The Moment Of Truth

He must not be paid enough doing The Antiques Roadshow.  How else to explain Mark L. Walberg’s willing participation in the trashiest game show I’ve ever seen?  (Yes, he also hosted Temptation Island but, come on.  Is he really that hard up for cash?)
 
Blatantly stealing yet another successful idea from The Howard Stern Show, Fox’s The Moment Of Truth has a simple premise.  Answer a series of embarrassing questions honestly and you can walk away with the top prize of half a million dollars.  The truthfulness of a contestant’s response is determined by a lie detector.
 
Last night’s program was the first chance I had to really see firsthand what all the fuss was about.  Tuning in during the second half of the hour-long broadcast, there was a curly-haired blonde model who freely admitted to things most reasonable people would keep to themselves, regardless of how much money they were offered to blab.
 
For instance, when asked if she was “secretly happy” that there was a huge buffer zone between herself and her Puerto Rican mother, she said “yes”.  Now I can understand a young woman wanting to be an independent adult in order to find her way through the world without having her parents closely scrunitizing her every move, but still, there was this uncomfortable impression she gave that implied that she was not at all close to them.
 
But wait, it gets worse.  When Walberg asked her whether or not she would care for her father if he were to become gravely ill, she astoundedly said “no”.  How cold-hearted a human being would you have to be to even feel this way, let alone say it out loud?  The model claimed that her father was like an overgrown child.  They were more like buddies than father and daughter.  Still, you wouldn’t want to make his final days comfortable if he was on his death bed?  What’s wrong with you?
 
As she continued to answer one brutal question after another, it was hard to ignore the audience’s strange reactions.  While Walberg read a question, the crowd would collectively groan at its audacity.  Then, after she answered truthfully, they would applaud.  The groans would return when the model offered explanations for her yes or no answers.  The whole thing made no sense.
 
The more I learned about this woman, the more I despised her.  She believes white guys are easier to control than Spanish ones.  She is violent with men which she claimed was done in self-defence.  She thinks her current boyfriend has cheated on her during business trips and she doesn’t trust him enough to leave him alone with her girlfriend of two years.  Here’s an idea.  How about ending the relationship if the guy’s so horrible to be with?
 
All that aside, she was doing remarkably well, earning $100000 at one point, until Walberg asked her if she’s ever had “sexual relations” for the purpose of career advancement.  Deep down, you knew the real answer but this stupid broad, with a straight face, said “no”. 
 
Wrong!  She lost everything and looked completely stunned.  I laughed my ass off.  She admitted all those horrible things about herself for nothing.  One wonders what she actually considers sex.  One wonders why anyone would want to be seen with her.
 
This show is so evil even its announcer gleefully and sadistically notes the possibility of severed relationships (think break-ups, family estrangements) and ruined reputations.  How anyone associated with The Moment Of Truth can go to bed and sleep soundly every night remains a mystery.  How contestants feel that 500000 dollars is worth losing important people in their lives is even more puzzling.
 
Also offensive is how they took a very funny bit from Howard Stern’s radio show (hooking up celebrities and other willing participants so they can be asked incredibly silly questions) that he’s been doing for many years (which was initially stolen by Sally Jessy Raphael) and not even acknowledge that their concept is completely unoriginal.  But this isn’t a surprise.  Broadcasters, like Fox, have been ripping him off for decades.  (Are You Hot?, Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? and Street Smarts are the most notable examples of this creative thievery.)
 
In this confessional age where we continually feign our shock and horror over programs and news stories we can’t seem to get enough of, the timing of The Moment Of Truth is perfect.  Unfortunately, to paraphrase Martha Stewart, it’s not a good thing.
 
Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, March 20, 2008
6:39 p.m.
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Published in: on March 20, 2008 at 6:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

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