Poverty porn takes another life.

Middle aged man commits suicide after attending Jeremy Kyle show and taking ‘bogus’ lie detector test

Steve Dymond, an attendee to the Jeremy Kyle show, has killed himself after a lie detector test declared he was lying about an affair. Mr Daymond wanted to attend the show to prove he did not cheat on his finance. A lie detector, a tool expert argue cannot accurately determine deception, determined Mr Dymond was being deceptive. The incident resulted in Mr Dymond and his fiancée splitting up and his subsequent suicide.

Mr Dymond contacted the show directly to request an appearance. He was adamant the tests would prove his innocence. After the results of the lie detector test were revealed, Jane Callaghan – Mr Daymond fiancée and the woman to whom he declared ‘he would never love anyone else’ – dumped him. The middle-aged Mr Dymond ended his life shortly after.

After the suicide, commentators from all ends of the political spectrum criticised the cynical nature of the Jeremy Kyle show. Ash Sarkar, an Editor at Novara Media, declared the show ‘profited from exploiting addiction, poverty and human misery’. Conservative MP, Simon Hart, also lamented the sardonic nature of the show in similar terms.

Many of those currently condemning ITV have directly benefited from ITVs demonization of the poor and vulnerable. Jeremy Kyle show, Benefits Street, and the barrage of shows featuring bald bailiffs have created a consensus among the public of poverty being caused by personal deficiencies – facilitating austerity policies and the crackdown on low income and out of work individuals.

The show has also been argued to bring to attention nasty attributes present in some Britons. Jeremy Kyle Show, just like any other show, is dependent on attracting viewers to stay on the air. Considering the show has been on the air for over a decade, it becomes apparent, laughing at vulnerable people is a popular pastime for many Britons.

My Dymond himself, although victim to corporate greed, is not entirely faultless. Volunteering to go on a reality TV show to get a fair trial and solve relationship troubles is at best naïve, and at worst, incredibly stupid. From the statements he has made to his fiancée, it also becomes apparent, he was overdependent. If Mr Dymond had developed multiple romantic prospects, it may have prevented him from being devasted by the split from his partner. Ironically, not cheating may have contributed, to a miniscule extent, to his suicide.

Media reform advocates have since made calls to enforce much needed regulation on the media. Advocates for media reform have labelled mainstream media as a ‘source of generating mass resentment, anger, and despair’. Following the recent incident, public officials may be more receptive to their suggestions.

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