, I'm drinking an RC Cola who doesn't pay for product placement, and MTV shows up, they edit out the RC label. Crazy.

Re:coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479311)

"how out of touch Viacom is with honest and decent programming."

since when has there been honest and decent programming on TV?

Re:coward (1)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479326)

Having known it was a setup, this would have been a great opportunity to spin things back on the hosts and have some fun.

Unfortunately, as Lauren stated in the article, the show was being taped and not going out live. While it was certainly possible to spend an evening having some fun, the likely outcome would be that the section was simply dropped. Alternatively, if the asshats running the show were suitably vindictive about it (and it is *MTV* remember), then they could have done some highly creative editing and aired the segment anyway.

There have been countless instances where people have been made out to be completely different to reality through rightspeak, propaganda, spin or whatever the latest buzzword is... I think Lauren made the right call by simply telling them to stick it and then trying to warn off as many people as possible - going on the show under false pretences would kind of be like the pot calling the kettle black, would it not?

Re:coward (1)

OakLEE (91103) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479361)

The show is not live, or live-to-tape, meaning it is probably edited (heavily at that) to excentuate whatever Comedy Central feels would hit their target audience. This would have a similar affect to that of editing in most reality TV shows like The Apprenctice, Survior, whatever, where the little tiffs or asides are often blown out of proportion for drama and entertainment value. One need only look at Bowling for Columbine [google.com] to see what clever editing and manipulation of video can produce.

__________________________________________

Re:coward (3, Insightful)

doorbot.com (184378) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479395)

Instead you just bowed out... hell you didn't even let them send the car. Think of the potential.

Well, it wasn't being filmed live, but disregarding that, one could always show up and inform the other guests whats going on, and then leave before the show starts. Let the legitimate guests in on the secret before they're embarassed...

Amazing... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479263)

In the world of Daily Shows, Ali G., etc.-- as well as smartass miniDV documentaries [soldiersundercommand.com] I can't see why anyone, celebrity or not, talks to a camera crew anymore. You're just asking to have your quotes taken out of context and to be laughed at by the world.

Re:Amazing... (1)

Erect Horsecock (655858) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479331)

OMG

Thanks for the link to the documentary! That was too funny..

For those scared to click the link it's a documentary about a Christian Metal group named Stryper

if you're going on to a tv show.. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479266)

and it seems like a candid camera blurb... ..it probably is.

well, actually, for two hundred bucks I could spare 'em a hour, just to fuck them up by getting up and leaving when it was obvious that it wasn't a real debate.

or rolling on the floor laughing my ass off for the absurdity of it all.

This guy is probably just pissed... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479272)

...they didn't pimp his Civic.

Geez, lighten up (4, Informative)

bscott (460706) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479273)

It's hardly the only show on the air which does this - "Ali G" from the UK (and HBO) is a great example, he's interviewed the likes of Newt Gingrich, C Everett Koop, Ralph Nader, Buzz Aldrin and many others, most of whom never caught on. I'm sure the basic concept goes back as far as audiovisual reproduction technology.

The good satirical shows (like the Daily Show) merely allow genuine whackos and phonies to make fools of themselves; I'm sure there are also lowbrow shows which try to ambush and victimize unsuspecting guests as well. I dunno which sort this "Crossballs" will be (though there's one or two in the cast whom I know don't need to be doing crap to pay rent, so there's hope) but regardless, her reaction seems to be a bit over the top...

Re:Geez, lighten up (1)

Zarks (783916) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479386)

Ali G is hilarious. Coming from the UK I dont see how anyone could fail to realise he isn't being serious, maybe Americans dont get that kind of humour. Buzz Aldrin should have spotted that something was up when he asked him about the conspiricy theorys of the moon being fake.

I'm pretty sure one of the people he interviewed threatened to sue if the interview was shown.

Re:Geez, lighten up (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479404)

It's one thing to make fun of celebrities. Their personalities are well-established and a couple of joke interviews are fair game, don't affect the person's reputation in any way, and are sometimes funny.

It's also one thing to make fun of whackos. The idea being that they will ruin their own reputation sooner or later anyway.

But it's something different altogether to do joke interviews on unsuspecting non-celebrities. Their personalities may not be well-established in the public eye, and making one of their first appearances on national TV as the butt of a joke can ruin their professional reputation, or at least make it hard to establish.

-hadohk

What the hell is "newsertainment"? (4, Informative)

cioxx (456323) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479285)

I believe the accepted term is infotainment, and in some cases - docutainment.

Re:What the hell is "newsertainment"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479434)

Which all fall in the category of makemebarfterms.

-hadohk

Is this Jerky Boys gone Wild? (5, Interesting)

scupper (687418) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479286)

This seem like the Jerky Boys entertainment model gone amok. Recently here in Sacramento, CA, our County's Registrar of Voters officer Jill LaVine [sacramento.ca.us] , got targeted by the same tactics used by Jon Stewart's Daily Show "Mock the Vote [comedycentral.com] ". She fell for it, and our local paper did a story on it [sacbee.com] .
What's disturbing is that, in the story, a Pew survey was cited stating that [people-press.org] :
21 percent of adults ages 18 to 29 said they regularly turn to "The Daily Show" and "Saturday Night Live" for presidential campaign news.
Even worse, they asked a local sociology professor from UC Davis about the trend, and she said:
"They feel like it doesn't speak to their desires or interests, and part of that is just being young, but part of it is feeling like, 'What's the point of being informed because you can't change anything anyway,"

Re:Is this Jerky Boys gone Wild? (5, Informative)

Have Blue (616) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479379)

The great thing about the Daily Show is that it's an actual news show: They cover real-world events, they report the actual facts, and only then do they start joking around. At least, they are no more or less accurate than any other TV news program. And since it's a comedy, and on cable, they can get away with more BS-calling and inconsistency-lampooning than most, and that's why it's so attractive to the younger generation.

Re:Is this Jerky Boys gone Wild? (1)

chimpo13 (471212) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479388)

I don't think she "fell" for it. The Daily Show doesn't hide who they are. She was just hoping to not make an ass out of herself.

Saddly, I know lots of people who get their news from the Daily Show. And I think the UC professor is correct. Who's going to stop an unwanted war? Stop unnecessary SUVs? The government won't even stop spam. There's not much of a difference between Democrats and Republicans. As the Feederz put it, "When you're being sodomized, who cares if it's from the right or the left".

And for Sacramento news (I live in midtown) they do their best to stop live entertainment even though they have a weird Hard Rock Cafe mentality. Hey, that didn't work, so now we'll put in a new artsy theater that'll put Tower Theater under. There's crooked cops out raping girls on their shift. The homeless shelters being shut down to make the city nicer. What's the point? I still vote, but I think it's pretty worthless. There's a reason for the "slacker" generation to be slackers. Who gives a damn?

MTV... (5, Funny)

dark404 (714846) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479293)

makes -1 flamebait look +5 insightful

I want to join the fun (3, Funny)

MacFury (659201) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479297)

I've always wanted to pretend to be President Bush's spokesperson during a gathering of reporters.

According to President Bush, President Bush has never made a mistake. Also, should a mistake be made, President Bush will be unable to recall the mistake or any events that happened before and after said mistake. President Bush also would like you to know that any fact brought forth must meet with President Bush's approval. Failure of the fact to be approved makes the fact false. Only President Bush approved facts will be considered truthful.

Of course...I don't know if I want to be killed as an "enemy combatant"

Ali G ? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479302)

Sounds similar to Ali G ? Like when being shown around the United Nations and presented with the seat for Jordan he asked if it was right that a single basketball player should be represented.

Viacom (5, Insightful)

mabu (178417) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479341)

I guess $200 is the market value for a person's dignity according to Viacom.

That must be a nice company to work for.

Humiliating experts? (5, Insightful)

Radon Knight (684275) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479343)

One sad thing about this is the very premise of the show. Experts in any field, by definition, possess information and knowledge which typically requires either (a) great scholastic ability, or (b) great native intelligence and/or intuition. IMHO, it seems that people possessing expert knowledge - which is really knowledge (think justified true belief, although this definition of knowledge is not up to date, it works as a starting point) - are the kinds of people who we, as a society, ought to respect, admire, and seek to emulate! Why should we take those individuals who represent the very pinnacle of human intellectual achievement and attempt to humiliate them in front of an audience under false pretenses?

The answer, of course, is obvious: most people aren't experts. Most people aren't geniuses. Most people are within one standard deviation of the mean and are pretty satisfied with their abilities. Hobbes was right when he wrote that the surest proof that humans are approximately equal in intelligence is that most people are satisfied with their level of ability, and their is no better indicator of a fair distribution than when each person is satisfied with their share.

Now, I could see supporting a show that took bogus experts as the target - i.e., those people who pretend to be able to talk to their dog, or to share karma with plants, use crystals to heal, etc. (but note that, under the abovementioned definition of knowledge that these people aren't really experts since they lack knowledge). That might be fun to watch. At the very least, it would serve the greater good of society by providing an intellectual function.

But humilating smart people just so that some moron with barely enough intelligence to operate the remote can get his kicks? Bah. Give me the philosopher-kings of Plato anyday.

Re:Humiliating experts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479415)

The answer, of course, is obvious: most people aren't experts.

Um no. The answer is... because it is frigging hilarious!!!

Re:Humiliating experts? (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479443)

I think most people, including experts, need to stop taking themselves so damn seriously and learn to laugh at themsevles. We are all the butt of a joke from time to time. Rather than get all pissey about it, laugh. It's not just other people and viewpoints that are funny you and yours are as well.

I don't see any problem with this, or with shows like the Daily Show. They are fun, and they people they pick on even can have fun too, if they just will roll with it and take a joke.

John McCain is a great example. Back in 2000, they decided to pick on him and his wife. They got on his bus, asked him BS questions, and so on. He was nice and had fun the whole time. This, of course, invited more jokes on him in the future. It also lead to them rather liking him, and making him a fairly frequent guest where he does get to speak his mind to a latge number of young voters.

Really, the problem with many experts is that they are so focused on their issue, their area of expertise, that nothing about it is funny. They act like they are on a divine mission or something and if you poke fun at it, you are benieth contempt.

Well guess what? The world is FULL of "most important issues" and "things nobody can laugh at" and most of them are funny to somebody else. People need to lighten up a bit and learn that yes, you are funny too and no, you don't hold the One True Way and the moral righteousness that is untouchable.

Careful calling the Phil Hendrie show (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479345)

I don't know if any of you live in LA, but on KFI 640 AM from 7-10 pm, there is a host who fakes the voices of guests in order to get outraged callers to call in so he can make fun of them. I called when he was doing a show about child molesters not getting the sympathy they deserve. It really hurts me that any responsible broadcaster would make light of child molestation. Listeners will come away thinking that child molestors have a valid perspective or something. It's just not right.

Re:Careful calling the Phil Hendrie show (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479378)

But child molestors don't get the respect they deserve. My husband Steve has been molesting children for years and nobody will give him his due.

-Bobbi Dooley
President,
Western Estates Homeowners Association.

Re:Careful calling the Phil Hendrie show (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479449)

I don't know if any of you live in LA, but on KFI 640 AM from 7-10 pm, there is a host who fakes the voices of guests in order to get outraged callers to call in so he can make fun of them.
Hendrie is making fun of lots of things, not just the callers. It took me a couple of shows to figure out he was pulling our legs (some of his shows are more subtle than others), which makes it even funnier when someone calls in and introduces themselves as a "long-time listener".

He's screwing with the media and the audience at the same time, calling the media a steaming pile and nudging the audience into not believing everything they hear through it.

I'm sorry, but that's fscking genius in my book. Maybe it's not what he's trying to do, but that's how I pick it up.
It really hurts me that any responsible broadcaster would make light of child molestation.
It really bugs me that you live in my state.

We all know who to blame for this crap TV genre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479358)

Space Ghost.

And possibly Zorak.

Mainly Zorak.

Beware of any News Reporters (5, Interesting)

major.morgan (696734) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479364)

It's not just these "reality" or "newtainment" shows. I have had unfortunate experiences twice with local newsmedia stations. The most egregious was on a weekly topical debate program that took an issue and supposedly explored all sides. I even watched this show semi-regularly. I was asked on the show and had several "producers" talk about how they appreciated me being there to help people understand.

I was waiting in a room off-stage for my appearance a little bit into the show, when the host instructed the staff to cut the feed to the room as the show started (Should've realized then). When it came time for me to come on, the host had prepped the scene for me to be immediately attacked by all involved. He supervised this extremely well, making sure to interrupt me, discount me or flat-out cut me off whenever I had a reasonable and logical statement or tried to defend myself (since his show was about expousing his view and not exploring anything). Watching the show at home later I see that he set this up from the beginning (when my view was cut).

After seeing the tactics first hand, I could see how this show was a sham all along. Every episode had the same strategy, that now was transparent to me.

Be very suspicious of the media when they come looking for you, they quite simply will lie to get what they want out of you - and make no mistake they will set you up, sell you out or edit the whole thing into something unrecognizable without any qualms or remorse.

BTW- It was "Town Meeting" on KOMO4, Seattle, WA

Re:Beware of any News Reporters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479419)

That's when you shut yer yap and walk off.

Re:Beware of any News Reporters (2, Interesting)

major.morgan (696734) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479425)

Absolutely should've, just wasn't quick enough to realize at the time.

Definately won't happen again.

I experienced a similar situation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9479423)

...when I was spokesperson for NAMBLA. I should have known something was wrong when they said the show would be both fair and balanced. And Gill O'Bryly definitely sounded like a fake name. You live you learn.

Even the "legitimate" shows are staged (2, Interesting)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479393)

I can speak for all the Daytime talk/interview shows but I know of at least 3 local/ny/nj market shows and one national (intials JJ) which were recruiting guests who implicitly knew what they were expected to deliver and had it made perfectly clear that reality didn't matter.

On a deeper level these shows are much like kingsnakes, in that they seek people that are looking for attention/notoriety/selfpromotion and they give it to them in spades. This one is however is apparently going over the line by a wide margin. Aside from the damage that could be done to the guests careers, divorces and murders have occured due to the ill considered actions of these shows (Jenny Jones outing a Homosexual unrequited love by example).

If there is any part of our society that needs to have its feat held to the fire its the news media. Wheather it be the financial press that serves as a megaphone for pump and dumpers (Forbes the capitolists tool) the political newsmedia ( you pick) or any other form of "reporting". Lack of malice isn't enough there has to be due dilligence when the results can and do prove devastating.

Avoid "lifestyle" reporters (3, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479403)

Google is your friend. You can look up what reporters have written.

My general position is that I'll always talk to the working press, but I blow off "lifestyle" reporters. Running a DARPA Grand Challenge team [overbot.com] , I get a fair amount of press interest. Some of it is wierd. Playboy and Men's Life contacted me for interviews. There were documentary producers, including one guy with an Alcatraz fixation. (He'd done five TV documentaries on Alcatraz.)

Oh this is TOO funny! (5, Informative)

cluge (114877) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479405)

One can't help but feel sorry for the legit news folks over at CBS' "60 Minutes" and other excellent news programs....

You are kidding right? The news program that almost drove Audi out of business with it's false inaccurate reporting?[ http://www.forbes.com/forbes/1999/1115/6412145a_pr int.html] The same news program that lines up it's guests to co-incide with their book releases (See Bill Clinton)? The same network (CBS) that uses pyrotechnics (20/20) to "demonstrate" what happens when a full sized pickup was hit - because it wouldn't catch on fire otherwise? [http://www.car-forums.com/s10/t2240.html]

I thought the author was a bright guy, up until that comment. 60 minutes may have at one time been a respectable news magazine. That has not been the case for almost 2 decades IMHO. If 60 minutes knocks on your door and they have decided your "guilty", you have a better chance at getting your side of the story heard on cross balls.

In the end - isn't that whats the most sad?

cluge
AngryPeopleRule [angrypeoplerule.com]

Follow up got 2 things reversed in above post! (1)

cluge (114877) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479430)


Sorry the GM truck pyrotechnics was NBC NOT CBS. CBS/ 60 minutes was the Nissan debacle. I had the right link - but got description was wrong.

cluge
AngryPeopleRule [angrypeoplerule.com]

Re:Oh this is TOO funny! (2, Informative)

shiffman (118484) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479431)

One small point: the pyrotechnic pickup incident was neither CBS nor 20/20, which is in any event an ABC program. That particular event occurred on Dateline NBC, coincidentally enough an NBC program. It was a very early episode of that program and was apologized for by the producers who claim that it was done entirely without their knowledge or consent.

Which is not to say that 60 Minutes gets everything right every time or that it doesn't choose stories for their "gotcha" entertainment value. But they have done and continue to do good journalism alongside their puff pieces. And that mix of hard and soft stories has been a component of the show from the beginning.

E-mail address listed? (4, Funny)

babba (736335) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479417)

Am I the only one who cringes at a Spam expert letting his/her e-mail address be posted unprotected on a site?

For those who aren't familiar with Lauren Weinstei (3, Informative)

siriuskase (679431) | more than 10 years ago | (#9479420)

Read his promo info, his most recent appearance was on the Art Bell show, need I say more?

http://www.coasttocoastam.com/guests/12.html

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