Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

The Sacramento Scene


Terence J. Sandbek

Originally published in BASIS




July 1982

Although Sacramento may not have the emotional appeal of San Francisco or Los Angeles in the minds of people when they think of California, it has symbolic significance by virtue of being the state capitol. Nevertheless, it shares with its bigger sisters the dubious distinction of being a hotbed of distorted thinking on paranormal events. This strange attraction to the irrational is best seen from the vantage of the city’s talk shows. With two local radio stations competing for people’s attention, audience response can vary from apathetic to frenetic. Many of the state’s political leaders appear on the programs with interesting and timely topics. The hosts and hostesses of the talk shows also talk with famous people across the United States by way of radio conversations.

Yet, there is no greater response from the local populace than when a self-proclaimed psychic comes on. Generally, the switchboards light up as soon as their presence is announced. With this kind of response, is it any wonder that the media (need we be reminded that these stations are profit-making ventures?) so whole-heartedly promote their appearance before the public? The point here is not to attack the media, but to point out the tremendous acceptance of psychics and their ilk in this area.

In our next column, we will share with you an experience that Bob Steiner and I had posing as psychics on several of these Sacramento talk shows.

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