Friday, December 4, 2020

#2414: Montel Williams (?)

Though it is unclear to us whether Montel Williams is himself a true believer in nonsense, the former television host, actor and motivational speaker known for hosting the long-running daytime tabloid talk show The Montel Williams Show, is at least a major enabler of bullshit – in particular the “psychic” rantings of Sylvia Browne. Williams and his promotion of exploitainment deserves an entry for much the same reasons Oprah Winfrey and Arianna Huffington do. 

Indeed, Williams can probably be credited for largely creating Browne’s career, for instance by letting her, on several occasions, give made-up information to parents of missing children (and yes: there were plenty of cases, not only the couple of high-profile cases that brought the show broader attention and well-earned criticism); Browne’s information was, of course, systematically either useless or false. Williams’s own attitude toward Browne might best be characterized as “fawning”. There is a decent response to Williams here.  

It is worth noting that Williams, over the course of his career, hosted a number of other loons, too, such as antivaccine loon David Kirby.  

Diagnosis: His show is no more, and Williams’s ability to cause further harm is limited, but it is probably worth remembering just of how spineless and shitty he was as a person – unless he is or was a true believer, which really doesn’t make anything any better.

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