I’m just back from “The Amazing Meeting” in Las Vegas, a fantastic annual event that I’ve attended many times.
This year, much of the buzz in the room (aside from speakers like Adam Savage of “Mythbusters,” Christopher Hitchens, Julia Sweeney, Phil Plait, Jamy Ian Swiss, Penn & Teller, and Trey Parker and Matt Stone of “South Park”) was the failure of Sylvia Browne and James Van Praagh in the Shawn Hornbeck case, which I wrote about last week.
On Friday night, Anderson Cooper shone the CNN spotlight on this matter, and did an extended segment that featured Robert Lancaster, webmaster of StopSylvia.com, who dug up the info on just how wrong she was about the missing boy. In the segment immediately after, Cooper did a live interview with James Randi.
It’s apparent that Cooper is a skeptic about liars like Sylvia, and it was nice to see a major media outlet — other than my radio show — take such big swings at her (transcript here). What really made this different was that the skeptical viewpoint was the central theme, rather than being relegated to a few seconds of nay-saying for balance at the end of the show, as in ABC’s incredibly lame “John Of God” special/infomercial of two years ago.
Here are the two CNN segments back-to-back, running a little over nine minutes…
I’ll have lots more stories from TAM5 to share in the next couple of days, including details on some changes that will be made in the Million Dollar Challenge very soon.