“Bullshitting the Lie Detector”

Harmon Leon writes for SF Weekly. Excerpt:

This ad appears on Craigslist:

Has your parole officer accused you of doing something you haven’t done? Could this put you back in jail? Then we want to help.

Call us and we’ll clear your name.

We’ve got a show to help you prove who’s telling the truth.

If selected, we will profile your story on a new national TV show where guests are polygraphed to get the truth out.

I’m intrigued. My e-mail reply: I am on parole!

Going by the name Hank, I express how much, I, who-is-on-parole, would love to be on their TV show (whatever the hell that might be). Immediately the TV producer e-mails back, thrilled to hear from I, who-is-on-parole. She leaves a phone number. I, who-is-on-parole, phone her. I weave an elaborate tale involving weapons and drug charges. This pleases her. I elaborate. I have something to prove to my probation officer. He said I flunked a recent drug test, which landed me back in jail for 20 days. The producer’s even more pleased.

A day later the producer phones back. She wants me on the show! That’s right Bubba, I’m booked on Lie Detector (Tuesdays, 8 p.m.), a program on family-friendly PAX TV that has a motto: “The lie detector holds the power to reveal the truth and expose deception wherever it might be found.”

For discussion, see the AntiPolygraph.org message board thread, “Lie Detector” TV Show w/Rolonda Watts & Ed Gelb.

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