Confessions: Why the Sickest TV Show in America Must Never Be Allowed in Britain

By Presenter, Nick Ross Watch | Sunday Mirror (London, England), September 3, 2000 | Go to article overview

Confessions: Why the Sickest TV Show in America Must Never Be Allowed in Britain


Presenter, Nick Ross Watch, Sunday Mirror (London, England)


A GRINNING Daniel Rakowitz looks straight at the camera and describes how, after punching her in the throat, he killed his girlfriend and began hacking her body to pieces.

This is the spectacle viewers in America will tune into when a disturbing new TV show called Confessions gets its first airing next month.

The programme takes the viewer into the interrogation rooms of police stations via official video tapes designed to be used in court - not for entertainment.

But US freedom of speech laws mean the tapes are deemed public property - and in the relentless search for ratings, they are now to be aired on prime-time TV.

It is billed breathlessly as educational and informative, a "raw look into the complex minds of some the most disturbing criminals of our time".

Anyone can see that is balderdash - this sort of show is about one thing: attracting viewers, and, therefore, advertising, hence the concentration on the most lurid cases possible.

If Confessions proves as popular as commentators expect it to be, it will not be long before someone tries the same thing on this side of the Atlantic.

And anyone who welcomes that would do well to examine the output planned for the first episode, starting with the confession on Rakowitz, who was deemed mentally unfit to stand trial.

Yet still viewers will see this clearly-disturbed man talking in shocking detail about his crime. That might be permitted under US law - but it is ethically unacceptable.

He says on camera: "I punched her one time and hit her in the throat and she fell to the ground and started to gurgle.

I FELT her heart beat and she had one and her eyes were open and I figured maybe she was holding her breath.

"I went to make a pot delivery in the park and I came back and she was still lying there so I touched her and she was cold and I realised she was dead."

Worse still is the case of David Garcia, a gay male prostitute, who stabbed to death a one-legged man who was confined to a wheelchair after he tried to attack him with a knife.

Highlighting a case like that for no reason other than its awfulness shows this project to be a freak show, whose purpose is to fascinate, not inform.

If that's not enough, next we see defendant Steven Smith, who was found guilty of the rape and murder of a woman doctor in New York's Bellevue Hospital.

"My motive was money," he tells the camera, blaming the crime on an accomplice who turns out later at court to be "completely imaginary".

My thoughts here are with the families and friends of the victims in these cases, whose feelings clearly count for nothing.

Court TV's executive vice president Art Bell recently admitted: "There will be pain for the relatives and friends of people involved...and that is something we at Court TV have much sympathy for. But my feeling is that society continues to examine the crimes of the past to try and reason and learn from what has gone on before.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Confessions: Why the Sickest TV Show in America Must Never Be Allowed in Britain
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.