Wisconsin officials trying to decide which inmates may be interviewed by television programs “have found themselves staring at the blurred line between news and entertainment,” says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “48 Hour Mystery,” hosted by CBS reporter Lesley Stahl, was given access. “Lie Detector,” which sought to give polygraph tests to three Wisconsin inmates maintaining their innocence, wasn’t.
That prompted an outcry from the producers of “Lie Detector,” the new version of a 1960s show that seeks to determine whether notorious people are truthful or artful liars. “It was determined that is entertainment, rather than news,” said corrections department spokesman Bill Clausius. Ralph Andrews, a producer of “Lie Detector,” said the department officials misunderstood the show, which he described as ” ’60 Minutes’ with a twist” and comparable to offerings on Court TV. “None of these prisoners are going to sing or dance or do anything remotely connected to entertainment. Entertainment is ‘American Idol’ and any dramatic series, but when you’re dealing with real people, real lives, life and death situations, to call that entertaining is sick,” Andrews said. Sheila Berry of the Richmond, Va.-based Truth in Justice, charged that Deputy Corrections Secretary Rick Raemisch has a conflict of interest, because as a sheriff, hehe led two investigations that “Lie Detector” is interested in.