Bad Taste Radio - Girl Dumped Live On The Radio

Shawn Mamros mamros@MIT.EDU
Thu Jan 18 14:31:34 EST 2007

> Their naivete and their consequent pain are paraded for all the
> nation to see.  There's something sick about that.

Anyone who thinks this is a new phenomenon related to today's "reality"
programming would do well to study the history of a CBS Radio (later TV)
show named "Strike It Rich".

Imagine a quiz show devoted solely to contestants (often whole families)
of meager financial means.  And if they couldn't answer the questions
right, they were turned over to the mercy of the "heart line", where
listeners/viewers would donate money or goods to them.  It got to the
point where people (and often whole families) were buying one-way
tickets to New York to try and get on the show.  And it was on TV
for close to seven years - 1951 to 1958, right in the middle of
TV's purported "golden age".

Exploiting people for ratings is nothing new.  It's just that others
choose to forget, or would rather keep it forgotten.

-Shawn Mamros
E-mail to: mamros -at- mit dot edu

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