Sunday, July 27, 2008

Most ridiculous item of the week (2008-07-27)

You see them all the time -- televangelists and mediums both making predictions of what's to come. Some utter outright death threats, as Pat Robertson has for several world leaders over the years. Then there is psychic James Van Praagh.

A couple of weeks back on ABC-TV's The View, Van Praagh -- on live television -- gave readings to several audience members who wanted to contact dead relatives. So far so good (or bad, quite frankly; one should never contact the dead, in my opinion). Then off camera, he warned host and moderator Barbara Walters that he had a feeling she had serious health problems, including an elevated white blood cell count and lower back problems. Baba Wawa knew that was crap, and went to have herself checked out. She was all clear, and made a point of announcing that on television as well as recounting what Van Praagh told her.

Van Praagh took it personally, and then went on ET and spoke to the New York Post (yeah, reliable news sources!) and said BW was the reason Star Jones and Rosie O'Donnell left the show.

Judge for yourself. But throwing in Jones and O'Donnell was completely irrelevant. Say what you will of BW and how she's put off a lot of people over the years -- including those two women as well as Debbie Matantopoulos -- her health has nothing to do with her style of reporting. It is as almost if Van Praagh wants Baba Wawa dead. If he does, he should have said it out loud, not off camera or in insulting insinuations on the Mary Hart show.

Yes, I've wished some people to die -- Robert Mugabe and Than Shwe for two. But that's because I believe they deserve to be assassinated. Members of the Fourth Estate, as faulty as they may be, deserve more respect than that and Van Praagh should be more honest about it.

So do physicians ... to think Walters would be faulted for wanting to check things out is just as appalling as when Tom Cruise slammed Brooke Shields for using anti-depressants to deal with post-partum depression.

Then again, Van Praagh must be a redneck.

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