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Shame on you, TVNZ

Written By: - Date published: 10:51 am, October 9th, 2009 - 17 comments
Categories: Media, scoundrels - Tags: , ,

I’ve just seen in the Herald that TVNZ has been using one of their TV ‘psychics’ in the Aisling Symes case. It’s bad enough that they had this charlatan, Deb Webbers, on Breakfast talking about the case. It’s reprehensible that they put this confidence trickster in touch with the family.

That they put brain rotting dross like ‘Sensing Murder’ on their channel is just a testament to the failure of TV as a social institution. That they would then go so far as to interfere in a police case and a family in anguish with one of these frauds simply staggers belief.

When it is discovered that Aisling hasn’t ‘fallen in a hole’ as Webbers claims,TVNZ should cancel her show and stop helping rip-off merchants like her profiteer from others’ misery. I know it won’t happen though.

17 comments on “Shame on you, TVNZ ”

  1. aj 1

    Yes I agree. If the Police should choose to discretely consult a psychic in their investigations I have no trouble with that. The parent will be desperate and they should explore every avenue, with the parents permission.
    But for TV to have one front up is disgusting, given their pathetic record.

  2. randal 2

    TVNZ has alsays been a home for peanutheads with all hair and teeth. this case just proves how they have become completely infantilised if they cant tell the difference between someones real life tragedy and a crummy programme they have to boost their ratings. about time the whole place was cleaned out and some sensible people appointed. when you look at how rude guyon espiner and tim wilson have become whilst in the united states then this latest episode is just another example of people who “look” like adults being completely out of their depth when it comes to dealing with reality. the other night mark sainsbury took advantage of his position to berate individuals because some little old ladies asked him to bend the law just for them. none of these idiotes seems to have any idea of what civilisation is about. only what concerns them and their iver inflated egos.

    • Rex Widerstrom 2.1

      Very well said randal. I gave up on TVNZ entirely when I heard a former honcho (and ex ad man, natch) had hired a certain newsreader who happened to be sitting in reception waiting for his (then) wife simply on the basis of his “look”.

      If all they did was read the words of trained journalists off an autocue then perhaps the cracks wouldn’t show. But of course these “personalities” insist on inserting themselves into the story and eventually on having their own shows, where they get to do “interviews”.

      As for this story, I’ve read things here that have made me angry, elated, frustrated and even despairing. But this is the first time something I’ve read at The Standard that has made me physically ill. To be complicit in putting a vulture (even if we accept a well-meaning and deluded one) in touch with parents whose emotions must be unbearably raw is just… too much.

  3. Eclipse 3

    aj: Actually, I’d be disgusted if the police chose to consult a psychic. It’s a complete waste of time and resorces that could be better spent on proper investigation. Any officer who would believe it to be of value doesn’t have the critical thinking capacity to be involved in any investigation.

  4. Ianmac 4

    Webbers had this wonderful chance to prove her credibility. What great publicity she would have. Solve the dreadful crime and she would be made for life.
    And did she solve it? Yeah right!
    Disgusting waste of time and resources – and the police regularly call on mediums???? How about some witches to cast a few spells?

  5. The left and right area united in hatred of psychic fraudsters!


  6. BLiP 6

    Its all misty . . . I’m sensing a murder . . . I see a big black hole . . . ah, now its clearing . . . I’m getting something, its a letter I think, yes, its the letter A . . . does that mean anything to you . . . A-D-something . . . its getting closer now . . .I see it all . . . it reads “advertisment for upcoming show” . . . and, there, at the bottom of the big black hole are media standards . . .

  7. ieuan 7

    I totally agree that it is inappropriate for TVNZ to pull a stunt like this.

    However I think it is a little harsh to call her a ‘rip off merchant’. Whereas I think she (and other psychics) have zero ability to talk to the dead or whatever else they claim to do, I do think that in some cases (and probably with Deb Webber) they genuinely believe they do have some psychic ability.

    That means that they believe they can help and are not acting fraudulently or as a ‘rip off merchant’.

    From the little I know about the case it seems there is a possibility that the child has wandered off and become lost so ‘falling down a hole’ may not be beyond the realms of possibility. However it’s got to be more of a guess than any sixth sense Deb Webber may claim to have.

    • Ianmac 7.1

      ieuan: I am Jesus returned. I believe that I am. Therefore I am and let no man doubt me for verily, I will damn him to Hell. So now pay me some munny honey!

      • ieuan 7.1.1

        What’s your point Ianmac, there are plenty of people making money in the name of religion.

        • Ianmac

          ieuan: When I read your “they genuinely believe they do have some psychic ability.
          That means that they believe they can help and are not acting fraudulently or as a ‘rip off merchant’.”
          I thought it very funny. So I am sure that there are Loan Sharks as well as Jesus who believe that they are genuinely helping, so does make it right for them to take advantage of the gullibility of some? Cheers.

      • Rex Widerstrom 7.1.2

        You’re not the Messiah, you’re just a very naughty boy.

  8. Eclipse 8

    When Webber and her ilk have been shown time and again that their ‘powers’ do not work, and when they refuse to be tested under lab conditions that would confirm their claims then I’d say that yes, they ARE acting as a rip-off merchant. If Webber continues to accept payment from TVNZ and others to perform her readings in this knowledge, she’s profiteering from something she knows to be unsubstantiated.

    As an aside, there is well over a $1,000,000 US up for grabs if she can prove her claims (the James Randi challenge for one). She knows about these tests, but sidesteps doing anything that would put her bullshit to the test. Not to say that there aren’t others who may believe what they say, but Webber isn’t one of them.

  9. millsy 9

    I hope that pompous git (Coleman) sells TVNZ and uses the money to set up a real public service broadcasting service (TVNZ 6 and 7). That is the one assett sale I support (There is real need for the government to own a TV station if it is just going to pump out crap like that)

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