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By Chuck Wells

It all started with “Survivor” and “Cops” and has gone down hill ever since. Now we have “The Bachelor,” “Fear Factor,” “Dog Eat Dog,” etc., etc. I refuse to watch anything with “Monica” in it.

I’m sure that you have been wondering how these programs get insurance. After all, anyone who watches all of these shows has no life and stays up nights worrying about insurance.

A “stuntless” show like “The Bachelor” would pay about $20,000 per show for insurance to cover damaged cameras, sets, wardrobe, and lawsuits from injuries. Insurance for “Fear Factor” could run into the millions or some of these shows self-insure (they don’t carry insurance and pay claims themselves). Some programs can’t even get insurance because insurance companies think they are too risky and some shows don’t even get off the ground because they are too risky.

Of course, these programs have all their contestants sign applications with waivers to prevent them from suing. Jill Mouser is suing “Culture Shock” for back injuries she sustained while being hung in a harness. Obviously she was unaware that she could be injured in one of these stunts and was an innocent victim forced to get into the harness. Her lawyer says the application and all of the waivers she signed are “unenforceable.” So much for taking responsibility for your own actions.

Another lawyer is suing MTV on behalf of two teenaged girls who stood by a stage during an MTV production at a ski resort and were defecated on by a performer. I guess the girls were forced to stand by the stage and it must have been an emotional trauma for them. It is always a trauma for me to even watch MTV.

Another man is suing a production company for “misappropriation of likeness and unfair business practice.” He was filmed watching a young woman blow up a beach ball as she made lewd sexual comments. He refused to sign a waiver and the production company aired the film anyway.

So there you have it. The next time you watch one of these reality shows, think about all the insurance they pay, how the contestants are just after a quick buck, and how we need to get a life.


You know from reading this column that people residing illegally in this country have rights. They have the right in New York to collect Workers Compensation benefits if they are hurt working illegally since it is our fault they are here. They are entitled to free health care and education for their children. They are also entitled to the benefits of our legal system and can sue you if you injure them even though they shouldn’t be here.

The families of 14 Mexicans who were entering the U.S. illegally through the desert of Yuma, Arizona are suing the U.S. Interior Department. The 14 died of dehydration and the lawsuit says we should have installed water stations in the desert for these people who are trying to get into our country. Maybe Barbara Streisand or Ted Kennedy will donate some money for these water stations.

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