Posts Tagged “ana marie sotuela”

Several times I’ve blogged about the unthinking nature of journalism in the US, and how they’ll stoop to reporting on the “paranormal,” putative hauntings in various places, alien abductions, and so on if it’s a slow news day and they have space to fill. This trend has only gotten worse with the mass layoffs at most newspapers and many other types of media outlets, which have in turn resulted from the collapse of advertising revenue. The latest example of this horrible trend comes from KXTV, News10, in Sacramento CA:

Are children more psychic than adults? According to two people with American Paranormal Investigations (API) kids tend to be more open to certain paranormal occurrences.

Ana Marie Sotuela and Dave Bender are real-life ghostbusters with API. They are holding a seminar this Saturday, Sept. 18 called “Children and Psychic Phenomena” with paranormal expert Loyd Auerbach.

Folks, phony psychics peddling their crap in the form of seminars, is not “news.” And swindles like this hardly deserve any free advertising in the form of this story.

Note too that the word “investigations” in the name of this outfit, is a misnomer: They are not truly “investigating” anything, they’re merely taking their beliefs, and using methods such as shoehorning, cherry-picking, and following other cognitive biases, to justify and rationalize them. None of these things has the slightest thing to do with any kind of truly objective “investigation.”

I suppose it’s possible these “psychics” paid the TV station for their airtime and Web advertising … the wall between media outlets’ news and ad departments has been under pressure and is even collapsing lately elsewhere, so I assume this is possible. Then again, this may be a simple — but not unethical — example of overly-credulous reporters looking for something to fill time and Web pages.

At any rate, the last thing our young people need is to have the idea that they must be “psychic” pushed on them by these swindlers, the reporters who tell us about them, or their own well-meaning but misguided or ignorant parents. Children are a precious resource and ought not be exploited.

Hat tip: Skeptic’s Dictionary.

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