Edward's WTC Stunt
Is 'Crossing Over' That
Line Of Tastefulness
John Kinney

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TV: News Daily
'Crossing Over' Will Try to Contact WTC Victims
Thursday, October 25, 2001

Los Angeles (Zap2it.com) -- The producers of "Crossing Over with John Edward" are planning a November sweeps installment in which medium Edward attempts to contact victims of the attack on the World Trade Center.

The episode would air in the syndicated version of the show and possibly on its cable run on the Sci Fi Channel as well, according to Broadcasting and Cable magazine.

Steve Rosenberg, domestic syndication president for producer Studios USA, insists that any WTC show "will be done tastefully ... and won't be exploitative." He says the idea came about after several victims' families approached Edward, not the other way around.

"Crossing Over," in which Edward claims to contact dead relatives of audience members and relay messages from beyond the grave, has been a hit on Sci Fi for two years. Its syndicated version is performing better than any other new talk show this season.

Several stations, including WCBS in New York, temporarily stopped airing the show or moved it to a different time slot after the Sept. 11 attacks.

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "John Kinney"
Subject: Re: Zap2it | TV: NEWS: "Planned 'Crossing Over' segment
Date: October 25, 2001 8:14 PM

I agree: I don't think there is a way to do it that would not be exploitative.

This has very little to do with Edward's act being phony: even if what Edward does was really real, I couldn't think of a way to do it on television that is not exploitative. The fact that it's pretense merely exacerbates the exploitation.

The fact his audience might want it or a few victims' relatives may have asked for it is no excuse. Sometimes what the audience wants is simply out of line. The television stations are not required to submit to the viewers' every whim.

And if the victims' relatives want him to try to contact their relatives, why does it need to be shown on television? There's your exploitation, right there! If Edward was serious, that is, if he wasn't just in it for the show, he could easily hold private seances for victims' families who want them! Ah, but the show! That's clearly what Edward is all about: he's in it for the show. Dinner at Ruth's Chris says that he doesn't do this kind of stuff at home, when there's nobody watching; Edward has no occult equivalent of the Matthew 6:5-6 "prayer closet," where "thy Father ... seeth in secret."

But dig: to hold private seances for victims' families could do his reputation a world of good, if he had the moral fortitude to carry it that far! Hell, to let something like that quietly leak out would have done his PR more good than anything he could ever have done on television! The fact that they'd do this at the expense of their own best interest is all one needs to show that someone over there has lost touch with much more than just physical reality!

I've never known anybody to hate television more fiercely than I do. I've never known anybody to hate television as consistently for as long as I have. That said, I'll say this: Even television ought to show a little class once in a while!

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

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