Television New Zealand has descended to new levels of lunacy.
Unbelievably it sent Sensing Murder medium Deb Webber to 'assist' the family of Aisling Symes just two days after the little girl went missing.
The Sensing Murder television series which debuted in 2006, follows psychics like Webber who 'attempt' to solve unsolved police cases.
The psychics have never solved any of the twenty cases they have investigated. But its a lucrative trade 'talking' to dead people. Webber charges as much as $400 for a two hour session. She likes staying in the public eye because it means more business for her.
Webber begins a nationwide New Zealand tour today - tickets are $70 each.
The fraudulent nature of the show has greatly concerned Wanaka resident Stuart Landsborough. He has put up $100,000 and challenged the Sensing Murder psychics to undergo a test devised by him to prove actual psychic ability. The producers of the show have declined to participate.
The show was exposed on a 2007 episode of Eating Media Lunch, in a section called Sensing Bullshit, which showed footage from the Australian TV show Caught on Hidden Camera where Deb Webber answered questions about someone who didn't exist - namely the fictional sister of the presenter.
It was further lampooned in the season finale, where host Jeremy Wells humorously highlighted the fact that not a single case had been solved.
Yes, its all nonsense and something no sane person would touch with a barge pole. But according to TVNZ spin doctor Andi Brotherston, a supporter of the Sensible Sentencing Trust, TVNZ was 'just being human'.
"We are just being human by ringing a family friend and asking if they want the medium's contact details. After the family friend said they would be interested in talking to her all we did was facilitate the exchange of contact details."
Just 'being human'? Well, Webber apparently appeared on TV1's Breakfast yesterday and told Paul Henry that she thought the little girl was dead.
Brotherston neglected to mention that TVNZ News have been filming Webber as she 'assists' the distraught Symes family.
Also worthy of note is that the new series of Sensing Murders is scheduled to appear on TVNZ later this year.