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Devil Worship: Exposing Satan’s Underground (1988) Geraldo Rivera 80’s TV Satanic Scare

” Twenty-one years ago tonight, television standards plunged further when NBC aired “Devil Worship: Exposing Satan’s Underground,”a two-hour “documentary” from “journalist” Geraldo Rivera.

The network touted the special as an investigation into crimes and a correlation between heavy metal music and Satanism, but the Washington Post’s Tom Shales had a different description, calling it “dirty-minded teleporn,” filled with “talk about butchered babies, dismembered corpses, cannibal cults and sex orgies.”

He noted the networks had cut their departments of standards and practices, attributing the whittling to “hyped competitiveness fostered by the Reagan administration’s sweeping deregulation” of broadcasting.

NBC began “Devil Worship” at 8 p.m. – the slot it reserved for “ALF,” “The Cosby Show” and “Family Ties” on other nights – requiring frequent interruptions for disclaimers and parental advisories.

As Shales reported, Rivera himself addressed parents during the broadcast: “I am begging you. This subject is just too upsetting for your young children. Please, get them out of the room or change the station!”

 

NBC’s entertainment division produced “Devil Worship,” triggering much strife within the network.

The news division refused to allow Rivera on “Today” to promote “Devil Worship,” and “Nightly News” anchor Tom Brokaw told the Los Angeles Times “quasi-news programs cheapens the genuine news product.”

In the days before broadcast, with negative publicity mounting, NBC was forced to sell some commercials at half price.

The Los Angeles Times reported KNBC’s “Devil Worship” broadcast carried just 14 commercials, including two for the National Enquirer and three for new horror movies.

An NBC spokeswoman told the Times the network’s switchboards received 331 complaints in New York and Burbank. (A secretary at the NBC affiliate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, said it received just one call – from a viewer whose home lost power as the broadcast began and wanted a rerun.)

“Devil Worship” finished fifth in the weekly ratings, with viewers in almost 20 million homes. Only NBC’s “Cosby,” “Cheers” and “A Different World” and CBS’s “60 Minutes” ranked higher.

In his 1992 memoir “The Last Great Ride,” NBC entertainment chief Brandon Tartikoff recalled hiring Rivera after he scored big ratings opening Al Capone’s vault in a live syndicated special in 1986.

Another concession: “Devil Worship” was conceived as a “blunting weapon” to counter the second episode of ABC’s “Roseanne,” which ended up ranking eighth.

Although Tartikoff was apologetic in the days after the “Devil Worship” broadcast, he struck a somewhat defensive tone in his book, noting affiliates received calls and letters from viewers thanking NBC for “exposing this very real problem … infecting their communities.”

Still, Tartikoff wrote, “If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t.”

TV Time Capsule

 

File under Blast From The Past, Comedy, Conspiracy Theory, Cults, Culture, Fashion, Fetish, Horror, Kooky Characters, Music, SeMeN SPeRmS Approved, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS ViDeO CLuB, Sex, Trash TV

When We Do Right, Nobody Remembers. When We Do Wrong, Nobody Forgets.

    • English occultist Aleister Crowley wasn’t merely a poet, painter and the Great Beast 666, he was also an aspiring chef! That’s right and if you’d like to make some magick in the kitchen tonight, The Master Therion’s recipe for his “famous” (or would that be “infamous”) curried rice dish, “Riz Aleister Crowley”
    • Only $700
    • Surprising subjects rendered expertly in wood and glass
    • When Huntington Beach, Calif., detectives searched Rodney Alcala’s Seattle storage locker during the Robin Samsoe murder investigation in 1979, they discovered a cache of photos, many of them young women in suggestive, and even pornographic poses.In March 2010, after a third jury in 30 years handed Alcala a death sentence, Huntington Beach police released more than 100 of those photos hoping to identify the women and some children, and learn if Alcala claimed still more victims.

      Most of those who have been identified are alive and well. But investigators continue to get new tips every day.

    • “An alcohol-laced energy drink equivalent to at least three beers, a can of Red Bull and a shot of espresso has prompted a New Jersey college to ban the drink after nearly two dozen students were hospitalized for alcohol intoxication.”
    • With all its mod-cons no more than two steps away, this tiny city centre apartment in Rome is compact in every way – except its breathtaking 50,000 Euro price tag.The former porter’s cupboard – which measures just five square metres – was put on the market this week by the Italian owner who claims he’s been flooded with queries.

    • Wiggle it: J-Lo has always maintained a healthy lifestyle but still has not managed to escape the dreaded orange peel
    • Le Café de L’Enfer was a Hell-themed café in Paris’ red light district (aka Pigalle, the neighborhood of the Moulin Rouge), created in the late 19th century and operating up ’til sometime around the middle of the 20th.
    • Last week in Colorado we’ve seen President Obama portrayed as a terrorist, illegal immigrant, gambler and homosexual all in the same billboard in Grand Junction, with the title “Vote DemocRAT.”Then there’s the online ad for Amendment 62, the so-called “personhood” amendment that would grant rights to “every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.” That two-minute video attributes “the decline of America” to Colorado’s 1967 approval of abortion to save a mother’s life or in cases of rape or incest. At one point, Obama’s face appears, morphing from the grim reaper, with the words “Then the Angel of Death arrived and Hell followed with him.” As ominous music plays in the background, the video notes, “He took over banks, industry, and finally, our health care.” The video from Personhood USA is titled “The Prolife Tea Party Vote.”

    • Alison Murray travels as a hobo on freight trains across Canada and the US. She gets to know the community of train riders, especially the many girls riding the rails.
    • Drug companies have long kept secret details of the payments they make to doctors for promoting their drugs. But seven companies have begun posting names and compensation on the Web, some as the result of legal settlements. ProPublica compiled these disclosures, totaling $258 million, into a single database that allows patients to search for their doctor. Receiving payments isn’t necessarily wrong, but it does raise ethical issues.
    • When a pigeon was gobbled up by a greedy pelican, it looked like instant game over for the little bird.But when the predator unexpectedly opened up his huge beak again, the pigeon was given a chance to save himself and fly away.

      Confusingly, however, the dopey bird instead chose to simply sit in the beak taking in the view – and missed his only opportunity to escape.

      Not surprisingly, he was eaten up.

    • The last name of Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney is misspelled as “Whitey” on electronic-voting machines in nearly two dozen wards — about half in predominantly African-American areas — and election officials said Wednesday the problem cannot be corrected by Election Day.
    • “Pearl Necklace is a seemingly amorphous cast silver shape on a chain that is actually an accurate representation of semen.”
    • “Packages will cost several thousand Hong Kong dollars (several hundred U.S. dollars) and include: a wedding dress crafted out of balloons, baked apple pie wedding cake, and childish party favors.”
    • The front-page newspaper story featured a list of Uganda’s 100 “top” homosexuals, with a bright yellow banner across it that read: “Hang Them.” Alongside their photos were the men’s names and addresses.
    • Over the weekend, the Washington Post provided some more details about the ongoing foreclosure fraud scandal, noting that “virtually everyone involved – loan servicers, law firms, document processing companies and others – made more money as they evicted more borrowers from their homes, creating a system that was vulnerable to error and difficult for homeowners to challenge.” A bevy of Democratic lawmakers have called for examinations of the banks’ potentially fraudulent activities, while the Attorneys General of all fifty states have pledged a coordinated investigation.Republicans, however, have been largely silent on the issue. And according to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who is slated to take over the House Committee on Government and Oversight should the Republicans gain a majority, the GOP is not really interested in the banks’ malpractice. Instead, Issa wants to “launch aggressive inquiries” into whether the government helped poor people buy houses they couldn’t afford

    • “Of 7800 images, 5.5% contain genital sites. Of all requests, 11% were for anatomic sites (37% genital sites); 62% were specified for diagnoses (12% genital sites). When age group and anatomic site were specified, the relative risk of a child being requested (vs adult) was 1.48 (95% confidence interval 1.44-1.53). Of 10000 free text queries, 12% retrieved images containing genital sites. Of all referrals, 14.3% originated from nonmedical (pornography/fetish) Web sites.”
    • At least 750 kilos of “double dead” or tainted hog meat were seized while three suspected vendors of the hot meat were arrested in a predawn raid on a market in Quezon City Wednesday.
    • The iconic statue – which stands at 305ft tall – was built in 1886 and is said to attract over 600 bolts of lightning each year.
    • Mexican security forces have seized 105 tonnes of US-bound marijuana in the border city of Tijuana with an estimated street value of about $340m.
    • “In the end, the product planners lost a key part of the debate. The winners: executives who argued that giving automatic privacy to consumers would make it tougher for Microsoft to profit from selling online ads. Microsoft built its browser so that users must deliberately turn on privacy settings every time they start up the software.Microsoft’s original privacy plans for the new Explorer were “industry-leading” and technically superior to privacy features in earlier browsers, says Simon Davies, a privacy-rights advocate in the U.K. whom Microsoft consulted while forming its browser privacy plans. Most users of the final product aren’t even aware its privacy settings are available, he says. “That’s where the disappointment lies.”

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    Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on October 20, 2010

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    Smokin’ Elvis’ Toenails

    Thanks to Brendan Donnelly for the gif

    • The Maniac lurks on crowded Tube platforms, taking his stand just behind the front ranks of oblivious passengers who are waiting for the train. In front of him, very near the platform edge and indeed too near to recover herself if something made her loose her balance, is his chosen victim a young woman. Then, as the train sweeps into the station, the Maniac gives her a short, abrupt but irresistibly powerful thrust in the back. She topples forward and …
    • From 1917 to 1942, a man named John R. Brinkley became very rich and famous for transplanting goat testicles (which he called “glands”) into thousands of men, who paid dearly for the procedure thinking that it would revive their libido. That hundreds died, thousands suffered terrible pain and were maimed and crippled for life from a dangerous, expensive and useless operation does not take away from the magnificent marketing genius and chutzpah of this titan of quacks.
    • “Work at Notting Hill Gate Tube station has recently uncovered these amazing advertising posters that date from c1956-1959 when the station’s lifts were removed and replaced by escalators.”
    • So… Norm gets off the plane in Tokyo, First day in town he walks past a Mcdonald’s in Shibuya and nearly shits himself. It seems somebody has illegally reproduced his artwork and made wallpaper out of it… Now its in nearly every Mc-D’s in Tokyo. -I smell a lawsuit.
    • And if he was hoping to catch boys, he had a weird way of doing it. Instead of point the lens at the window or door, he had it pointed toward the girl’s bathroom. Either he was hoping to catch a wayward restroom intruder, or he wanted to catch the girl in a state of undress.
    • A Philadelphia man was found not guilty on Monday of murdering a policeman who died 41 years after the defendant shot him.
    • On 5 June 1995 an adult male mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) collided with the glass façade of the Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam and died. An other drake mallard raped the corpse almost continuously for 75 minutes. Then the author disturbed the scene and secured the dead duck. Dissection showed that the rape-victim indeed was of the male sex. It is concluded that the mallards were engaged in an ‘Attempted Rape Flight’ that resulted in the first described case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard.
    • The American’s black lace corset resembling an offcast from the nearby Moulin Rouge cabaret has been the talk of the French Open, and the accompanying tight skin-colored knickers have raised just as many dumbstruck glares.
    • Once inside, he spray-painted elaborate graffiti on one side of a train, across one carriage. The Straits Times understands that the vandal, a 33-year-old Swiss national, cut through the fence of the depot along Xilin Avenue, in what is believed to be the first such case of vandalism here.
    • “Somehow, this damn parasite knows how to make cat urine smell sexually arousing to rodents, and they go and check it out. Totally amazing.” – Dr. Sapolsky
    • Spokespersons were advised never to assure the public that an ecosystem would be back to normal after the worst case scenario, which we are now living through. “No statements shall be made concerning any of the following: promises that property, ecology, or anything else will be restored to normal.” Even in BP CEO Tony Hayward’s new television commercial his assurance is an ambiguous, “We will make this right,” which does not specifically address preserving or restoring America’s Wetlands.
    • “You’d rather do 30 days in jail than have me tell you you can’t smoke dope?” the ignorant judge fumed. “Doesn’t that sound a little sick?” the judge asked, seemingly too dumb to get the irony of his dumbassery. “No, sir,” Balzer said. “It’s what the marijuana does for me.” “I think if I sat around smoking dope all day, it would probably help me out, too,” the proudly ignorant judge replied. Balzer said he only smoked marijuana at night, to ease his pain.
    • Toxicologists who studied Presley’s tissues isolated at least eight different barbiturates and narcotics—including Valmid, Quaaludes, codeine, Placidyl and phenobarbitol.

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