Sick US TV

March 16, 2008

Hanging out with the Savage brothers this weekend brought my attention to two sick US TV shows, Moment of Truth and To Catch a Predator from Dateline NBC.

Moment of Truth is where a contestant takes a lie detector test on every personal or private matter in their entire lives and all they have to do to win $ is answer the questions correctly a second time. Only this time in front of the family and friends that they are generally hurting, deriding or insulting. Its sort of like Scientology Auditing on live TV in front of a crowd but with your family and pals present. Its a purely sadistic show as people are forced to confess ever form of horrid personal feelings about everybody around them. They do this of course as the Network dangles the all mighty dollar on a stick in front of the contestants donkey like noses. A preview is below.

Dateline NBC’s series To Catch a Predator is the more troubling, though. Well, hard as it might be to say this…it basically exploits pedophilia for ratings. In conjunction with law enforcement and social anti-pedophile groups they set up sting operations where they pose as 13 or 12 year old girls online and set up ‘dates’. Of course soon a deranged gaggle of pedophile’s turn up in various cities to meet they’re supposed jail bait prey. The show is guilty of entrapment and cases have been dropped in the US from the shows methods…. but getting pedophiles off the streets is not the shows intention, exploiting the freak factor for ratings is. Yes, as your friendly neighborhood kiddy fiddler turns up for his ‘date’ instead of finding her or him, he finds an actress who is over eighteen but could be under, playing the ‘victim’. She asks if he has condoms and is ready for action, etc. Then bang in comes host Chris Hanson from behind a screen to start the ‘public humiliation of the pedophile for ratings show’ before the police come out of hiding. Hanson of course does his best to humiliate these losers on national TV before they apologize, go to leave and then of course the Police swoop in and arrest them. The show is pure sickening manipulation from both ends. I include a clip below from the show.

To Catch a Preadator is sick on two, maybe three levels. Firstly, obviously the pedophiles net prowling and second NBC’s decision to exploit these attempted crimes for ratings. There have been suicides from the show and it adds the punishment of  public humiliation to the predators entrapment on the show. Thirdly, it is sick because it creates the crime it seeks to stop, by trawling the net with lures and invitations from a 13 year old to get it on. Without TV camera’s a case could be made to legally do this, but with them it becomes a vial form of sadistic Entertainment. Its as if watching crack whores, meth heads and white trash getting busted on Cops is now not enough. Now we need, Pedocatch-TV! There are not many shows that confirm a completely misanthropic outlook on humanity…but this is one.

What’s next? To Catch a Killer or better yet To catch a Cannibal – Set up a show for murderer’s or cannibals by posting online fake id’s as willing victims, just so you can lecture the psycho’s who turn up about the error of their ways? Where does this quest for harsher reality TV end?

In Hawaii, in late 07, I was switching between 100 channels on US cable one night before going Tiki bar hunting. I thought if TV can represent our collective unconscious, the mix of 100 channels I was self editing at random, like a Burroughs cut up, represented the collective unconscious of someone who is deeply insane. Strange synchronicities in dialogue began to occur and even stranger juxtapositioning of images. Anyone can do it…just sit in front of US cable (or Aussie) and change channel every 8 to 15 seconds and you will soon see what I mean. I’m sure most of us have done this many times? What do we see. The unconscious of an utterly insane entity. Throw in To catch a Predator and Moment of Truth and you have two more touch stones of Western mental unhingedness.

Technically, all of us who live in the West, are in America in some way…so their mental picture is not that far ahead (or behind) of ours. Not that it’s news to anyone ….but its clear the Capitalist West has clearly gone Insane. Psychopathology run amok.

Are we all doomed? How can we harness this ‘greatest danger’ from the media and technology in general and turn it into what Heidegger referred to as the ‘saving power’? That is the question, Comrades, that indeed is the question…

Here are the two clips to boggle the mind. You wonder if American society isn’t terminally ill after watching these two latest forms of ‘Entertainment’.

3 Responses to “Sick US TV”

  1. badMike said

    While I havent’ seen “Moment of Truth,” you can partially blame me for the long run of “To Catch a Predator” since I never missed an episode. They don’t make new ones anymore (I think since the one guy committed suicide), but I used to watch it every week and howl with laughter. How can you enjoy the end of civilization without enjoying a good larf at it now and again? I’m a little proud to be a sick American.

    The best part of the show is how it would act like “Tsk, tsk, isn’t this behavior horrible?” Then they would read the most disgusting, pornographic, barely bleeped-out transcripts under the cover of being a “news” program. The show was CLEARLY trying to turn folks on while pretending to condemn the behavior. And if I’m not mistaken, the first few episodes it was all male pedophiles going after young boys. It took awhile for them to figure out ratings would skyrocket if they included sex talk regarding young girls, too.

    Also, the “sequel” to “To Catch a Predator” wasn’t about cannibals (although I would watch that, too). Instead they chased down Internet crooks, like guys with those African email scams. Now THAT was really fascinating, but of course with no titillating sex talk it only lasted for one installment. A shame because it was really good.

  2. richard777 said

    Well yes Mike, I have to admit regardless of how sick To Catch a Predator is… it is funny. I agree humour is the best answer to the end times. The show is like watching an amusing car crash, if such a thing is possible and it is given those shows about bad drivers. The people who worded me up about Predator said how funny it was and you can’t deny the sadistic manipulation is funny.

    Didn’t know they switched to girl from boy to increase ratings and included all kinds of sex talk to boost ratings. That speaks for itself, I think.

    Chasing down those internet scammers I’d like to see. I fucking hate those emails. I read the cool Disinformation book Scamorama all about this phenomenon and how to turn the table on the scumbags who run these schemes. Its funny you should read it and waste the time of these dick heads. I imagine most of the scammer’s are black if the show visits Africa (where many of these scams originate) and hence the show has a hidden race angle, too? Will, have to catch up with that one for a further giggle.

  3. badMike said

    The scammers were (to the best of my memory) either all black or mostly black. What I can’t remember is if the show actually went to Nigeria or just used stock footage when they talked about the scams originating from that country.

    However, what happened was when host Chris Hansen agreed to send the scammers money, he flew to Amsterdam and London to meet his contacts.

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