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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 28, 2008 / 21 Adar I 5768

‘Moment of Truth’ about our motives

By Marybeth Hicks



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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "I just saw something really upsetting on TV," Betsy says. "It made me realize there are people who will do absolutely anything for money."

I can't tell if my daughter has been watching the World Wrestling Federation or the latest update on political fundraising, but she seems genuinely disturbed.

Her comment piques my curiosity, not to mention that I'm wondering if I should beef up the parental controls on our TV. I brace myself for the possibility that my teenage daughter has seen one of those "documentaries" on brothels in Las Vegas.

"What was it?" I ask tentatively.

"A new show on Fox," she says. " 'Moment of Truth.' It's a reality show where people answer questions while hooked up to a polygraph machine and then reveal their answers on TV."

I'm immediately relieved because this means what happens in Vegas is still staying in Vegas, brothelwise. That's a relief.

On the other hand, Betsy is unnerved. "Mom, this show proves that there is no limit to the pain a person will cause someone else or the humiliation they will go through just to win a half-million dollars."

I hate to be the one to tell Betsy, but people have been hurting others and enduring humiliation since the dawn of time for a whole lot less money. But still. She has a point.


The premise of "Moment of Truth" is to get contestants to reveal deeply personal and potentially embarrassing information to see if their honest answers to the host's questions match the results of a previous polygraph test. Sounds entertaining enough — until you hear the questions. "Do you hold your father responsible for ruining your family?"

"Have you ever stolen money from a workplace and let someone else take the blame?"

"Have you ever made a pass at a friend of your fiance's?"

Essentially, it's a game to reveal not only the unvarnished truth about certain topics, but also the deeply flawed character of the contestants.

Here's the really twisted part — the piece that left my 16-year-old feeling as if she'd seen the dirty underbelly of our morally corrupt culture: Somehow, the people sitting in the hot seat of truth seemed to exude a sort of moral superiority by their willingness to admit honestly all of the really despicable things they had done in the past.

Or, as Betsy put it, "What kind of person sits there smiling while admitting they stole tips from another waiter?"

The kind of person who's looking for a quick, six-figure paycheck in the hope he or she won't ever return to restaurant work, I suppose.

I guess we could be happy that someone finally has found a way to use lie-detector tests for entertainment purposes, given that they're still largely inadmissible in our courts of law. (The fact that polygraphs don't meet a legal standard of proof seems to mean little to most of us. Even an unwillingness to submit to a polygraph has come to imply that someone is hiding something.)

Of course, this presupposes that "Moment of Truth" is entertaining. However, as Betsy discovered, its draw is more like the attraction of a car wreck. You can't help but stare at the carnage as you drive by even though you know you should avert your eyes and keep moving.

I have decided "Moment of Truth" is going on the list of things we don't watch at our house. To my mind, it's just another way to promote cynicism and moral relativism in a culture that already wants for examples of good character and integrity.

Sadly, I can only assume that this show will earn high ratings even without my family tuning in. After all, as Betsy discovered, there's no end to the number of folks who will sacrifice their dignity, their reputations and even their most beloved relationships for the chance to win a half a million bucks.

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MAYBETH'S FIRST BOOK!
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Marybeth Hicks offers readers common-sense wisdom in dealing with today's culture. Her anecdotes of her husband and four children tap into universal themes that every parent can relate to and appreciate. -- Wesley Pruden, Editor-in-Chief, The Washington Times
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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


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