This morning I landed on "Unsolved Mysteries", now hosted by Dennis Farina, the snappy dressing guy from who "The Closer". This morning's mystery was the healings at Lourdes, France. I watched in growing astonishment as Jeanne Fretel's case was presented, matter of factly, event by event. Usually you don't see anything like Lourdes presented on television without frequently interspersed commentary by (a) a highly credentialed skeptical expert bent on explaining it away via reasonable-seeming arguments and maybe (b) a mild-spoken and limp ecclesiastic mumbling truisms. My astonishment had to do, not with Fretel's case, which I knew well enough, but with the total absence of any such commentary. I kept waiting for credential guy to show up, but he didn't.
Then came the commercial break. Guitar girl is jamming at home. Overdubbed voice: "Right now, my guitar is my baby". City shots, studio shots, a brief shot of her kissing her boyfriend. She is focusing on her career now and doesn't want children. But at any time she can take out her Skyla IUD and change that. And after a few more innocuous commercials the show was back with a more recent but officially unrecognized Lourdes cure.
I thought maybe Unsolved Mysteries would try to undo or at least sully their favorable depiction of Catholicism by moving straight from Lourdes into crop circles, implicitly putting the two on the same folklorish plane. But why go through the effort when you can outsource to your advertisers, and get paid for doing so?