Like most people, I suppose, I lumped Tammi Faye Bakker (may she rest in peace) in with other sundry excesses of the greedy 1980s: the telfon-gauge make-up, the on-cue tears, the pentecostal weirdness seemed like so much entertainment. I'd heard she had cancer and had been on TV here and there in a kind of forgotten-but-not-gone way. I wasn't prepared for what I saw while flipping past Larry King Live last week.
Taped a very few days before she died, this really made me ill.
And I'm not taking about her skeletal appearance alone. The cliche about us becoming more and more desensitized to media exploitation is a true one. I was suddenly stricken with a two-fold emotion: a deep sadness for her, that her need to be on television (which would have entailed leaving the comforts of home for a limo trip, a formal dress-up, small talk in the green room, then sitting under hot studio lights, etc.)....but also anger at Larry King and his bosses for the sheer exploitation of this pathetic figure. Hey, Lare, did you have to ask her 500 times if she was scared?
What was the purpose of this interview?