Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Barbara Walters Discredits Psychic, Psychic Whines About It

I try to stay away from news, if it can be considered that, carrying the prefix "entertainment." The only journeys I've taken into the murky netherworld of "news" organizations such as People Magazine and E! Online were for research done in writing my Sylvia Browne predictions posts. But, a story about a famous journalist like Barbara Walters, albeit reduced to daytime television in recent years, publicly discrediting alleged psychic James Van Praagh is really too good to pass up.

Found both on The New York Post and ETOnline, the story tells of Van Praagh making an appearance on Walters' show The View on July 10. After giving audience readings with which Van Praagh claimed he was very pleased, the self-professed "sensitive" mentioned to Walters during a commercial break that there might be problems with her white blood cells and her lower back. Walters rightfully expressed skepticism, but decided to see her doctor anyway.

"The news prayed on her mind, even though 'I'm skeptical and Mr. Van Praagh knows it,' Walters said."

A week later, on an episode of The View airing July 17, Walters revealed, apparently early on in the broadcast, that her doctor had given her a clean bill of health.

"'Well, today I got the report. I am absolutely normal!' Walters said."

"I think it's a dangerous thing to do looking at someone and saying, 'Oh let me see, you have an elevated, there's an aura, you have an elevated white blood count,' Walters said of Van Praagh's advice."

Obviously, having his livelihood discredited by a respected reporter on national T.V. did not sit well with Van Praagh. He went on Entertainment Tonight to express how upset he was with Walters' "stab in the back." At the above link, a three-minute-long interview with Van Praagh can be found.

In the interview, the psychic, who claims he has helped thousands of people with his alleged "gift," used words such as "nasty" and "classless" to describe Walters calling him on his bullshit on her show. Van Praagh said he was surprised at Walters' skeptical and allegedly condescending reaction to his advice, citing her more friendly encounters with him in the past. He went on to say that a possible reason for Walters' truthful albeit blunt exposure of the psychic's incorrect health assessment might have something to do with that fact that Van Praagh's most recent book outsold Walters' on Amazon.com. The most revealing quote given by medium would have to be this:

"I'd love a public apology from her but she'll never give me one… her ego's in the way I think."

Talk about classy, huh? It's interesting to note the only mention Van Praagh gave of his defunct medical advice in the interview was that it didn't necessarily apply to this point in time. That way, any medical problems Walters may develop in the future even remotely resembling the ones against which Van Praagh warned can be counted as a hit for him. The rest of the interview was reserved for defaming Walters' character in the "classy" way only a wounded bunko artist defending his source of income can pull off. It appears the term "sensitive" does apply to Van Praagh; just not in the manner he intended.

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