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< The sound of newsrooms past | Main | Midday: Governor Pawlenty >

Strange "reality"

Posted at 4:13 PM on June 1, 2007 by Bill Wareham

The Associated Press is reporting that an organ donor "reality" show was a hoax:

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - A television show in which a woman
would donate a kidney to a contestants was revealed as a hoax
Friday. Presenters said they were trying to pressure the government
into reforming organ donation laws.

At the last moment, presenters of the "Big Donor Show" said
the woman was not actually dying of a brain tumor as claimed and
the entire exercise was intended to add pressure on the government
and to raise public awareness of the need for organs.

The three prospective recipients were real patients in need of
transplants and had been in on the hoax, the show said.

All of which leads me to wonder, what's stranger: That someone might conceive of such a show, even as a hoax, or that it was believable enough that early response to the reports focused on propriety, not probability, of the idea.