Skepticism

Coast to Coast gets pranked by a gamer

A fan of the game Half-Life recently called George Noory, the most credulous man on radio and host of Coast to Coast AM. You might remember George from that time he had Sylvia Brown on and she told him she knew all the miners would be rescued from the collapse mere moments before it was reported that all the miners but one had actually perished (story here).

Anyway, enjoy this clip of a man calling in as “Gordon Freeman,” the lead character of the video game who is a theoretical physicist stalked by a nameless G-man. Hear the exchange after the jump…

Even if you’re not a fan of the video game, you might be amused to see a crystal clear example of how Noory will literally believe anything that someone tells him. It would be cute, in a childlike-innocence-sort-of-way, if he didn’t actually have an audience of people who see him as an authority figure on things like this just because he has a microphone. And yes, there really are people who think Coast to Coast is a hard news show.Lest I be unfair, I’ll also mention that more legitimate news outlets are often no better. It was amazingly easy for Howard Stern’s audience to eagerly prank newscasters, and they weren’t exactly the smoothest con artists.

Thanks to Michael of The Angry Skeptics for the tip!

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Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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18 Comments

  1. If I didn't know about the game and I heard this story, I'd suggest that the man get help. Instead, George is saying, "Portal Technology? Wow!" I wonder if any of his listeners will point out the video game for him.

  2. Back in the mid 90s, I charitably assumed that Art Bell was just a radio guy who enjoyed doing "theatre of the mind". It was like "The X-Files" for late-night radio.

    Then, somewhere around the time when he started getting involved in lawsuits and going into retirement, then un-retiring and re-retiring, I realized that he REALLY DID believe at least some of the stuff he had on his show. It was vastly disappointing.

    Still, though, I give Art Bell credit for having an excellent cadence and delivery; perfect for late-night radio.

  3. Oh, but I AM a fan of the game, which makes it even more priceless, since I've experienced what is being described in real time. :)

    The "other company" is, of course, Aperture Science, which you can learn all about in the game Portal (a must play for all nerds, even those that don't normally enjoy videogames).

    Please assume the party submission position!

  4. I dunno. It's credulous reporting, for sure, but at the same time, I DO hear a tone in his voice that makes me think he knows it's baloney. "You have monkeys flying out of your butt? I see. Very interesting…"

  5. This is hilarious, this also reminds me of the game Prey, during the game you wonder around a alien spaceship, and you can listen to people ringing in to a talk show and talking about the strange happenings and psychic premonitions.

  6. I thought I would point out as well, since Clavain mentioned it; Prey did in fact have audio recordings from Art Bell in various parts. He did it in the typical Coast to Coast AM format as well. It was really great, given the ambiance of the game.

    Coast to Coast AM is most definitely one of the better shows on late night radio, if only for the entertainment value. I'd rather listen to that than Love Line…

  7. Something is fishy.

    When the gamer said "portal technology", he didn't have to explain it. The interviewer assumed it was some sort of teleportation and THEN believed it.

    This guy isn't just credulous about his callers. He's so credulous, he probably thinks that Stargate was a documentary.

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