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We Provide The Tool, Use It Correctly PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

This is not a new video, but it needs to be brought to our attention once again as it demonstrates that tools are ineffective if they're not used properly.

In this video you'll see Glenn Beck interviewing John Edward, and it starts off great. "Could you sleep at night knowing if you weren't on the up and up?" asks Glenn, and we're hopeful as we watch John Edward squrim. And then comes the question - why won't you take the JREF Million Dollar Challenge?

And the answer tells us a lot.

John Edward can't answer that question, so he doesn't. Instead, he says "why would I be tested by a guy with an adjective as his first name?" Well John, why would we listen to a guy whose South Park appointed adjective seems so fitting?

(As an aside, it seems that the Australians know how to deal with this guy more effectively than Glenn Beck.)

But the failure here isn't with Edward, it's with Beck. He's invoked the challenge appropriately by asking the key question "If you can do the things you claim, why don't you win the million?" and then utterly and completely failed to follow up on Edward's non-answer. By laughing along with Edward, Beck has failed his audience and himself.

By the way, the "scientists" Edward mentions at the University of Arizona's Human Energy Lab is the notorious Dr. Gary Schwartz, and the testing was covered by Randi in this Swift article (you'll need to scroll down a bit). It's shocking what feats you can accomplish when you're allowed to peek.

Edward still owes us an answer. There is no excuse for not taking the challenge. If you don't need the money, great, you can donate it to any charity you'd like. And if you aren't willing to spend 30 minutes of your time to earn $1,000,000 for a charity, I think that actually does answer the question.

The answer is: because South Park is right.

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written by Gavin Stevenson, September 10, 2009
I have sometimes wondered why Edward isn't a bigger target to the JREF, as he seems such an obvious one. And the first time I watched this on Youtube and saw him dismiss the legitimacy of the M.D.C. because of his dislike of adjectives... Wow - I was astounded to find that kind of response was let slide by the interviewer. Nice one Jeff for highlighting these issues.
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Votes: +12
Douche is a noun...
written by Griz, September 10, 2009
...just sayin'.
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@griz
written by Steel Rat, September 10, 2009
Lol, yeah, the big, fat parts are the adjectives.
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written by jdodd74, September 10, 2009
I didn't realize "James" is an adjective. Thank you, John Edward, for this grammar lesson!

Oh, was he referring to Randi's stage name? In that case, thank you for alerting me that "The" is an adjective.
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Votes: +8
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written by Gavin Stevenson, September 10, 2009
Did you guys actually watch the video? I was referencing John Edward, not South Park.
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written by randymonteiro, September 10, 2009
Wow, a douchebag being interviewed by another douchebag.
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The Amazing Randymonteiro is Right
written by Jim Shaver, September 10, 2009
Jeff, the problem here is that Glenn Beck wants to appear to be a hard-nosed interviewer, asking the tough, skeptical questions, when in fact he is clearly a believer and is sympathetic towards Mr. Edward. That guy is as much a waste of air time as John Edward is a douchebag.
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Votes: +20
Well ain't that a shame...
written by NoisyAstronomer, September 10, 2009
What annoys me the most about this video is how Edward pays lip service to science as if he respects or understands it at all! Although, as a conman, I'm sure he understands science well enough to fool a credulous scientist.

Dude... wrestling isn't real?! smilies/wink.gif
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How does Edward sleep at night?
written by jer, September 10, 2009
"How do you sleep at night?" I would love to hear an honest answer. To paraphrase the Simpsons: "On bags of money, with many beautiful ladies."

A non-answer works beautifully for Edward. He wants to laugh off the controversy as a light-hearted non-issue. And his followers not only accept it, they eat it up - they want him to dismiss their doubts; they want to cheer for him and see him stick it to the skeptic. And the reality is, they are Edward's source of wealth. As long as he keeps them happy, the rest of the world can go ahead and hate his guts because they know he's full of crap.

It's called selling your last shred of dignity.
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Up and up ?
written by Dr.Sid, September 10, 2009
Btw. what does the phrase up and up exactly mean ? I'm not native speaker and I failed to find it anywhere.
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written by popsaw, September 10, 2009
In view of the "I don't need the money" evasion, it might be more effective to pitch the challenge as one million dollars to the charity of the subjects choice.
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written by bigjohn756, September 10, 2009
There should have been a spoiler alert about the wrestling comment! I always thought it was real. Now, I have doubts and I'll have to check it out. Bummer!

Next thing you know, you'll be telling me Glenn Beck is real.
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Re: Up and up ?
written by NoisyAstronomer, September 10, 2009
Dr. Sid, it means honest and respectable.
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The Afterlife Experiments?
written by Teacherninja, September 10, 2009
Anybody looked up this book before? Glad to hear this douche is all about the science...
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written by Otara, September 10, 2009
It was a very clever answer really. He made it sound like Randi is just a publicity hound and that he'd done real research at a university, while making no actual claims.

For anyone who doesnt know about the million dollar challenge it sounds very convincing.

If you think that saying YOU CAN SPEAK TO THE DEAD doesnt sound like complete horse manure from the getgo that is. Once you've gone there, you're not exactly a tough gig woo selling wise.
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written by TDjazz, September 10, 2009
I have sometimes wondered why Edward isn't a bigger target to the JREF....

I wonder why Edward isn't being targeted by a police investigation, as should Sylvia Browne, James van Praagh, Rosemary Althea...you know, the usual suspects.
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Dead is Dead
written by Loser, September 10, 2009
Dead is dead. That's what dead means, dead. There are 6 definitions of dead in Websters dictionary and they all mean dead. Dead is not alive. What is so hard about that? It's time to grow up Johnny Edwards.
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@loser
written by Steel Rat, September 10, 2009
It's not about growing up in the slightest. It's about his gravy train. He is not deluded, he is a con man, stealing people's money.
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written by Kuroyume, September 10, 2009
It's not about growing up in the slightest. It's about his gravy train. He is not deluded, he is a con man, stealing people's money.


On his end, yes. On the receiving end, it is about believing in fantastic ideas such as humans having immortal souls which fuels his con. If less people believed this fantasy, he would have less people to con. smilies/smiley.gif
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It's actually a noun and a verb
written by CelticGoddess1326, September 10, 2009
Because I have moments of nitpickiness (that's an essential part of being a high school English teacher), I would like to point out that "douche" is actually a noun (the object used for douching) and a verb (the act itself). I know this because one of my 11th grade students asked me last year and I made him look it up.

Okay, nitpicking over. Fabulous article, JREF!! I hate these morons - they won't take the challenge because they know they'll lose, and we need real, skeptical reporters to ask the tough questions, not laugh at an obvious, blatant non sequitur.
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Point of Correction about "Dr" Gary Schwartz
written by Xiphos, September 10, 2009
He's stealing tax payer money at the UNIVERSITY of Arizona down in Tucson and not Arizona STATE University in Tempe. They are two different universitys about 130 miles apart.
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@nitpickers
written by JeffWagg, September 10, 2009
The phrase "Biggest Douche in the Universe" is an adjective phrase. smilies/smiley.gif http://www.english-for-student...hrase.html

Besides, it adds parallelism.
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@xiphos
written by JeffWagg, September 10, 2009
Ack! That was a terrible error I made. Thanks for pointing that out. It's fixed now.
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written by MadScientist, September 10, 2009
The short John Edward:

"Of course I wouldn't let Randi test me; he knows what he's doing. I prefer to work with gullible people."
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written by MadScientist, September 10, 2009
@CelticGoddess1326: When someone uses the word "douche" I tell them they need to learn French if they wish to avoid sounding like an ignoramus. I never heard the word used in the USA (except in reference to that hygeine tool) before I left in 1987, but it seems to have become popular by the time I had returned in 2003.
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noun or adjective?
written by jer, September 11, 2009
Sorry, as a former English teacher, I can't let this go. smilies/wink.gif

> The phrase "Biggest Douche in the Universe" is an adjective phrase.

That would actually be a noun phrase.
EXAMPLE: The Biggest Douche in the Universe claimed to talk to the dead. (It functions as a subject and could be replaced in the sentence by "John Edward." There's no noun for it to describe.)

Douche itself, in this context, is also a noun.
EXAMPLE: That douche uses simple cold reading techniques to rip people off.

To make it function as an adjective, you would have change its form.
EXAMPLE: The douchey John Edward appears to have no soul.

I hope this helps. smilies/tongue.gif
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sorry, one more thing
written by jer, September 11, 2009
In case any purists catch me, "The Biggest Douche in the Universe" could more likely be interpreted as a complete subject than a noun phrase.
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written by Skeptigirl, September 11, 2009
OM FSM. I thought for a minute there Glenn Beck was actually going to display a shred of rational thinking by calling Edwards out. Instead Beck merely stated that Edwards really must be talking to the dead. Guess hell hasn't frozen over after all. smilies/cheesy.gif
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written by Willy K, September 11, 2009
It's interesting, when Beck asked Johnny Thief if he knew about Houdini and mediums, Johnny Liar got a disgusted look on his face and said he didn't know about it. I'm sure he knows and I think he was worried that Beck was going to relate how Houdini learned that mediums and psychics were all a con and he spent the rest of his career debunking them!

Of course Glen, the Honorary Douche, completely left out that part. :-(
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@jeff
written by cdion321, September 12, 2009
I am most impressed by your proper spelling of "parallelism"
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Not an Entertainer??
written by Son of Rea, September 14, 2009
Not an Entertainer??? Then explain your show's format, and it's time slot, and it's network, and it's quest for ratings. If the show was meant for education, it would be on PBS.
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Very good sub-link on that YouTube page
written by jcwept, September 15, 2009
http://www.csicop.org/si/show/..._bereaved/
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