December 19, 2006

Gerry Fulcher: Still an idiot

By far the weakest link of an otherwise upright talk radio line-up at WDEL is Gerry Fulcher. He now has his own show (due to the co. that runs the Sean Hannity show playing hardball and demanding WDEL run another syndicated offering in order to keep Hannity) from 3-4 in the afternoon. In what I believe what was his inaugural offering, Fulcher had Delaware State House Majority Leader (and perennial Fulcher nemesis) Wayne Smith on the phone to discuss whether "repressed memories" should be the sole basis on which to bring a suit and convict a person of child abuse. Granted, I'm an acquaintance of Smith, and some believe I always jump to his defense whenever someone criticizes him on a local blog, but he certainly had the upper hand in the "debate" with Fulcher yesterday.

First, Fulcher was his usual a**hole self, screaming and yelling at Smith and cutting him off before he was finished making his point(s). Amazingly, Fulcher is in favor of allowing the use of repressed memories as the sole bit of evidence against someone in a child abuse case. He chastised Smith for sponsoring an amendment which would not permit just this: It would mandate some other bit of evidence in conjunction with repressed memories. Here's the actual language of the amendment:

"No action shall be maintained under this section based upon the memory of the victim that has been recovered through psychotherapy unless there is some evidence of the corpus delicti independent of such repressed memory.

Smith cited (or, should I say, tried to cite) instances of repressed memories utilized in false allegations against people whereupon Fulcher denounced this use of "anecdotal evidence" -- but then Fulcher went on "to bet" Smith that his anecdotal evidence would "be better" than his!!

The premise of "repressed memory" is a theory. And psychology is the most inexact of the [human body] sciences, after all. Just read a sampling of the article about RM:

"Repressed memories may or may not exist."

"There currently exists a great controversy among researchers, treating professionals, law professionals, and the general public as to whether repressed memories actually exist, and even more heated controversy over whether recovered memories are valid, especially in the absence of corroboratory evidence."

"Recovered Memory Therapy" (the process by which "repressed memories" are "recovered") was the target of hundreds of malpractice lawsuits which led to the abandonment of this technique by the year 2000. Is this what Fulcher wants -- multi-million dollar lawsuits in our small state thanks to this inexact science? Hey Ger -- ever wonder why polygraph test results are impermissible in court? They aren't even allowed in conjunction with other corraborating evidence! On the other hand, Smith's amendment grants use of repressed memory evidence ... as long as it is utilized along with some other bit of evidence.

This is just common sense -- and fair. Fulcher's attempt to make it sound like he was "tough on child abusers" (while Smith and others were "weak") came off as farcical and infantile. The fact that Fulcher at one time degenerated into a rant where he stated that "it's amazing how a big deal is made out of this while 'no one' cares about a poor black guy sitting in jail who is wrongly accused" (that Fulcher would support exclusively a sort of testimony that would add to more of this "poor black guy" obviously escaped him) establishes that he was the loser in that whole argument.

(Cross-posted at Delaware Conservative Bloggers Alliance.)

Posted by Hube at December 19, 2006 09:28 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Funny how Fulcher is against the death penalty because there's always that slight possibility of a wrongful conviction due to malfeasance by corrupt cops (his personal specialty) or tainted evidence or improper jury instruction or whatever, but he'll take repressed memories as gospel truth, because it's in the DSM-IV manual.

I'm no psych expert, and I know the human brain is a pretty amazing thing, but RM strikes me as pseudoscience at the very least. At the very worst, the potential for abuse of RM as testimony ranks up there with cops carrying throwdown guns in case of a bad shoot in a dark alley. I can't remember the name of the couple who was convicted of abuse at their day care in New England (MacIntosh? MacEnally?) that still can't be confirmed because the therapists employed by the prosecution may have convinced the children that abuse had occurred when it hadn't.

Repressed memory theory aside, there does need to be a serious re-evaluation of the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse crimes, but only because the victims are children and don't have the mental capacity or awareness to understand what has happened to them the way an adult can. That alone justifies a couple more years, and insisting on the acceptance of RM just muddies the waters.

Posted by: G Rex at December 19, 2006 10:28 AM

Has anyone else been scammed financially from Fulcher the Vulcher besides me? If so, please contact me at ritacarnevale@aol.com

Posted by: Rita Carnevale at July 23, 2008 11:34 AM