June 30, 2005, - 4:17 pm
On Friday, I wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal (and a different, longer version here) on Morgan Spurlock’s phony “documentary” about his moronic friend, David Stacy’s stay with a carefully picked Detroit-area Muslim family. After watching the absurd episode of the show, “30 Days,” last night, there is more to add.
Spurlock gets some important facts wrong, which casts deserved doubt on the rest of what he says and portrays. For example, Spurlock claims that Jews are still waiting for G-d’s son to arrive as their messiah. Jews believe G-d has a son? As a Jew, this is news to me, since we believe there is only one G-d, and that he has NO SON. That is one of the basic precepts of Judaism, which differentiates it from Christianity–the G-d is one, and not divided into a trilogy that includes a son. That Spurlock got this wrong reflects on his equally inaccurate knowledge of Islam, as reflected by this silly show.
(Among other inaccuracies, Spurlock claims the subject of the show, David Stacy, spent 30 days with a Muslim family in Dearborn. But the family lives in Canton, Michigan, not Dearborn, despite Spurlock’s constant incorrect use of Dearborn as the locale.)
Then, there is the fact I previously didn’t mention. David Stacy, the subject of the show, got paid $30,000 to spend the 30 days with the Muslim family. Spurlock asks him on the show why he’s doing this, but that’s not the answer Dave gives. The $30,000 checkbook “journalism” should have been disclosed. It is unethical that it was not.
But it’s not surprising Spurlock paid the subjects of these shows $30,000 to do the absurd. This is from “inkling” who posted at Little Green Footballs, one of my favorite blogs:
Morgan Spurlock got his start in TV with the show “I Bet You Will. Here’s a synopsis from TVtome.com:
“‘I Bet You Will’, the show that proves people will do anything for money! From bobbing for bacon in baked beans or putting live sea creatures in your pants, to drinking shots of vinegar, this show will stop at nothing to humiliate ordinary people off the street — all for the sake of a few hundred bucks.
“Filmed at various Spring Break locations, college campuses and downtown venues, the show features about a dozen short stunts geared to test the intestinal fortitude – literally – of the unsuspecting participants. Regular stunts include The Spice Rack, I Bet You Wheel and The Duck Pond. If its messy, squishy, gross and anything that makes you puke, you WILL find it on ‘I Bet You Will’.”
Tags: 30 Days, David Stacy, Detroit, I Bet You Will, Michigan, Morgan Spurlock, the Wall Street Journal, USD, Wall Street Journal