Geller on Comedy Central?

James Randi --- Wizard (JREFInfo@ssr.com)
7 Jun 1997 06:17:02 -0000

[MODERATORS NOTE: Thursday, June 19th at 10 p.m., A&E is airing
'Prophets of Doo', which Randi participated in. Readers of this list
might find it interesting.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled message from James
Randi...]

Heard through the grapevine....

The Comedy Central channel has been airing a "Lounge Lizards" special
featuring the Amazing Jonathan (no relation!) that was taped abut a
year and a half ago. As of this date, it's been aired about 20 times.
Jonathan was trashing Uri Geller in no uncertain terms, calling him by
an uncomplimentary term. Well, not to my surprise, Comedy Central got
a call from one of Geller's attorneys calling the comments libelous,
and demanding that they cease and desist airing the show. CC opted to
cut the line, after being advised that though they could most
definitely win against Geller, the expense of cutting the line comes
to about $2,000 while the costs of fighting this spurious charge would
be about $20,000. They decided to cut the dialogue.

Whither freedom of speech? Are we to be harrassed by the economics of
stating opinions, to the point at which we dare not say anything for
fear of offending someone, somewhere? There's a powerful show coming
up on a UK outlet which we may never see in this country, because
Geller's lawyers (there are LOTS of them!) will probably seek an
injunction. In fact, it may not ever hit the UK screens, either.
Everyone lives in such fear of litigation, that truth has become
scarce.

In the USA, we cherish free speech. But the way we're going, we're
surrendering this most valuable aspect of our constitution. Comedy
Central should re-evaluate their position, and I hereby notify them
that I am available as a witness. I have material that they just
might find interesting....

Our newsletter "Swift" is now available. Please inquire!

James Randi

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