The Magic of Television

Mega Genius® Intelligence Briefing [17]


You will never believe what is happening today.

It all started years ago when the host of one of the world’s most popular television programs featured a psychic.


The guest could communicate with the dead, call forth disembodied “spirit guides” and telepathically contact invisible angels, at will. Dozens of startled studio audience members suddenly received backed-up messages from “the other side,” which the psychic effortless redirected like a telephone operator at a 1930′s switchboard.

As continually as she advised viewers about what was on God’s mind, she must have had a hotline to him.

Proof of the medium’s validity, however, should have centered on another one of her extraordinary abilities, which would have been far easier to verify. She claimed the ability to predict the future. In fact, she continually stunned audiences, both in the New York television studio and around the world, as she announced tomorrow’s headlines today.

The Emmy award-winning host of that nationally syndicated television talk show has featured the psychic time and again throughout the subsequent years. To this day, he showcases her almost monthly, and she still enthralls millions of viewers with the uncanny accuracy of her predictions.

How in the world — or out of it — does the famous psychic do it?

The psychic predicted that late in 1996, police would arrest a light-haired man in the “O. J. Simpson murder investigation,” who would implicate two or three others, but that it would lead nowhere. Well, I guess that prediction just makes the psychic look bad. (It may happen yet, though, if Mr. Simpson can ever get a break in his relentless search throughout the Florida golf courses for the actual murderers.)

How about the psychic’s prediction that the British Royal Family would try to get Princess Diana declared insane in 1996? (Well, that one makes the psychic look bad too, but it just might have occurred a year later, in 1997, if the headstrong and uncooperative Princess hadn’t rudely foiled the psychic’s prediction by dying too soon. [Strangely, the psychic never foresaw that major news event.])

You’ve got the idea. To be fair though, let’s examine a few more of her predictions.

The psychic said that if entertainer Michael Jackson released an album in 1996, it would go nowhere. (Didn’t she know whether he would release one or not? Michael’s next album, “Blood on the Dance Floor,” was released in May 1997. It sold more than 4 million copies.)

In January 1996, she predicted that two individuals would be executed for the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building. (Lassie could have predicted that, since Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols had already been arrested for the tragedy, and had even appeared in court together. The Federal Government executed McVeigh in June 2001 and, later, sentenced Nichols to life in prison. Nichols also faces murder charges brought by the State of Oklahoma, but the judge has withdrawn from that case in frustration over the excruciatingly slow pace of the proceedings. At this rate, Nichols may die in prison of hardening of the arteries.)  [He was sentenced later to 161 consecutive life terms.  (?)]

In 1998, she predicted that President Clinton would be exonerated in the Paula Jones sex scandal and that the matter would be revealed to have been a “smear job” from the start. (Let’s see now, Paula Jones got a hefty settlement. So, it didn’t turn out to be a smear job. Then Bill Clinton’s deposition in the case led to the impeachment of the President of the United States, which the psychic also failed to foresee. You know, this psychic’s predictions are looking worse by the moment.)

She also predicted an earthquake of about 5.4 magnitude near Seattle, Washington, in January of 1998. (Wrong!)

And a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Madrid, Spain, in May 1998. (Wrong!)

And a major volcanic eruption in Japan, in the spring of 1998, that would result in the respiratory dysfunction or even the deaths of thousands. (Wrong!)

She predicted that in 1998 Mike Tyson would be tossed in jail after biting a police officer. (A reasonable guess, but … wrong!)

Rosie O’Donnell, she predicted, would quit her afternoon television program in 1998. (Wrong! The show lasted four more years and received several more Emmys.)

She predicted that Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, would move to the Middle East in 1998. (Wrong!)

She announced that Princess Diana’s fatal accident was the result of a conspiracy and predicted that in 1998 investigators would determine that the crash had been caused by a remote controlled device in the vehicle’s engine. (Wrong! Wrong!)

She predicted that an “AIDS vaccine” would be approved for human use in 1998. (Wrong!)

In 1999 she predicted, “The Pope will become ill and could die.” (The nearly 80-year-old [at that time] Pope, who had slurred speech, Parkinson’s disease, chronic fatigue, a thigh fracture that had never healed properly, an arthritic knee, almost constant pain, and whose head had recently required stitches from another fall, was already quite ill. We have another Lassie prediction here. Obviously the Pope could have died. Nevertheless, he didn’t cooperate either. Wrong!)

She predicted that breast cancer would be cured in 1999. (Wrong!)

She predicted a cure for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) that same year. (Wrong!)

She predicted that the Democrats would win the 2000 election with Bill Bradley, with close competition from the Reform Party. (Vice President Al Gore easily defeated former Senator Bill Bradley in 2000. Wrong! Wrong!)

She predicted that Colon cancer would be a thing of the past before 2002. (Wrong!)

Breast cancer, she re-predicted, would be a thing of the past before 2002. (Wrong! If she keeps re-predicting it though, it she may hit it right eventually. Even a blind sow stumbles onto an acorn once in a while.)

She now predicts that a famous comedian will pass away in 2003. (The odds are that Bob Hope will celebrate his 100th birthday on 29 May 2003, since actuarial mortality tables reflect that his life expectancy is about 2.3 years. Since there are numerous other famous living comedians though, one way or another this prediction is virtually a sure thing.)

A few days ago, she predicted that Hillary Clinton won’t run for the presidency. (Well, Hillary won’t run when? Shrewdly the psychic didn’t say whether her prediction was for 2004 or 2008. This prediction is another Lassie bet for the psychic, who can always claim in retrospect that she was talking about 2004. Hillary has already repeatedly said that she won’t run in 2004. [Hillary has specifically and steadfastly refused to say that she will not run in 2008.])

Less than a month ago, the psychic predicted that Al Gore will run for the presidency again in 2004 and will win. (Those are two predictions: “will run” and “will win.” Immediately afterward, Al Gore announced, “I’ve decided that I will not be a candidate.” My conclusion: Don’t bet the milk cow on these latest predictions.)

I could continue ad nauseam with this psychic’s screwball predictions, which she claims are actually never her own, but are merely revealed to her by one or more disembodied spirits. I’m guessing that must be on the order of an array of bizarre voices continually telling her what to think and say. My advice to her, “Just stand way over there where I can see you.”

If it were true (and it is not) that some disembodied spirit has been ceaselessly feeding a sane woman all these predictions, then my first question to her would be this: As a rational human being, why do you continue listening to a source of such atrociously false information?

Then I would ask that identical question of any studio audience member, television viewer, or anyone else who believes that this famous psychic is authentic.

Although the public neglects to keep track of the psychic’s predictions, and hold her accountable for them, she is quite aware of them all. Yet she continues with this abominable behavior. One would almost suspect that she has some unseen vested interest in the midst of all her shenanigans. Incidentally, she is readily available to provide you with a personal reading. Would you pay $700 per hour to have her predict your future? Many fools do.

Who is this woman who claims an extraordinarily high accuracy rate in her predictions, but whose supernatural abilities quickly evaporate in the light of minor intellectual analysis? To identify her by name would give more publicity to someone who I consider to be severely deranged and profoundly unethical.

Will she sue me for anything I may have said? I sincerely hope so, for to do so she will have to come forth, identify herself, and publicly admit to all these and many other erroneous predictions.

My prediction is that some disembodied attorney will advise her not to do that.

There are several other self-proclaimed psychics on the air waves today who also continually pop up like caskets from a flooded cemetery. It is a factual saying, “Birds of a feather flock together” and these vultures all seem to be best friends. Any reasonably accomplished and professional magician knows precisely how they appear to communicate with the dead, read minds, bend spoons and predict the future. Professional magicians know, but the public does not.

An educational foundation, founded by a magician, has offered a one-million-dollar prize to any of those prominent psychics of the airwaves today “who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event.”

That is an easily obtainable one million dollars for any of them, but every one of them has dodged the contest. What every one of them will do on a whim for any television audience, not one of them will do in a scientifically controlled environment … even for one million dollars. What does that tell you?

Nevertheless, in September 2001, when challenged to “put up or shut up,” the celebrated psychic whom I have been reviewing finally accepted that offer before a nationwide television audience and promised the public that the educational foundation could scientifically test her. Arrangements for the testing would be finalized, and, if she was in any way authentic, the one million-dollar prize would be hers.

What happened then, you may wonder, after the program went off the air and the public could no longer see or hear her? She broke her promise and has consistently avoided the challenge as if it were the plague. What does that tell you?

One intriguing question remains: Why does the Emmy award-winning talk show host of one of the world’s most popular television programs continue to foist such absurdity upon the public, month after month, year after year? I’m afraid that the answer is that whenever he has showcased the psychic, his show’s ratings have been the highest.

The real magic of television is that it is like a magic trick. Television is different than it appears. A fundamental lesson that I learned in media school decades ago was that the reporting of facts is actually unimportant; increasing viewership is everything. That was never more true than today.

Consequently, what all television hosts know — but never admit — is this:


Truth is the first casualty of ratings


I will say it again. You will never believe what is happening today — at least if you are thinking intelligently.


Mega Genius®

19 January 2003


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