2005-01-07

Fear Factor Lawsuit


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It's been a while since we've had a good, frivilous lawsuit. But I've got to admit, I didn't see this one coming. Tobacco, McD's, Gun mfrs, sure. But Fear Factor?

You just can't make this stuff up! A Cleveland man is suing Fear Factor over a recent rat-eating episode. It seems the grotesque-ness of a stunt where contestants had to eat rats mixed in a blender, a rat smoothie if you will, caught this frequent Fear Factor watcher by surprise, causing his blood pressure to rise making him dizzy and disoriented.

In his words, "I didn't see the doorway on route to my room, ... I ran into it causing suffering, injury and great pain." It was considerate of him to put it in nice, lawsuit-friendly terms for us.

How stupid is this? Let me count the ways.
  1. Let's pretend he'd never watched the show. Pretty much everyone knows, just from the commercials, that they do disgusting things on Fear Factor. Rats, snakes, worms, cockroaches, centipedes, animal testicles, animal privates, cow snouts, pig intestines, blood, etc. And that's just off the top of my head. There are no surprises here. You turn it on - that's what you get.

  2. OK, now let's deal with Mr. Aitken, who by his own admission, "... watches 'Fear Factor' often." Same as above, only more so. He should have known very well what he was getting.

  3. Couldn't turn off his TV quick enough? Wrong. Again, even a moderate FF viewer knows exactly when the gross stuff is coming. You have the first stunt, an action stunt often having something to do with height or water or both. When that stunt is over it's time for the nastiness. You get a little teaser and then a commercial break. Plenty o' time for even a whimpering simp to touch that dial.

  4. Also, as a frequent viewer of FF, the calls for networks to "clean up their own acts," rings hollow. Prior to this, it was all good. Contestants repeatedly dunking their heads into a vat of cow's blood, eating buffalo pizzles, ripping open and consuming the soft innards of a mountain goat testicle, crunching down live cockroaches and assorted beetles ... that was all ok. Then he puked and turned into a clutz and now they've just gone too far.

  5. He wants to send a message and is not concerned with a cash judgment. This makes the $2.5M price tag a little puzzling.

  6. Then there's the obvious: even if you ran headlong into it, how much injury and suffering could a doorway really cause?

  7. Even more obvious: What kind of MAN can look America in the eye and say this stuff with a straight face?

  8. Well, at the end of the story we find out just what kind of man ... "Court records show Aitken, who works as a paralegal, filed two lawsuits against tobacco companies in the late 1990s. Both were dismissed." He's a legal-Beagle! (no offense to dogs intended) That's just how he does business. And from the looks of it, he's not very good at it.

Perhaps, he should just sue his doorway and be done with it.

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