Plumbing the Depths of Television

With each wave of new television shows it becomes increasingly difficult to pick the worst. But after some consideration, I’ve decided that “Moment of Truth” deserves special recognition as lowest of the low.
by Jim Fair | Source:
Like everything else in life, the program has its own website, which describes the program as follows:

“The Moment of Truth will put participants to the test – the lie detector test – to reveal whether or not they are telling the truth for a chance to win half a million dollars. The challenge is simple: answer 21 increasingly personal questions honestly, as determined by a polygraph, and win up to $500,000. This is the only game show where participants know both the questions and the answers before they begin to play. What deep dark secret will someone divulge for hundreds of thousands of dollars?”

To give you a sense of how this works, the early questions are cream puffs, from a standpoint of morality and embarrassment. Do you prefer cats to dogs? Did you ever forget to put money in the parking meter?

At the end, things might get a little dicier. Did you ever cheat on your wife? Did you ever steal from your employer?

The contestant, being hooked to a polygraph machine, apparently has to tell the truth or lose the money. And this occurs while close friends are standing by. In other words, if the contest is going to be questioned about marital fidelity, the spouse will be there to hear the answer.

Apparently, this is where the excitement comes in. Some poor guy is sitting there being asked whether he ever cheated on his wife. In truth he did. If he admits it, the polygraph gives him a thumbs up. He gets a pile of money to share with a wife who is broken-hearted. Of course, he could lie, but polygraph would give him a thumbs down. Then he would have a broken-hearted wife but no pile of money.

Lest you think the tension in this would be unbearable, recall that the contestant knows in advance what the questions will be. So we can presume that the unfaithful husband already confessed to his wife – or he is confident that a pile of money will buy forgiveness. I doubt it.

There is an old saying that people will do anything for money. And this show may go far toward proving that to be true.

But in my mind, the contestants on this program are in a lose-lose situation. Answering life’s intimate questions on national television shows that someone either has lost every iota of a sense of shame – or has made money their complete master….or both.


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