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December 12th, 2017

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Man's Other Best Friends | Iraqi TV Goes 'Jerry Springer'

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Feb. 19, 2015

Man's Other Best Friends | Iraqi TV Goes 'Jerry Springer'

People's love for their pets reached a new high in December when a British man paid a veterinarian the equivalent of $500 to perform delicate surgery on a sick office goldfish (typical pet store "replacement" price: $1 to $5). Vet Faye Bethell of North Walsham, England, told the Eastern Daily Press in December that there was "nothing special" about the fish, but that the customer "just liked it a lot." In fact, the goldfish likely did not even have a pet name -- as Bethell in an interview spoke intimately of another patient by name (Cadbury, the skunk). (Bethell's procedure involved removing the patient from the bowl, flooding its gills with anesthetic-fortified water, and using a tiny scalpel to remove lumps that were causing it constipation, with the surgery guided by a miniature heart-rate monitor.) [Eastern Daily Press (Norwich, England), 1-1-2015]

Iraq's government-run channel, Iraqiyya TV, has a reality show reminiscent of American confrontational programs, but is designed to force captured ISIS fighters to acknowledge the pain they have created. One episode of "In the Grip of the Law" (described in a December Associated Press dispatch) showed family members of car-bombing victims on a street corner in Baghdad haranguing one of the men convicted of the crime. A young man in a wheelchair, having lost his father in the attack, faced off against the convict, screaming until the jihadist "began weeping, as the cameras rolled." [Associated Press via New York Daily News, 12-22-2014]

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