Good Morning America Friday 7:30 am

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by John Bear, Feb 22, 2001.

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  1. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    That's when the degree mill segment is scheduled, but they made clear it could be later, it could be bumped entirely.
     
  2. Dan Snelson

    Dan Snelson New Member

    Well, short of a SCUDS verses PATRIOTS MISSLE FEST I think we will be seeing the segment. They have been advertising the segement on TV in Los Angeles.

    Dan
     
  3. uxu

    uxu New Member

    The segment this morning on GMA was not too bad... and nice promo for John and the book.

    It would be nice if ABC did an extended segment on mills on 20/20 or the like.
     
  4. drwetsch

    drwetsch New Member

    The segment was good. I especially enjoyed the expose' section. Too bad there isn't a fulltime effort to weed through the online resumes and remove those with bogus degrees. Sounds like a fun job to me.

    Lets hope degree mills get more exposure.

    John




    ------------------
    John R. Wetsch, Ph.D.
     
  5. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    A good segment. I think it could have had greater impact if ABC had focused on a couple of existing mills instead of focusing on one that has been shut down for some time. Would be nice to be a regular monthly feature to expose bogus degrees.

    Good job John.
     
  6. Bill Hurd

    Bill Hurd New Member

    I liked the too short segment. The best part was seeing John Bear - now we have a face to attach to the name. Thanks, John

    Bill Hurd
     
  7. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    Amen to that; great work, John!

    Indeed -- always a good thing. When I started BBSing at 11 or 12, I got in the habit of putting sometimes very ludicrous faces on folks which will occasionally, but only slightly, be thrown off by actual photographs; in John's case, it was a painting of the 7' tall, solemn, bearded St. Jerome (replaced, when I saw a photograph, by a 7' tall, solemn, unbearded St. Jerome). Very glad to get that image out of my head and replace it with an actual human being who does not have bright pink hair and a nose ring.

    That Robey guy sure was an unclass-act, though. Four purchased degrees, and he was appearing on his own public access show proudly saying "as a doctor" this and "I'm Dr." that? Plus he looked like he was about 20, which didn't help to begin with (I'm 22, generally pass for being in my early thirties, and nobody *still* believes I have an M.A.).

    Pellar really surprised me; he looked and acted like a Beatnik, and I was expecting someone more slick. Not exactly Anthony Hopkins, but at least someone who could pass as a televangelist. This guy had strictly WWF-level charisma; I'd take English 302 from him, but I wouldn't let him babysit my kids, much less buy a diploma from him. Well, if I had kids, and if I wanted a fake diploma. Hey, at least he didn't ask the reporter if he had any grass.

    I feel like the Firestone guy was at least half sincere, but someone should do a psychology dissertation on how someone can be simultaneously honest and dishonest in making a decision. Clearly this guy knew what he was *doing*, but he didn't know what *he* was doing, if you get my drift.

    All in all, a darned good segment.


    Peace,

    Tom
     
  8. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    John Wetsch wrote, A good segment. I think it could have had greater impact if ABC had focused on a couple of existing mills instead of focusing on one that has been shut down for some time.

    Agreed. And that was, I gather, the original plan. But the ABC legal department apparently would have taken a very long time to give approval, so they went with the one that had already been approved for the 20/20 story two years ago.

    There is still hope that this could be a regular feature, but I'm afraid the "ambush interviews" lacked the drama that 60 Minutes seems able to achieve. Greg Hunter may be just too nice a guy.

    John Bear
     
  9. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Active Member

    Hey what do you mean purchased degrees! You must have missed the part where they showed his two page book report right on TV that EARNED him those Ph.D.'s. HAHAHAHAHAHA

    BTW, the interview with the Columbia degree mill fraud, Pellier was from another great piece ABC did a few years ago before the police caught up with him.

    Actually I thought that ABC did a very good job on the piece. I must congratulate our beloved celebrity, Dr. John Bear. Great job, I do hope that they do some more pieces like that.

    So Dr. Bear I expect you'll be moving to Hollywood now?
     
  10. SPorter

    SPorter New Member

  11. Gus Sainz

    Gus Sainz New Member

    I agree the segment was too short and lacked depth, having only mentioned one school that has been closed for years. However, anything that increases public awareness of the problem is helpful. Perhaps they should have emphasized that many of the current diploma mills could suffer the same fate.

    It was interesting to note the defensive posture of the employers when confronted with the fact that they hired someone with bogus credentials; they both replied that the current job: "does not require a college education." I wonder if those employees will suffer any repercussions.

    Although the transcript of the segment on abc’s Web site at: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/GMA/GoodMorningAmerica/GMA010222Hunter_Diplomas.html# does go into a bit more detail on “Finding Legitimate Online Schools” including a plug for Bears' Guide to Earning Degrees Nontraditionally and a link to John Bear's Degree.net, I felt that more of that kind of information should have been televised.

    All in all, I must agree, the best part was finally getting to see John. I do, however, have a few questions. John, as there was no mention of your credentials, was this by design? Did you specifically ask not to be referred to as Dr. Bear? More importantly, is it true, as they say, that the camera adds ten pounds? ;-)

    Excellent work, John, I particular liked the part where they referred to you as “our expert.” Now that you are part of the Good Morning America team, perhaps we’ll be seeing some follow-up segments.


    Gus Sainz
     
  12. H. Piper

    H. Piper member

    From the abcnews.com website:
    At the Clinton nuclear power station in Dewitt, Ill., GMA found a technician, Chance Anderson, with a bachelor's and a master's degree in electrical engineering from Columbia State University. His resume states he's looking for a job as a troubleshooter.

    Anderson said he worked for months to get two degrees and he says he was given credit for six years of nuclear experience in the Navy. Officals at the nuclear power plant said Anderson's job does not require a college degree.

    Doh!
     
  13. SPorter

    SPorter New Member

    If we want to see them do this segment regularly, I suggest we all write the show and tell them how much we liked it.

    Scott
     
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Back when I worked for Corrections Corporation of America, I was the Facility Spokesperson for the Southern Nevada Women's Correctional Facility. In that capacity, the company sent me to a training session with their PR firm. On night, our homework assignment was to log (with exact times) every piece done on the local news. The purpose: to demonstrate just how little time is spent on each news item. Most were about 40 seconds in duration; "in depth" pieces were about twice that. Amazing.

    Granted, GMA's format lets them spend more time on things, but they probably could've devoted the whole show to this topic and not sated our hunger (nor thoroughly covered all the relevant issues).

    Rich Douglas
     
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It's much easier, and safer, to take on degree mills that have been closed, not to mention "outing" the holders of such degrees. ABC might have created problems for themselves otherwise. And I wonder what privacy issues would be raised by graduates of "less-than-wonderful" schools currently operating, and doing so legally.

    And the employers emphasizing that, in both cases, a college degree was not required for the job means nothing. Even if the positions did not have that as a minimum requirement, I would expect that candidates with degrees would receive greater consideration than those who don't, all other things being equal. Just because the degrees weren't mandatory doesn't mean they were ignored. And the companies are at fault for their ignorance. If you were passed over for promotion in favor of someone who had a degree from a diploma mill, wouldn't you be upset and consider taking action? Sure, even if you didn't live in Benton Harbor.

    Rich Douglas, who is still pulling for the little old lady in Michigan with the fake degree.
     
  16. Gerstl

    Gerstl New Member

    I wasn't so happy with the piece: here are some of the reasons why:

    -- I thought the opening was unnecessarily alarmist. The implication of the first sentence or two was clearly that your "doctor" (ie physician) might have one of these degrees. Since the general public seems to not understand the difference between a doctor and a Doctor (*see my note below*), and since they did not show one fake MD (just another Dr. Laura type "I've got a PhD but I'll call myself Dr. in a health care setting") I thought it was misleading.

    -- They called John Bear an "Expert on Degree mills" and briefly showed his book. While we all know that John is much more, *except for one line in the end of the piece* they said nothing about the amount of legitimate DL. I would bet that if I showed the piece to 100 people with no involment in DL, 99 of them would come away with the impression that almost all [or all] DL degrees are bogus.

    -- He quoted an odd exact number for the number of degree mills in the US (one that ended in a 1 as I recall). None of us knows the exact number of extent degree mills-he should have made that clear.

    -- There just wasn't much meat to the piece.

    -dave

    *Two amusing anecdotes on how little the general populus understands degree designations* (both from my grad school days)

    While taking my BP a nurse asked me what I was doing in school. When I told her that I was getting a doctorate in computers, she gave me a quizical look and replied, "Oh, I didn't know you could do that. Well if it doesn't work out you can go back to people medicine"

    One of the Profs in my department had his MIT PhD on the wall in his office. I was reading a book in the hall when an undergrad came out and exclaimed "wow: he's so smart--not only does he have a degree in Computers, he's also got one in Philosophy" (obviously having read "doctor of philosophy" from the diploma).
     
  17. Gerstl

    Gerstl New Member


    Just to be fair to the companies, the degrees might postdate their current positions. The big question I have is: now that the employers know that they are looking for work, what's gonna happen to their current jobs?
     
  18. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    I liked it overall, but then I've always had a penchant to playing to "the cheap seats." ABC News is targeting an audience that knows pretty much nothing about diploma mills and very little more about distance learning, and the folks in charge of putting the story do not seem to know a great deal about the subject themselves (ex: the male anchor, who seemed to be describing accreditation as a state process).

    I would have thought it slightly alarmist had it come from John, but coming from ABC News I saw it as the best way to establish an immediate story hook. There is actually some truth to the "your doctor may be a diploma mill graduate" thing -- I believe one local dentist in Jackson, MS was recently shut down when it was discovered he had forged his credentials through a mill -- but it wasn't directly related to the story.

    I actually thought they did fine in this area; they made a point of mentioning that legitimate opportunities do exist, and that accreditation is pretty much the name of the game. Bearing in mind their audience, I think it was probably wiser to spread caution than dilute the impact of the story.

    I'm not really sure I agree; they did, after all, provide some useful links on the ABC News site. But I would love to see a positive story on DL come out of ABC's Good Morning America, if it hasn't yet.

    481. I noticed that, too; I suspect John said that he'd specifically found 481 mills, and that they took this to mean that there actually were 481 mills.

    This part actually didn't bother me that much; I give journalists an awful lot of leeway when it comes to painting with broad stripes, since I realize it's hard to fit the whole truth in a five minute segment.

    True, but then I couldn't help but notice that the GMA site at one point had it sandwiched between an article on somebody's recipes and something about the female orgasm. This is morning show fare, so I think priority one is to entertain and priority two is to educate; it did plenty of the former, and much more of the latter than I'd expected.

    I am reminded, now, of Hammer Films's "The Brides of Dracula," where somebody is reading Doctor Van Helsing's business card (Doctor Van Helsing being played, of course, by _the_ Doctor Van Helsing: Peter Cushing). The dialogue went something like "Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Theology, Doctor of Metaphysics," and my first thought was "Oh, lovely, Doctor Van Helsing is a graduate of Darwin University."


    Peace,

    Tom
     
  19. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    Maybe, but I can't have a whole lot of sympathy for folks who are using diploma mill credentials to job-hunt. I mean, we're not talking "legitimate but unaccredited" like California Coast here; we're talking an honest to God diploma mill, Columbia State University, which was shut down by the FBI. These folks knew, on some level, that they were doing something wrong, and they were doing it behind their employers's backs to boot.

    The poor schmuck with the two fake health doctorates can probably keep his show, since (if I heard right) they said it was on public access, and any nutball can get on public access. Down here, the choices are: (a) badly videotaped city council meetings; (b) some redneck and his mother with a confederate flag behind them, ranting and raving from what looks like their living room; (c) a half-nekkid dude who claims to be a messenger from God, in between expletives; and (d) occasionally, a halfway decent Bible study segment done out of a small Baptist church.


    Peace,

    Tom
     
  20. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    I liked it overall, but then I've always had a penchant to playing to "the cheap seats." ABC News is targeting an audience that knows pretty much nothing about diploma mills and very little more about distance learning, and the folks in charge of putting the story do not seem to know a great deal about the subject themselves (ex: the male anchor, who seemed to be describing accreditation as a state process).

    I would have thought it slightly alarmist had it come from John, but coming from ABC News I saw it as the best way to establish an immediate story hook. There is actually some truth to the "your doctor may be a diploma mill graduate" thing -- I believe one local dentist in Jackson, MS was recently shut down when it was discovered he had forged his credentials through a mill -- but it wasn't directly related to the story.

    I actually thought they did fine in this area; they made a point of mentioning that legitimate opportunities do exist, and that accreditation is pretty much the name of the game. Bearing in mind their audience, I think it was probably wiser to spread caution than dilute the impact of the story.

    I'm not really sure I agree; they did, after all, provide some useful links on the ABC News site. But I would love to see a positive story on DL come out of ABC's Good Morning America, if it hasn't yet.

    481. I noticed that, too; I suspect John said that he'd specifically found 481 mills, and that they took this to mean that there actually were 481 mills.

    This part actually didn't bother me that much; I give journalists an awful lot of leeway when it comes to painting with broad stripes, since I realize it's hard to fit the whole truth in a five minute segment.

    True, but then I couldn't help but notice that the GMA site at one point had it sandwiched between an article on somebody's recipes and something about the female orgasm. This is morning show fare, so I think priority one is to entertain and priority two is to educate; it did plenty of the former, and much more of the latter than I'd expected.

    I am reminded, now, of Hammer Films's "The Brides of Dracula," where somebody is reading Doctor Van Helsing's business card (Doctor Van Helsing being played, of course, by _the_ Doctor Van Helsing: Peter Cushing). The dialogue went something like "Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Theology, Doctor of Metaphysics," and my first thought was "Oh, lovely, Doctor Van Helsing is a graduate of Darwin University."


    Peace,

    Tom
     

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