This Demon Haunted Times article, written for Skeptic magazine, was never published.
Network Apologizes for Airing Skeptical Viewpoint
HOLLYWOOD, CA—The FOX network apologized yesterday for airing quotes from a skeptic during last week's broadcast special, Did Ancient Astronauts Build Noah's Ark To Escape From Planet X?
The statements, made by skeptic Mitchell Sharmur, were aired in the middle of the program. Sharmur's remarks cast doubt on the very evidence presented in the special.
"On behalf of the entire FOX network let me offer our sincerest apologies for what was unintentionally aired last week," announced Chuck Forts, spokesman for FOX television. "We are sorry if anyone was offended by the logic and reasoning of Sharmur's comments."
Forts says that the Sharmur interview was taped to make the whole process seem fair and balanced. In post-production, such skeptical comments are always cut out entirely or edited in such a way as to lend support to whatever topic is being discussed. This time, however, the comments were not cut or altered and were mistakenly broadcast "as is" to an audience of over 1.4 million viewers.
"I have no idea what went wrong," lamented engineer Michelle Gullien, the woman responsible for editing the special. "I have dishonored my network. I have dishonored my family. I'm no better than those debunkers who end up hurting grieving people."
Gullien would have been fired had she not resigned in disgrace, insisted Forts, who added: "This is a grave violation of our commitment to entertainment. We cannot let anything factual get in the way of a really neat documentary special."
Sharmur, publisher of "The Skeptical Cyclist" magazine, was surprised that his comments were aired. He has done over one hundred interviews for such specials, but only once before have his comments ever made it on the air.
"For one UFO special, I recounted how I once thought I was abducted during a 3,000 mile long "wheelie" exhibition on my 10 speed. Turns out, I was hallucinating due to fatigue. The producers loved my story! They aired the whole thing! Well, except for a few parts. Honestly, if I had known this last one was going to air, I would have shaved and I probably wouldn't have worn that tank top with spaghetti sauce on it" said Sharmur from his posh, multi-million dollar office. "My comments weren't all that controversial, anyway. All I said was **EDITED FOR CONTENT PURPOSES** I don't see what the big deal is."
The FOX network claims to have lost many viewers due to the skeptical commentary. Their office became inundated with phone calls from irate viewers demanding to know why they bothered to air such an outlandish program.
"We always state at the end of our specials that it's up to the viewers to decide one way or the other. Unfortunately, this time they actually could," sighed Forts.
Buoyed by the controversy, Sharmur held a press conference to announce more comments about other paranormal phenomenon. Details are unavailable as all media outlets were busy covering the sighting of a virgin Mary crop circle.