Christianity Worth Thinking About
Ricki Lake: Moral Moron
November 4, 1995
I have pretty strong feelings about TV. I
satisfy those feelings, for the most part, by ignoring it.
|I wish most others would as well. I only watch TV once in a
while. I watch videos. Occasionally, you'll catch me watching Biography
on A& E because oftentimes, if I buy some food to bring home, that's
what's on when I'm ready to sit down and eat. That's it. I'm not into
network TV whatsoever.
Every once in a while, though, for one reason or another, I stumble
upon something. This first occasion of stumbling upon a particular show
that I'm going to tell you about happened last week when I was at a
friend's house. She's married and has kids and I just happened to catch a
portion of this particular talk show. On the show, there was a reunion
between two people. Two people who had been sweethearts in the past, had
separated, and the gentleman was upset because he and his sweetheart had
been apart for so long. He really wanted a reconciliation, so he arranged
to meet his sweetheart on TV. The way the program works, is that the other
person is invited to come to the show, yet they don't know what's going
on. The first person sets it up for the audience, and then the whole thing
is revolved around the sharing of something personal between two people.
Everybody watches while the first one tells the audience what is going to
happen, then they bring in the unsuspecting second party, the
communication follows and the audience interacts with that.
The problem is, in my view, the kind of communication that goes on
here, because in this particular case, there was a young man explaining
how his sweetheart was now estranged, he wanted his sweetheart back and on
and on and on. They call his sweetheart in. His sweetheart, if you haven't
guessed it already, is another man. An older man. The young man is 24, the
older man is 33 or 35. The younger man pulls out a teddy bear and a
bouquet of roses from underneath his chair, walks over, hands the teddy
bear and the bouquet of roses to the other man--his lover--throws his arms
around him and kisses him on the neck. They embrace. They come back and
sit down and then the one basically proposes to the other in front of an
admiring audience. This is called the Ricki Lake Show.
. . .if you are one of the voyeurs who watches
that show on a regular basis, shame on you.
|If there are some of you out there who are listening and
you say, "Oh, yeah, I know just what you're talking about,"
shame on you. Unless you know what I'm talking about because you also just
happened to stumble upon that show. But if you are one of the voyeurs who
watches that show on a regular basis, shame on you. I have never seen a
more disgusting display of applause of immorality, or a more disgusting
display of emotional rape of human beings as I saw that day.
By the way, when I was at my friend's house, the mom was aware of what
was going on, kind of in the background, that the kids were watching this
show. I was disgusted, after I saw what happened on the show. I walked out
of the room and I said "I can't take this. It's so disgusting to
me." Mom said, "Yeah, it's really awful. I don't know how people
can watch that." I turned around and said to Mom, "It's your
TV." For some reason, she got the idea that she had no control over
what her teenage children were watching. Everybody was turning up their
noses, yet they were all watching and giving their point of view, instead
of reaching over and just turning that blasted thing off. If you watch
enough of that stuff, it starts to change the way you think.
Then there was Thursday. Thursday I went out running. I usually do
about 15 minutes of crunchies after I run, so I turn on the TV to keep my
mind off my abdomen. There was, low and behold, Ricki Lake again. I caught
it at the point when they were telling the audience what they were setting
up. Here's a lady, telling the audience that she is about to break up with
her boyfriend. He lives 1500 hundred miles away. He's getting prepared to
make a move to move in and live with her. He's in the booth with
headphones on and he doesn't know what is going on. They cut away to his
picture on occasion, sitting stupidly and mutely in the booth. The girl
goes on to explain how she has a life to live, she doesn't love him
anymore, she has changed in the last month and a half since she's been
separated from him, and now she is in love with someone else. She thinks
this is too important a thing to communicate on the telephone so she wants
to tell him in person--in front of millions of people. He gets the signal
to come on down. He gets out of the booth, sits down in one of the chairs,
and nods to everybody else. Everyone is clapping and applauding. This poor
guy doesn't know what's up. He doesn't know he's about to get axed on TV.
The girl sits down and says, "You know, I really love you and you're
wonderful but, you know, I found somebody else and I can't have you move
out with me. We're breaking up." Then the camera zooms in on his face
as you watch his lips quiver and see his jaw get set tightly as he
struggles with the emotion. Poor old Ricki Lake furrows her brow and said,
"Oh Billy, how do you feel?" As if she really cares. To top it
all off, Ricki then said, "Let's bring on down your new
sweetheart," because there are three chairs there and only two are
being filled right now. Sweetheart #2 strolls in and guess who it is? It's
her female roommate. So not only does the guy get axed, but he finds out
that the man his girlfriend left him for is a woman. We get to watch it
all as the crowd cheers on.
She thinks this is too important a thing to
communicate on the telephone so she wants to tell him in person--in front
of millions of people.
|I frankly wish there was more clear thinking going on about
moral issues, because then people wouldn't put up with moral morons like
Ricki Lake. Oh, that's nasty; I'm calling her a name. No,
I'm describing her. She is a moral moron. To put on a show that
abuses people like this and take money for it is unconscionable. It's also
unconscionable for people to watch it and enjoy it and to consider it
And guess what? It gets worse. The next situation, as I'm sitting there
doing my crunchies, continuing to watch--to be quite honest with you, for
the purpose of this radio show, for the purpose of making a comment on
this lunacy. After this first break up that's shown on TV, we have another
one. Who's this? Well, this is a young lady whose fiancee is in the booth.
She has something to share with her fiancee. What is it? I'm in love with
another man and have been for three years--the whole time that I've known
you. I'm breaking up with you on the show. Not only is he her fiancee, but
they are scheduled to be married that Friday! She explains it all. She
says she's really sorry. She tells the audience, "I don't know what
to do. I just can't go through with this. I love this other guy."
Blah, blah. Tremendous personal depth in these people. The poor guy is in
this booth and you see his face and he has got these headsets on so he
can't hear anything that is going on. Then she tells the audience, before
he comes out, that he actually thinks they're on the Ricki Lake Show
to get married there. Everybody knows weird things happen on the Ricki
Lake Show and so maybe it's not to get axed, but for some other thing
that turns out to be good. He thinks she's just asking him to get married
there, that's why they're going on the Ricki Lake Show. She can't
correct him because that would ruin the show, wouldn't it? So they bring
this poor young man out, who must have been about 25 years old, and he,
thinking as he does, strolls out onto the stage with a smile on his face,
waving to the audience who applauds his entrance. "Hey, I'm doing
great, hi, what's up? Hi, sweetie." He sits down next to the girl.
Ricki says, "This gal has something to say to you." She turns to
him, "I think you're a really nice guy, but I can't marry you. I'm in
love with another man."
They're supposed to get married in a couple of days. He thinks they're
going to get married on the show. Instead she is breaking up with him
right there. Once again, camera zooms in. We see the quivering lip, the
eyes watering, the astonishment, the hurt. We see the humiliation and the
audience is enthralled. Ricki furrows her little brow and says, "Gee,
how do you feel?"
. . .This is an emotional snuff film.
|At the break you see a promotion for the next Ricki Lake
Show. "I wouldn't sleep with you before, but now I will."
That's the announcement that will be made by the guests on the next Ricki
Lake. Can you believe this? Is it even possible that we're watching this
on television? You see, it's not just the casual attitude about
immorality. We've had a casual attitude about immorality all over the
screen and the TV for a long time now. That's pass?. That's ordinary.
That's not the kind of voyeurism that titillates anymore. Talking about
premarital sex and adultery and homosexuality, that's old stuff. We need
something more. We want to watch people's lives destroyed, actually before
our eyes. This is the equivalent of an emotional snuff film. You know
snuff films, the pornographic films where they actually kill somebody?
This is an emotional snuff film. We get to watch it. That's why I say,
"Ricki Lake, you are a moral moron," for goodness sake. She's
worse than a prostitute, ladies and gentlemen. A prostitute sells her own
body. But Ricki Lake isn't revealing for the world intimate details of her
own life. She's not standing up there having her own emotional life bared
to the world to watch herself get emotionally sliced up. That would be one
bizarre thing if somebody would be willing to take money to get
emotionally destroyed in front of other people. This is worse. She's
getting paid to emotionally disrobe and emotionally rape other people.
She's getting paid to take unsuspecting and emotionally vulnerable people
and throw them to the lions. It's like the gladiators with people cheering
on as they see the emotional blood flow.
You know, if you pulled a wing off a fly so you could watch it buzz
around in circles on your desk, people would think that you were cruel,
that you were immoral. Ricki Lake does that with human beings. She calls
it entertainment. She injures them emotionally so that her watching
audience can gasp and giggle and groan as these people writhe about upon
her stage in emotional agony. Do you know what the irony is? Ricki Lake is
an animal rights activist! Maybe we should get a porpoise and chop off one
of its fins and toss it in a swimming pool and film it flailing about.
Then I can go on the Ricki Lake Show and put Ricki in the isolation
booth. I'll tell the audience how awful I think Ricki is and then I'll
invite her out with "Ricki, I have something to show you." And
then we run the clip. While she watches this hapless creature struggle and
bleed, watches this wounded porpoise flop around in the pool, I can ask
her, "Gee, Ricki, how do you feel?"
I'm not advocating this kind of treatment to animals, but the point is,
she would obviously be more upset about that than at what she is doing.
She's not upset at all. She's raking it in, ladies and gentlemen. You see,
what Ricki Lake would consider to be unconscionable when done to an
animal--I suspect even an insect--she does to human beings every single
day. A little tear appears in her eye, she furrows her brow and she looks
at this hapless creature that she has just dismembered and she says,
"Ooh, how do you feel?" Then she looks at the woman who has just
dismembered this poor man and she has the audacity to say, "How could
you do this to this guy? He's such a nice guy."
I'll tell you how she could do it, because she was paid by Ricki Lake,
the moral moron, to do it for money, for entertainment, for pleasure, for
Ricki Lake's career. No, "moral moron" is not a name. It is an
apt description of this disgusting display, this disgusting show.
||This is a transcript of a commentary
from the radio show
"Stand to Reason," with Gregory Koukl. It is made available to
you at no charge through the faithful giving of those who support Stand to
©1995 Gregory Koukl
Reproduction permitted for non-commercial use only
Stand To Reason, 1-800-2-REASON
Posted: December 29, 1995