Note: this piece is a little dated, but rather than let it go to waste, I thought I post it. My apologies for the delay. - Jeff Wagg
Has the National Broadcasting Corporation decided to abandon any pretense of rationality and reality? Reader and colleague Margaret Downey tells us:
I just watched [December 5th] a "how to sell your house in today's bad economy" segment on NBC's Today Show (in the 8:00 AM hour). The segment featured their "Real Estate Expert" Barbara Corcoran. She was asked questions by host David Gregory after a short film that highlighted "creative" ways people are trying to sell their homes.
The film showed people doing some creative advertising (no problem with that) and a man who held a sign on a street corner telling people about the apartment he was selling in the city. The other people they showed in the film clip advocated smudging, Feng Shui, house blessings, and exorcism.
Randi comments: This "smudging" woo-woo is the nonsense of wafting smoke over yourself and/or your possessions in order to "purify" them. Duh.
I fully expected the "expert" to discredit the nonsense featured in the film clip, but no. Corcoran actually gave an example of her own experience of getting rid of the "bad vibes" she was sure were in her property. She said that after not being able to sell, she decided to remove all the bad energy left in the property generated from the couple who once lived there. The couple argued all the time so the place needed to be cleansed of the negativity they left behind. Lo and behold! - within a few days of the cleansing, the place sold!
Gregory did not counter her whatsoever and allowed her to go on and on about purchasing and burying a Catholic saint figure on the property, and then advocating the purchase of a Voodoo kit. At the very least, Gregory should have planted the "coincidence" seed!
NBC should have prepared for the segment with a counter voice of rationality. Instead they are now entangled with promoting mystics and manipulation by charlatans. I am appalled by this flagrant promotion of irrationality and ask you to help me complain. Here is a link to send an email: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3079108/
No, Margaret, NBC - as with any other broadcaster - enjoys the benefits that come with accepting, embracing, and promoting woo-woo. After all, this sells products, and NBC is not in the education business, nor are they interested in providing facts to viewers. "Sell the product" is their bottom line. Ethics be damned. Yes, even the Today Show.