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R.A.F.
2005-Feb-07, 07:26 PM
I just received the following from Linda over at the JREF...

Make a note to watch ABC News' "Primetime Live" this Thursday, Feb. 10th at
10 PM. They are doing an hour-long show devoted to "John of God", the
Brazilian faith healer. Randi will be providing his expert commentary.

Sounds interesting.

beskeptical
2005-Feb-07, 07:29 PM
Thanks, I'll definitely try to watch.

TriangleMan
2005-Feb-07, 07:33 PM
Dang, I'll be out that evening so I'll miss it -- and I don't have a VCR. Could someone watch it and post a summary for me?

R.A.F.
2005-Feb-07, 08:27 PM
Could someone watch it and post a summary for me?

I'm sure that there will be multiple summaries. :)

TriangleMan
2005-Feb-11, 12:29 PM
:-"

Wally
2005-Feb-11, 01:03 PM
Ok. . . I watched maybe 2/3's of the show before falling asleep, and they hadn't put Randi on yet.

The one thing I got out of the show was that this John guy sure does seem to enjoy groping the heck out of his female "patients"! :roll:

Moose
2005-Feb-11, 01:42 PM
Randi was on for 15 seconds, and he got trimmed so as to sound like he was ad-homming people who fall for this stuff. Someone on the JREF boards thinks he was quoting Ben Franklin, but if that's true, then they snipped off the attribution.

Consensus on JREF is that it played like an hour-long infomercial.

R.A.F.
2005-Feb-11, 02:21 PM
HOLY CRAP! I can't believe that I missed it!!!

I thought it was tonight...how stupid am I? Wait...don't answer that. :) Oh well, it sounds like I didn't miss much...I had a bad feeling that it would be as Moose posted. :(

Wally
2005-Feb-11, 02:30 PM
Randi was on for 15 seconds, and he got trimmed so as to sound like he was ad-homming people who fall for this stuff. Someone on the JREF boards thinks he was quoting Ben Franklin, but if that's true, then they snipped off the attribution.

Consensus on JREF is that it played like an hour-long infomercial.

Well, that explains why I missed him anyways. . . :roll:

I ended up getting pretty p.o'd at this quack "doctor". The way he'd stick that 10 inch forcep up those peoples noses and twist like he was screwing a nail into a board w/ no pilot hole until blood flowed really got my ire up. Someone really needs to shut that guy down, permanently!!!

TriangleMan
2005-Feb-11, 02:41 PM
Consensus on JREF is that it played like an hour-long infomercial.
Wow, it sure looks like it didn't go well. Some comments from the JREF Board: :o

It was horrible beyond belief. They must have cut out tons of Randi's material. This won't do a thing but make more people go to that creep. I could kill ABC.

I will never watch ABC again.
They made Randi look like a jerk. On purpose.
I hate ABC.

I wonder if Randi will address the show in his commentary today. I'd like to hear his opinion on this.

sts60
2005-Feb-11, 03:17 PM
Well, that's an hour of my life I'll never get back.

It was the typical useless, flabby, fluff that passes for "investigative journalism". Aside from the annoying and pointless repetition of set-up shots, breathless "what will... ... next!", and other overhead dreck endemic to such shows, the whole thing had the media's usual setup - sympathetic characters saying "I thought it sounded crazy at first!", an "open-minded" (their words) doctor who apparently can't bring himself to say the word "wrong", and the token skeptic trotted out for about 10 seconds of air time.

Basically, we got one man who has a tumor that is not growing much, one woman (CFD and allergies) who says she feels much better, a parapalegic woman who still can't walk (but may be making some progress), a man whose ALS continues to get worse, and a woman whose breast cancer is contininuing. That, and a "journalist" who said his shoulder is no better - "but I didn't exactly follow his after-treatment plan..."

The excellent journalistic work by ABC was typified by the sequence where John of Scam brought the woman with CFD and allergies and the woman with breast cancer up for "surgery". Where do you think your sense of "location" for CFD and allergies are? Located "in your head", right? And the sense of location for breast cancer is obvious. So he sticks forceps up the nose of the woman with breast cancer and cuts the breast of the woman with CFD and allergies. Now, if you were a journalist, wouldn't you think, "hey! maybe this guy who claims he can diagnose people without touching them can't even remember which is which!"? Not a peep from our intrepid Primetime Live crew.

Instead of saying, geez, this guy is a quack, there's no evidence for or sense to any of this, all of his "cures" are anecdotal, and we can't show that any of the people we followed were cured, we just get the usual vague handwaving and maybe-the-most-important-thing-is-they-believe-in-themselves encomium.

Yeah, that's great. You know what I will remember from that hour o' intellectual pablum? The desperate look on the face of the woman with breast cancer as she reassures herself she's doing the right thing by going back to this con man. She had just turned down the surgery that could save her life.

TriangleMan
2005-Feb-11, 09:09 PM
Here's the message from Randi in his weekly commentary at his website (www.randi.org):

Many of you have expressed your strong opinions about the ABC-TV "Primetime Live" show this last Thursday. Briefly — for I'll handle this farce next week in detail — I went to NYC, spent two days there and taped for two hours with John Quiñones. I ended up being misquoted, for a total air time of just eight seconds. I just didn't give them opinions that they liked, so I was edited out of the presentation. ABC-TV has betrayed their public to produce a gross misrepresentation that passes as journalism. I'm infuriated, and you should be, too...