So I’m watching one of those Lifetime movies with my wife and a commercial comes on for this woman, Lisa Williams, doing the whole Talking-to-the-Dead scam (no, no link–I just can’t bring myself to bring a scam artist’s site up in the Google ranks). After the Sci-Fi Channel finally stopped showing that hack con man John Edward, and it seemed like the whole cold reading phenomenon was at least going out of vogue, now up pops another head in this game of psychic Whack-A-Mole.
Billed as a "reality" series, it looks more like watching one of David Blaine’s lame specials as the cameras follow her around from one mark to the next. At one point in the commercial, she asks one man who David is, and his jaw drops. Of course, you know he’s going to end up saying, "Oh, she knew my father/uncle/whoever’s name was David!" No, she didn’t–she asked you who David was! (Does anyone really think they’re going to show the times where she gave out names that were wrong? Can anyone say "confirmation bias"?)
Unfortunately, Lifetime’s audience seems to be much less intelligent and sophisticated than that of the Sci-Fi Channel, and John Edward ran for years. Time to call in Penn & Teller, James Randi, Michael Shermer, the Center for Inquiry, etc. One more target on the range.
Ah, well. The skeptic’s work is never done…