Reality TV Linked to Increased Stupidity

Researchers at the Center for the Remarkably Obvious believe they have confirmed a long-standing scientific hypothesis that watching reality television for any extended period of time leads to increased levels of stupidity. According to a research team led by renowned scientist, Professor Tim Withstupid, the evidence is overwhelming and leads no doubt to their conclusion.

"Frankly, we were shocked by the findings," noted Professor Withstupid. "We expected to see some correlation, but what we found was an astounding decrease in brain activity among those who watch more than just a few minutes of reality television. In fact, anyone who watches more than an hour in one given sitting can be officially deemed mentally retarded."

To prove their theory, the research team administered common aptitude tests before, during and after their test subjects watched reality television shows such as Survivor, Road Rules and My Fair Brady, among others. In one case, test scores plummeted 97 percent after watching a full-length episode of Survivor IX: Craig Auto Dump.

In addition, a new reality show created by Steamboat's own Pirate Productions, A Piece of Ass, achieved results in its viewers that were essentially off the charts.

"Yes, this show was particularly remarkable," added Withstupid. "We monitored the brainwave function of all six of the show's regular viewers, and, without fail, their minds essentially shut down while watching the moronic behavior on the screen. At first we couldn't believe the results, so we brought in a test sample of viewers who had never seen the show. Within minutes of starting 'A Piece of ASS,' every member of that sample group fell into epileptic seizures and began drooling uncontrollably. We had to shut the program off, fearing that they'd never be able to use their frontal lobes ever again. It was quite frightening, to say the least."

The team's research findings were met with considerable resistance from the Hollywood establishment, which quickly launched a smear campaign against Professor Withstupid and his team.

"This is absolute 'junk science,'" countered Mark Burnett, producer of Survivor and the so-called "father" of reality television. "I've made hundreds of episodes of this programming, and millions of dollars, and I can assure our faithful audience that they're not, I said not, becoming dumber from watching our shows.

"In fact, we have a slew of well-paid researchers who completely contradict Professor Withstupid's findings," he added. "According to them, reality television actually increases your IQ. That's right. In one test case, our researchers had a car-crash victim who lost 99 percent of his brain activity--a complete vegetable--watch 17 hours straight of our finest episodes of The Apprentice. And they're willing to swear, under oath, that the patient made a complete recovery and is now solving math problems that would make the kid on Good Will Hunting's head spin. As long as my checks don't bounce, they'll be more than happy to counter anything Withstupid and his doomsayers come up with."

The U.S. Agency for Television's Debilitating Effects on the Mind has so far refused to take action on any findings from Withstupid's efforts or those of Mr. Burnett, citing a lack of conclusive evidence.

"We're going to follow the lead of the Environmental Protection Agency and how they're handling global warming and its effects," said Roger Headinthesand, chair of the USATDEM. "As long as there's at least one scientist, regardless of who he's paid by, willing to say that reality TV isn't bad for viewers, than we'll just wait and hope nothing really bad happens. It's not like U.S. students' test scores are going down or anything. They're holding steady at No. 56 in the world, ahead of such intellectual powers as Costa Rica and The Ivory Coast. So there's really nothing to be alarmed about."

When told of Mr. Headinthesand's comments, Professor Withstupid explained that he wasn't surprised.

"These are the same types of government agencies that for decades wouldn't admit that tobacco was bad for you, as millions of people were dying of cancer," he noted. "So why wouldn't they just sit on their fat asses as millions more suffer from brain decay? But I've gotta run. I can't miss the 7:30 rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond--now that's high-quality TV!"

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