In case you had not heard about this planned reality show in the Netherlands feauturing a terminally ill woman selecting a recipient for her kidneys. It was a hoax all along, the producers now say:
"In staging this programme our goal has been to prompt a debate about this crisis [organ donations] in the Netherlands."
When individuals attempt to use shock value to target the "real issue" it almost always seems that the issue they claim to want to bring attention to gets lost in the condemnation of the action they undertook in their attempt.
At what point does the little character that rides on each of our shoulders step in and say "ya know, there might be a good intention behind this but in the end we’re gonna look like asses and actually do nothing to promote the cause we claim is behind our ‘shock the consciousness’ plan".
Ironically, I was originally thinking about this as it relates to another piece of news today. "Dr. Death" Kevorkian was released from prison today after serving 8 years for helping people commit suicide.
One could reasonably argue that his actions actually set back the assisted suicide cause and in the intervening years while he has been imprisoned the movement has actually had more success in terms of legal progress and public perception. Gavin Newsom on same sex marriage is another example.