The Moment of Truth 1


The Guardian
Moment of Truth

By Paul Bremer

And the award goes to … ‘The Moment of Truth’

Issue date: 4/16/08 Section: Opinion

Because I can’t bear to ignore the bargains Goodwill stores everywhere have to offer, I’d have to fold my fashion hand and say I am no clothing connoisseur. But if there is one trend I can pick up on, it is this: skepticism is the new black of the 21st century.
More people are wearing this today than cargo shorts in the summer or skinny jeans with flats. We’re a suspicious people, often playing the role of private investigator to uncover the truth of the doubtful stories we’re told. The fact is, we’re all amongst some master manipulators and would sure as die before we’d be played the fool. We live by the mantra “I’ll have ye a little faith when you have thee an airtight alibi.”

It’s been no secret to the media that catching predators in the act of deceit is a goldmine in terms of entertainment value. Single welfare mamas have found their baby’s daddy with Maury’s help, and who could forget Ricki Lake’s squad of sexy decoys, luring deadbeat dudes to the finest Econolodge for sins of the flesh? You sure don’t get that on Oprah.
Television executives have matured, however, and are far above the sheer humiliation and embarrassment their lie detector tests were once intended for. In January, Fox premiered “Moment of Truth,” a game show that awards money for truthful answers to difficult questions. Whoever said honesty is the best policy wasn’t just whistling Dixie.
Now, there was crazy hype leading up to this show. In the previews, we’d watch the looks on devastated family members as they were forced to sit on stage and come to terms with the painful truth from their loved ones. This torture was sure to be more grisly than “Hostel,” minus the R rating and nausea effect.
I’ve actually been quite disappointed with the end result. The show is so over-dramatic and the questions are lame. One guy was eliminated when he lied about stuffing his briefs while working as an underwear model. Anyone who has any common sense or knowledge of human anatomy would assume most male models do this. So, really there was no suspense for the viewer when the question was read, and shouldn’t have been any risk of serious embarrassment for the contestant. Yet he lied about it and lost $25,000.Another woman practically suffered a panic attack, struggling to answer truthfully about if she had ever been embarrassed to admit she were Jewish. How is that a difficult question? Everyone, at some point in their lives, is ashamed of their identity or upbringing. It is a part of growing up and coming to terms with who you are. Through a lot of soul-searching and explanations to her worried family, she got through. The show has a lot of potential to make its contestants squirm by nailing them with some hard-hitting questions that actually justify a cash prize. These people are winning thousands of dollars by answering questions that have no long-term threat to their relationships. What fun is it to watch someone walk home with the money if his or her life doesn’t fall apart as a consequence? The truth isn’t setting them free; it’s letting them off the hook.