March 11, 2015

A Great Interview With Professional Debunker James Randi On Vice

James Randi, the world's most famous skeptic, was interviewed recently for Vice by Jules Suzdaltsev about his work and why so many people fall into the filthy traps of fraudsters. As always, the professional debunker who is just a few years shy from being a 90-year-old didn't mince his words when answering the queries of Suzdaltsev.

Among the things Randi talked about are three of his most well-known projects - the exposing of spoon-bender Uri Geller on national television, the humiliation of Christian televangelist Peter Popoff on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and the Carlos story he staged in Australia. Randi talked about how right after his expose of Popoff, a lot of people sent letters to The Tonight Show showing their support for the evangelist which is just one of the many signs of how gullible and naive people can be. They were just shown undeniable evidence that Popoff was a liar, a cheat, and a fraud. This didn't stop them from supporting the evangelist.
Randi had a profound answer to the question, "What's the media's part in misinformation?". Randi answered, "Well, the media is responsible for a great deal of misinformation because of the system it's based on. You have a newspaper, you have a television program, we go on at six o'clock, we gotta have some stories, get some stories together. And the newspaper is being printed and we need a headline. Anything that comes along that looks attractive, even if it's doubtful. That will go into print or get on the evening news so easily because they need something to scoop somebody else."

Read the full interview with Randi on Vice here.

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