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So much for "reality"
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, June 02, 2007

Remember the Dutch 'reality' show which was going to have a terminal patient pick one of three kidney patients to receive her kidneys?

Hoax.
A Dutch reality television show in which a supposedly dying woman had to pick one of three contestants to whom she would donate a kidney was revealed as an elaborate hoax on Friday.

The show, which the broadcaster had said aimed to focus attention on a shortage of donor organs in the Netherlands, was condemned by Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende before broadcast Friday night and sparked controversy worldwide.

Identified only as "Lisa," the 37-year-old woman who had been said to be suffering from a brain tumor was to base her selection on the person's history and conversations with the candidates' families and friends.

In the last minutes of the program, she was revealed as a healthy actress and producers stunned viewers by saying "The Big Donorshow" was a hoax.

The contestants were also part of the deception, although all three are genuine kidney patients.

"Their life is bitter reality," the host said after revealing the deception, just at the moment at which Lisa was to have stated her choice.
The show was all about featuring the shortage of donated organs. While that is important, the means of doing so is both underhanded and deceptive.

Of course not everyone was put off by the idea:
Dutch Education Minister Ronald Plasterk hailed the show as a "fantastic stunt" and an intelligent way to draw attention to the shortage of donor organs.
Uh huh. Education Minister, eh?
 
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Underhanded and deceptive? On television??!! Well, we get all the time, called commercials. This seemed like it was probably at least a bit entertaining. Everyone is so against anything that might be seen as "offensive" or "in poor taste" that we self-censor to the point of ridiculousness sometimes. Sure this was politically incorrect, but given how such a focus these days is on having to be politically/culturally correct, I tend to admire those who dare to cross the line.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm

 
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