The July 19 broadcast of ABC’s “What Would You Do?” at first seemed to be devoid of any racial themes that usually plague the overly-contrived ABC "News" show. Yet, they needed to insert a racial element to see if bystanders would stop a would-be thief in broad daylight. A man named Uvall is an actor playing your everyday American commuting to work. He parks his car along the front of New York Panini in Huntington, New York. His car has over $10,000 in valuables, which Kevin, another actor who happens to be a white guy will try to steal. He’s mostly successful. Yet, he’s stopped by a naval officer -- a real person, not an actor -- and placed under a citizen’s arrest. Nevertheless, ABC had to play the race game to see if there’s more to Kevin’s success.
During the second go-around in this scenario, Gabriel replaces Kevin. He’s another actor, and he happens to be black. He’s caught every time, and also placed under citizen’s arrest. Yet, is this racism, or more perceptive bystanders, the folks at ABC ask?
Tomorrow marks the end of the latest season of What Would You Do?, a hidden-camera production of ABC News hosted by longtime correspondent John Quinones that uses actors to stage uncomfortable scenarios designed to find intolerance and bigotry among average Americans. Not too many years ago, ABC News felt it had to apologize when an on-air reporter wore a coat indoors in front of an image of the Capitol building, to make it appear she was on location, when in fact she was at ABC's Washington, D.C. studios.
Now, the network's news division routinely uses deception to lure unsuspecting citizens into situations aimed at catching them spewing hate against Muslims, gays, Hispanics, etc. In reality, of course, all the Friday night program really demonstrates is the low opinion ABC News has for average Americans' character, and the network's obvious need to prod their audience to behave better. Here are five of the worst examples our analysts have found over the past six years:
With the Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act last month, you know that ABC’s “What Would You Do?” just had to produce a segment on gay marriage – again. In the July 12 broadcast, the show decided to pick the liberal state of New Jersey -- a blue state for a change -- in order to find these nasty, homophobic Americans. The scenario was simple. Two lesbians walk into a local bakery picking out their future wedding cake. The baker is a homophobe. He hurls insults. What would you do?
To no one’s surprise, the vast majority of the bystanders were appalled by the baker’s remarks. Some offered their apologies, while others coaxed the couple, played by actors, to leave the store for a friendlier baking establishment. Again, save for a few customers, most of the people caught on camera offered empathy and support for the discriminated couple. Then again, in a state where 60% support gay marriage, you’d be hard-pressed to find Westboro Baptist types lingering around a bakery ready to gay-bash at the drop of a hat.
As I mentioned last week, ABC’s "news" program “What Would You Do?” features scripted actors dramatizing so-called “real life” events, which call out for ordinary Americans to intervene. The program's producers love to gin up scenarios, which apparently are designed to bring out bigotry and racism from fellow Americans who are supposed to identify with the actors portraying the absurd scenarios. Most often the scenarios are played out in the heartland of America, in "red-state" locales where apparently ABC thinks it can find racists, xenophobes, and/or folks willing to gay-bash.
Well, for the program's June 21 broadcast, the network continued to troll for bigoted Americans across the Midwest. This time the focus was a Hispanic mother and daughter at a restaurant. The mother, an actress, can’t speak English well – and that irritates one racist patron -- portrayed, again, by an actor. The scenario is completely fabricated.
The June 14 episode of ABC’s What Would You Do again trolled for the archetypal intolerant conservative American that are supposedly around every bend in two outrageous segments concerning a gay Boy Scout and a racist deli shop customer. The show, which uses actors to play out outrageous scenarios to see how unsuspecting passers-by react, hosted the gay Boy Scout scenario at a roadside steakhouse in Texas. This is similar to a similar sting video last week which had a gay basketball player come out to his coach and teammates.
What better setting -- if you're a liberal news producer from Manhattan -- to stage this incident being that the state is known for the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision on sodomy laws and that it's a reliably red state, producing both Presidents Bush as well as Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry, liberal media bogeymen all.
Apparently ABC's news division is not content with reporting the news and spinning it to promote a liberal agenda. It now devotes a whole program to manufacturing fake scenarios in the hopes of pushing a liberal agenda.
Take the program, “What Would You Do?,” (WWYD) which began years ago as an occasional segment on the Primetime newsmagazine program and used actors in hidden camera situations to see how bystanders would react. Just in time for Gay Pride month, for the June 7 edition, WWYD set up a fake situation involving a basketball player coming out to his teammates and coach. Of course, the team and the coach were all actors playing out a skit whereby they bashed their now out-of-the-closet teammate before unsuspecting spectators.
[UPDATED with video.] ABC's prank undercover news show What Would You Do on Friday again attempted to find secret, anti-gay bias, this time featuring a counselor telling a sobbing teen that he needs to "pray away the gay." Host John Quinones managed to drag Michelle Bachmann into the topic and seemed to have no problem when a patron asserted he was going to "kill" the actor playing the counselor.
The program set up a hidden camera in a New Jersey pancake house. Narrator/host Quinones introduced the counselor as someone "who believes the power of prayer can change anything." A bizarre close-up of his mouth appeared onscreen and echoing sound effects are used as he proclaimed, "Together, we can pray the gay away. [Echoes] Away." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
What Would You Do, ABC's undercover news program, last week continued its habit of featuring actors pretending to be obnoxious Americans. The John Quinones-hosted program searches for secret bigotry, almost always aimed at liberal causes. On January 27th, the show tried to create scenarios under which restaurant patrons would yell at a gay man proposing to his boyfriend.
Quinones, the narrator/interrogator, explained, "It's a beautiful day, and love is in the air. Peter is an actor plays a gay man who's finally ready and now legally able to tie the knot with his longtime partner." Showing no objectivity about the issue of gay marriage, Quinones lectured, "Vince is also an actor, seated at a nearby table. He's playing the role of a man who just can't keep his homophobia to himself."
What Would You Do?, an ABC News hidden camera program that often engineers scenarios to expose the supposed bigotry of Americans, was asked on Wednesday to stop filming by the town of Greenwich, Connecticut.
The ABC program uses a hidden camera to see how people react. On February 4, 2011, host John Quinones explained how the show hired an actor to play a security guard and pretend to harass Mexicans. The piece, billed as an investigation of Arizona's immigration law, featured the faux-security guard spewing, "...If they're not legal citizens, they shouldn't be here. They should be deported. They look Mexican."
In the '80s the liberal media filled the airwaves with tales of woe from the homeless as a way to distract viewers from the runaway success of Reaganomics. In the 2000s, the same media chatted with one frustrated gas station customer after another to slam then-President George W. Bush.
However in 2011, with over 44 million Americans on food stamps, a new high according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (See Table 2), the Big Three broadcast network news programs have been virtually devoid of anecdotal sob stories of moms and dads struggling to pay for their kids' box of Frosted Flakes, as a way to hammer Barack Obama's failed economic policies.
ABC's undercover news show, What Would You Do, on Friday continued to search for examples of bigotry across America. Anchor John Quinones narrated a segment featuring two men pretending to be gay military veterans displaying affection in a New Jersey restaurant.
As cameras rolled, Quinones explained the set-up: "They're holding hands, stroking each other's hair and caressing each other's legs...So what will happen if we throw in our actor Vince, posing as an irritated diner, who's had enough of this PDA?"
An actor, "Vince," interrupted the faux soldiers and complained, "Excuse me. We appreciate your service to the country and everything, but you should respect the uniform a little bit more than that."
ABC aired an incredibly insulting and condescending hidden camera news special on Tuesday that purported to probe the hidden racism of Americans. It also featured actors hired by the network to go to France and portray "ugly Americans," complete with a "Bush '08" t-shirt that was derided by one German woman as similar to saying "I like Hitler."
The "What Would You Do?" special attempted to see how real people would react to racism or over-the-top behavior. As part of the experiment, host John Quinones introduced "Bob" and "Bonnie," actors sent to Paris to represent obnoxious U.S. citizens. Quinones began the segment by cheerfully explaining, "They're the ugly Americans. And for more than a century, they've been fixtures in American literature and film."
On Tuesday's "Good Morning America," an ABC reporter once again attempted to probe and examine the secret racism of American citizens. Correspondent John Quinones, the host of a series of ABC hidden camera specials designed to test how people react to ethical situations, appeared to preview a new edition that featured a cashier in a New Jersey deli yelling at a Hispanic customer.
The ABC crew had the pretend employee scream at a confused day laborer, saying things such as "We're building walls to keep you guys out of the country! You don't speak English, you don't get service! We don't serve your kind here!" Quinones then theatrically lectured, "...On this day, the only thing they [the customers] are being served is prejudice." He later observed that the experiment "uncovered some of the dark impulses many of us share."