Truth 1Recent “Moment of Truth” contestant Lauren Cleri maybe heading for divorce because of her honesty. The show is a new low for television. USA Today said it correctly when they stated, “[Fox Reality] pursues bad taste with a zeal unrivaled in the industry”.

The show pits contestants against a polygraph and they are rewarded for telling the truth. That is fine and dandy but contestants have led anything but exemplary lives. They have cheated on their spouses, stole from their jobs, admitted to gambling problems and much more.

Contestants are so mesmerized by the chance to be on television and the thought of half a million dollars that they are willing to embarrass themselves and put themselves in ruin. Players do not consider that fact they could lose their jobs, their spouse or worse. The crowd could tell Monday that Cleri was going to be honest even if it ended her two year marriage to Frank Cleri. Host Mark Walberg even asked the contestant to stop but who knows if that is a genuine plea or merely a part of his job.

cleri momentContestants know what they are signing up for and should hardly act surprised about the results. According to an article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “Contestants’ friends and family are interrogated thoroughly. “They research your whole life,” says Christie Youssef, 22, who admitted she’s a virgin in the second episode. “I didn’t have any idea of the scope until afterward.”

All the questions are answered in advance when the player is connected to a polygraph. Contestants are just not aware of the results. They also have to put up with shocking twist, like when Cleri was read a question by her ex, Frank.

A polygraph is not a perfect tool that magically detects lies. While the lie detector is hardly flawless it is the best tool available but still should not be considered by any means a mind reader. New York polygraph expert Joel Reicherter explained how the machine worked in an article with The Columbian. Essentially, the polygraph monitors whether a person is trying to “‘beat the test by clenching muscles. The collected data is fed into the examiner’s laptop computer and charted. The program includes a comprehensive database of medications that affect the test, so those can be factored.”

Players unfortunately seem to be getting themselves into more trouble by admitting to the truth rather than merely attempting trying to beat the test.

Hopefully predictions about the show are correct and it will be pulled because of faltering ratings.