The "Truth Channel"
The Spectator
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by Ron Cruger
 I was tired when I settled into the recliner. I turned on the television set and waited for the picture to appear. I could barely keep my eyes open and I knew that within minutes I would be asleep. It didn’t matter what showed on the television – I was worn out and wanted to take a nice, long nap. 
          A “talking head” appeared on the screen. I watched the man’s lips move and I heard him say, “ Hi, my name is Walter Cranktite and welcome to the ‘Truth Channel,’ where you’ll find out the truth about what people are saying in government, sports, religion, politics, advertising and show business.” 
          “Truth Channel?” What was this? Never heard of it. I flipped out the foot rest on the recliner and decided to stay awake a bit longer. 
          The announcer reported, “And now we bring you the ‘Sodium Pentothal Hour,’ where we inject a prominent person with sodium pentothal, or as it is also known, truth serum. Then we ask them penetrating questions in order to find out if they’ve been telling the American public the truth. All of our guests are volunteers and agree to be injected with the truth serum. 
          Shown on the screen was a United States Senator from New York. A scene flashed, showing the Senator, a man in his sixties, with his left sleeve rolled up. A medical technician was injecting him with the truth serum.” The next scene showed the New York Senator relaxed, sitting in a leather chair opposite from the broadcaster, Walter Cranktite.” 
          “So, Senator, my first question is, ‘Do you really believe that John McCain isn’t too old to be President of the United States?” 
          The Senator grinned at the man opposite him, awkwardly looked around the set and said, “Well, the guy is getting up there. I spoke with him last week and a couple of times he forgot what he was saying. Old John is a nice guy, but I think we need a younger man in the position.” 
          Cranktite peppered the Senator with a barrage of questions and the Senator answered every one directly and honestly. He even admitted that “Us Senators get paid too much for what we do and our retirement program is beyond belief. We’re luckier than anybody. That’s why we fight so hard to be reelected.” 
          The questions rolled on, the Senator answered them all bearing a gentle grin. He was even enjoying the soporific feeling of the truth serum flowing in his veins. 
          The program ended with the Senator shaking hands with Cranktite, but remaining seated in the leather chair. The next scene on the television set was an attractive woman saying, “Thank you, Walter and the Honorable Senator from New York. Now we bring you ‘The Gotcha Show’ live from Washington, D.C. Today’s show will feature an interview with the presidential candidates from the Democrat and Republican parties.” 
          A brief shot showed both candidates receiving injections of sodium pentothal. They both grinned broadly as the needles penetrated their skins. The next scene showed both candidates sitting comfortably on either side of the show’s emcee, Tom Breaklaw, who first turned to the candidate on his right and asked, “Senator, why did you vote for the invasion of Iraq?” 
          The Senator smiled, slumped in his chair, stretched his legs and then crossed them. Looking fully relaxed the Senator replied, “Hell’s Bells, Tom, I voted for the war because we have a lot of defense companies in my state. Get the picture, Tommy!” 
          The astonished Breaklaw then turned to his left and asked, “Senator, do you think a woman could win election to the presidency of the United States of America?” 
          The Senator replied, “Oh, c’mon, Tom. Really. I don’t think America is ready for a ‘skirt’ to be President. Nope, in fact, I’m not ready for that.” 
          Tom Breaklaw continued with a hot line of questioning for the remainder of “The Gotcha Show.” Each candidate spoke bluntly, honestly and in many cases embarrassingly truthful. At the end of “The Gotcha Show” Breaklaw thanked the two presidential hopefuls and added, “The next hour we will present a before and after video show of what these two presidential hopefuls said before they became presidential candidates and then what they said in speeches after their presidential candidacy. It’s a fascinating look put together by our very own ‘Truth Channel Honesty Squad.’ Stay tuned for this special presentation of “The Naked Truth.” 
          My tiredness had faded away. I was fascinated by what was showing on my television set. It was all so compelling. What an intriguing concept. Truth! There is a food channel, sports channels, 24-hour news channels, jewelry channels, nature channels, comedy channels, golf channels, tennis channels – there’s a channel for anything you can think of – and now, the best of all – “The Truth Channel.”
          I quickly grabbed my copy of “TV Guide” and looked up the schedule for “The Truth Channel.” 
          The selection was fascinating. 
          At five p.m. the nightly news show came on – “The B.S. Show,” featuring politician’s speeches – before and after. 
          The variety of shows was exciting. “The Big Lie,” featuring local and national politicians caught lying. The “International Fibbing Hour,” showing prominent politicians giving speeches and then answering questions after being given sodium pentothal injections. 
          One show followed another round-the-clock. “Falsehoods,’ “Fibs/Incorporated,” “The Low Down.” 
          “Sports Lies,” a weekly hour show devoted to playing videos of sports figures offering explanations after their games and then having the same sports stars volunteer for truth serum injections and being interviewed by well known sports announcer Biff Carlyle. On this evening Carlyle’s guest was a former N.F.L. eight- time all star linebacker. Carlyle’s first question to the retired star was, “Did you ever use steroids and did you know other N.F.L. players who used steroids?” 
          The giant linebacker answered, “What a question! Of course I used steroids. I had to or I would never have been able to play in the N.F.L. Just about everyone on the team used some kind of chemical assistance. We had to or we would never be able to play the following week. Hell, we smoked pot too, just to relax sometimes. I still do.” 
          A spot came on for the following week’s edition of “Sport’s Lies. “Next week we will feature the home run slugger who is close to breaking the single season home run record for major league baseball. We’ll give him his injection and then ask him, “Do you think you will break the home run record without the use of steroids?” 
          Also listed in TV Guide are more shows from “The Truth Channel” – “The Gospel Truth,” which covers the TV evangelists. Many of these shows have resulted in the de-frocking of a number of well-known TV evangelists and the break up of their multi-million dollar prayer franchises. 
          Show business is represented on “The Truth Channel” by “Fibs,” a half hour weekly show devoted to the statements made by television and movie personalities and then, following their truth serum injections, what these personalities say now. 
          Other popular shows include, “Today’s Prevarications,” about the latest lies of the day. A popular feature on the channel is “Sorry, Mr. President,” which shows videos of what the President of the United States said one year ago and what he said today with the aid of truth serum. 
          A leading “Truth Channel” program is “The Falsehood Show,” which, this week featured videos of Bill O’Reilly taken five years ago versus his statements of recent days given while he was connected to a lie detector machine. 
          It was reported on “The Falsehood Show” tonight that only seventeen members of the House and nineteen members of the Senate have volunteered to be given truth serum and appear on the “Truth Channel.” Only six governors have agreed to be interviewed while connected to the lie detector machine. 
          A promo appeared on the screen boosting the new show, starting in two weeks – “The True Confession Hour,” which will feature the acknowledgement of lies spoken while in public office. 
          “Truth Channel” executives reported that they are in negotiations with both political parties to present the presidential candidates debates on their channel with both candidates attached to lie detector machines. 
          My TV Guide reported that “The Truth Channel” is now the highest ranked channel on television. Its viewership is equal to the combined viewers of all the networks.
I found myself engaged in watching “The Truth Channel” until two a.m. 
          The next day I read in my morning newspaper that the United States Senate was trying to pass a bill to remove “The Truth Channel” from the airwaves. The sponsors of the bill claimed that its content was “a danger to democracy.”