Friday, February 25, 2005

Whitley Strieber weighs in on the Jennings UFO special:

"The much heralded ABC special on UFOs has come and gone. Predictably, it was more of the same, a large number of lies sprinkled with a few truths."

I should probably point out here that Strieber's sensationalist alter-ego was merrily predicting that Jennings' treatment would be the real thing -- but consistency has never been one of Whitley's hallmarks.

But I have to agree with the following:

"At least it wasn't as relentlessly negative as such programs have generally been in the past. But people like Peter Jennings and his producers are cursed with the belief that they can understand -- or already do understand -- what they are looking at. The reality is that the UFO phenomenon is the most complex event in history, and a cursory examination of its surface by a few overworked and ill-informed television producers is not going to succeed in any way whatsoever to come to any truth about it."

For the entirety of Strieber's recap, click here. He makes some good points, but embeds them in so much impassioned rhetoric that he sounds a bit like one of the enamored cultists he criticizes. This is Strieber's central failing as an online writer. (His books, on the other hand, demonstrate a fair degree of editorial restraint.)


Henry Baum said...

The show wasn't aimed at the converted. It was supposed to be an introduction for skeptics and I thought it did a good job at that. As a "cursory examination" I've seen much worse. I wrote my review at my blog if you're interested...

Corwin said...

I was expecting so much more, partly because Art Bell said it would be better than other crap, partly because 2 weekends ago there was a rebroadcast of his 2003 interview with John Lear in which he seemed - at least to me - to have said there's life on Venus that won't let earth people take pictures of them and that lots of shit was faked and edited and that talking about it won't matter to the government because the extent of their disinfo is so great now it won't matter.

Saying some of the things Lear did instead of letting anyone from SETI utter a fucking word - I mean didn't the 3 people we saw representing SETI seem like the kind of operation they exposed project Blue Book for being?

The amount I saw - start to the break after the SETI shit - gave me horrid feelings, it felt like crap, it seemed fucking crappy to me, is all.

Bell does seem a lot more gaurded about things now than he was during the 2003 Lear interview - in which he was fairly open to anything dismantling things Lear says the public was given.

Bsti said...

I was dissapointed. Even those not converted would be peripherally aware of much of what Jennings reported on. There was no new UFO footage,in fact, no footage at all, just animations. If it was meant as an introduction to those unaware, then it was pretty condescending. I could have found much better ways to waste 2 hours.
But then, I think I've watched just about every UFO show that's aired since I was a kid.

Corwin said...

The Coast To Coast AM website has a page dedicated to what some coast listeners thought about the ABC special, 100% of them thinking it was crap after the first hour, and a debunkers dream the second, and each e-mail on that page has a unique point of view on how the special should/could have been done.

Even though a lot of crap guests are interviewed on Coast, it's audience, big as it is (millions), seems to be brilliant and "in the know" from not just listening to Coast but from having their own backgrounds in noteworthy intelligent thought.

Even if you don't listen to the program, the Coast site occasionally acquires pretty neat info.

Ken Younos said...

I think Strieber's got some major issues. I don't trust him, and it's difficult to take anything that he says seriously.

Mac said...

Strieber indeed appears to have some issues -- among them the persistent self-congratulatory/martyr references.

Ken Younos said...