Morning Radio Host Interviews Psychic and Puts Him to Shame

Cory Cove (a.k.a. “Sludge”), a morning talk show host on KFAN radio in Minneapolis/St. Paul, invited host of A&E’s “Psychic Kids” show Chip Coffey to the studio on Monday and they had the best exchange ever.

Cory Cove (left) and Chip Coffey

Normally, talk show hosts (like Montel Williams and Larry King) treat psychics with deference. They ask the psychics to make predictions, they “ooh” and “aah” at the specificity of the claims, and then they rarely, if ever, take them to task when those predictions fail.

Cove, on the other hand, used the 7-minute segment to call Coffey out on his bullshit. (Note: Coffey had previously told Cove that he would have a prostate problem, setting up this exchange.)

Cove: … Who told you about New York, London, and my prostate?

Coffey: Somebody in spirit told me that.

Cove: You don’t know who that is, though.

Coffey: Not exactly.

Cove: So they could be related to me, they could not be related to me, you have no idea. Just random voices. Couldn’t just be your own voice in your head, possibly, telling you things?

Coffey: How big a skeptic are you?

Cove: 100%. There’s no proof that a psychic has ever proven anything. There’s zero evidence.

Coffey: Um, really?

Cove: Really.

Coffey: Really.

Cove: Chip, if there was ever proof that a psychic could actually do what it did, and it was peer-reviewed, you would win the Nobel Prize for proving the afterlife. It’s never been proven. There’s zero evidence. It’s all anecdotal.

Coffey: Have you done your research?

Cove: I don’t have to.

Coffey: That’s your… educated answer?

Cove: No, it’s not.

Coffey: Yeah it is.

Cove: Give me one piece of evidence–

Coffey: –alright, here, want one? What’s your name? Tell me again?

Cove: Shouldn’t you know?! Ask a spirit!

Coffey: You know, that’s above my pay grade.

Coffey goes on to give his evidence: He once told a woman who was trying to get pregnant that she would get pregnant. And then she got pregnant. Voila!

Cove couldn’t believe that’s all he had: “But people get pregnant. That happens. People get pregnant by having sex and getting pregnant… You predicted that a person trying to get pregnant got pregnant. That’s not evidence!

Coffey was shocked anyone would question him: “You really think that’s a coincidence?”

Coffey eventually accused Cove of being “combative” and walked out of the studio.

Hats off to Cove. He conducted the interview exactly as these interviews ought to go. He didn’t let Coffey get away with sloppy science. Instead, he called Coffey a “fraud” and made him defend his lying ways. Coffey had no choice but to shut up and give up.

Afterwards, Coffey fell back on the excuse all psychics use in that situation:

And he went on Twitter to whine about how rude the host was to him:


Cove wasn’t rude. Cove was doing exactly what any interviewer of a psychic should be doing: He put on his skeptic’s hat and questioned Coffey’s legitimacy without letting himself get derailed by an emotional “reading” or pure gullibility.

Coffey didn’t know what hit him. He’s so used to being in front of fawning, grieving people who don’t understand how he’s pulling a fast one over them (and making plenty of money in the process).

(via Reddit)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Carly Sturgeon

    Yeah. He was clearly not ready for that. I’m not surprised. I guess he doesn’t come across skeptics much at all. I wish I hadn’t believed in any of that bullshit – afterlife, ghosts, humanoid aliens, etc. – for as long as I did and spent any money on any of the promotional stuff, i.e. books and TV shows. I still have a physical copy of Chip Coffee’s “Growing Up Psychic”. Suggestions on what I should do with it now that I don’t want to read it?

    • FTP_LTR

      Of course he wasn’t ready for it. You think he’s psychic or somethi…. oh…. sorry… my bad…

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      Worthless wastes of paper make excellent kindling!

    • Elementum Plenty

      You could sell it on Amazon/eBay. Or just throw it out if you don’t want to taint any more minds. :)

    • Martin Phipps

      Now that you are skeptic that stuff is funny. I’ve always been a skeptic and I’ve bought books like that because it is unintentional comedy.

    • Ida Know

      You could go through it and highlight or circle each poppycock statement, and perhaps write notes in the margins about why it is poppycock. Used-book dealers or libraries won’t take it once it’s been marked up, but it might be a good catharsis for you. You could then sell it at a garage sale, or just keep it as a reminder and something to feel good about.

      • allein

        Mark it up and “forget” it in a waiting room somewhere..

    • b s

      See if you can get it autographed by Cory Cove and mail it Chip?

  • kielc

    As a psychic, shouldn’t he have have known ahead of time how the interview was going to go?

    • Castilliano

      OMG, his spirit was totally setting him up for a fall.
      What a jerk those spirits can be.
      Maybe he should learn its name? Maybe it’s getting back at him?
      Or maybe…not.
      FAIL

      • Mark W.

        Now, now, the only fall he’s going to take, unfortunately, is into the big pile of money gullible putzes keep throwing at him. It’s a sad fact of the world that most people will fall for one type of woo or another, even when faced with evidence to the contrary.

    • Miss_Beara

      The spirits were testing him.

      Or something.

    • Pepe

      “hey, psychics don’t know EVERYTHING, ok? We just know the things we make up as we go”

  • Lucas Hobbes

    I used to listen to KFAN all the time when I lived in Minneapolis. This is phenomenal and is EXACTLY the stuff I miss on that station. Thank you!

    • Lucas Hobbes

      And I knew ahead I was going to enjoy it.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    “Very unprofessional and uncool”

    Says the guy who makes shit up and passes it off as truth for a buck.

    • Gus

      Don’t forget that he also manipulates troubled kids and convinces them they have psychic powers that explain entirely why they have trouble fitting in.

      • SeekerLancer

        Like the X-Men except instead of having cool super powers you learn how to lie to yourself and become a future con-artist like him.

        This guy is such a piece of garbage.

  • http://yogscast.wikia.com/wiki/User:Supertoastfairy Supertoastfairy

    Just the fact that he tried to provide his “woman trying to get pregnant got pregnant” situation as real evidence makes me chuckle inside.

    • LutherW

      Psychic asked for evidence, will provide ridiculous evidence. I predict it will happen again, perhaps the very next time a psychic is asked.

    • closetatheist

      He should have said she was a virgin who succeeded in getting pregnant. If I’m not mistaken, that happened to someone awhile ago and it really bolstered their popularity.

  • LesterBallard

    Too bad it wasn’t one of the better known assholes; Browne or Edwards or Van Praagh. Not that it would matter to most; they want to believe, they want it to be true, so it is, no matter what.

    • Mike De Fleuriot

      They would never be dumb enough to put themselves in that position. Just like you or I will never be able to conduct an interview with Pat Robberson or Joel Odorous

      • LesterBallard

        I’m really smiling at the thought of interviewing Robertson. I’m not the smartest motherfucker in the world, but that would be fun.

        • Mike De Fleuriot

          I agree, lets start a thing to get Lester to interview Pat. With multiple cameras and livestream.

    • allein

      I’ve seen John Edward in action. Also Sylvia Browne. (I used to work in a bookstore that got a lot of big author events; we had John Edward at least twice and the crowd was absolutely insane.) As I recall, Browne was very particular and demanding about her iced tea and whatnot. Luckily I was at the cash register, so while I had to deal with all the people buying the books (moreso because I was a supervisor so I got to deal with any problem children, too), at least I had a counter between me and the horde. The folks working the floor weren’t so lucky (though getting to the back for dinner was an adventure).

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    4:51

  • Jeff See

    I think I found a new favorite radio show host. That was totally cool. Not one moment’s concession to the guy’s racket. Totally awesome.

  • islandbrewer

    Wait, I’m getting a reading … I hear … a voice, from the beyond … it’s telling me… I see an “E” … and … and … Chip Coffey is a fraudulent asshole.

    Wow, I was right!

    I’m ready for my James Randi prize, now.

  • Hungry Atheist

    Chip Coffey made his way to Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada around 5 months ago. We (Centre for Inquiry, Regina) protested him by handing out informational pamphlets on cold reading to the audience — very politely, I should add.

    He came out to greet us and his response was absolutely priceless: evidently, we were “the skeptical equivalent of the Westboro Baptist Church.”

    What can I say, the guy is a real charmer.

    http://hungryatheist.blogspot.ca/2013/05/psychic-needs-chill-pill-and-actual.html

    • DrVanNostrand

      Sadly, that doesn’t sound at all uncommon. Many Christians seem incapable of understanding the difference between “God hates fags!!”, “You’ll all burn in hell!!” and “There is no good evidence to support your beliefs.”

  • Mick

    Potential victims will be lining up to give him their money after that interview. They’ll be thinking that he must be genuine because “…why else would the media be picking on him like that?” [Sounds weird, but that's how they think.]

  • JoJo

    Psychics are all bare faced lying thieves who have no morals in taken vulnerable people’s money in their hour of need!
    Good on Cove for not being a sheep interviewer like rest

  • atheismFTW

    Someone tweeted back to Coffey, “And you didn’t even see it coming?” I giggled.

  • Rain

    Wow what a bad liar. Sylvia Browne is a bad liar but she’s 10 times a better liar than he is. Small potatoes in the liar department. Hello, paging the liar department, we got small potatoes here in aisle three.

  • compl3x

    Remember that a psychic told Amanda Berry’s mother Amanda was dead. – http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/05/06/in-2004-psychic-sylvia-browne-told-amanda-berrys-mom-her-daughter-was-dead/

    Don’t forget, or forgive, the fact that psychics do actual real harm. They are willing to prey on the vulnerable and the distraught in order to turn a quick buck. The media is partially to blame for being so willing to have these frauds on their programmes and rarely offer any sceptical analysis or questioning to the psychic.

  • Fentwin

    I predict things will be more like they are today than ever before.

  • GodlessPoutine

    Okay this is awesome! Chip was touring Canada awhile back and this is great payback.

  • SeekerLancer

    He predicted a woman trying to get pregnant got pregnant.

    STOP THE PRESSES!

    Doubly hilarious that he used an anecdote, and not even a convincing one, right after being told that the only evidence put forth by psychics was anecdotal and useless.

  • Gus

    Host:

    There’s zero evidence. It’s all anecdotal……Give me one piece of evidence-

    “Psychic”: [tells anecdote].

    Someone just isn’t even equipped to have this conversation at all. Talk about not getting it.

  • Pithecanthropus

    Can we lighten up on the animated GIFs a bit?

    • BoGardiner

      I like them, when used in moderation as Hemant does. They help lighten the frequent stream of bad news.

    • The Other Weirdo

      At least they don’t randomly start yammering at you the way some ads do.

  • DougI

    Frauds tend to get upset when they are exposed.

  • Kim Willette

    I’m alarmed that there’s a psychic show for kids!

    • Miss_Beara

      My Tea Party Gun Toting Uncle 100% believes in child psychics and ghosts. Psychics in general but especially child psychics. He was a believer of the fraudster John Edwards.

      Some people will believe anything.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        Ah, but I bet if you ask him about Global Warming, he’ll say “Some people will believe anything”

        • Mario Strada

          Yeah, in that case I’ll bet he calls himself a “skeptic”.

  • Steve Dickinson

    How is Coffey different from any priest or minister?

    They, also, just make up stuff.

    • Anna

      That was my first thought. Can you imagine anyone going after a priest or minister like this? It would never happen, even though their claims are just as bogus.

      • Graham

        “Can you imagine anyone going after a priest or minister like this?” Dawkins?

    • EuropeanCommunist

      Size of his congregation.

  • http://godlessradio.net/ Reap Paden

    Nice to hear this. I’ve been fighting with Chip for years.You may enjoy this http://chipcoffey.info

    • Dez

      My favorite podcaster!! Yay!!

  • DaveG

    I saw The Conjuring, about Ed and Lorraine Warren, and it presented them as very sane people out to do good (IDK if they actually are). I don’t believe in ghosts, but other than that it was a very creepy and entertaining movie.

  • Graham

    “Why are you being combative with me?” Possibly because you told him he would have a prostate problem, which is quite a major thing to tell any guy, and now you’re bullshitting by saying it hasn’t happened “yet”. What a really nasty thing to say to someone.

  • Rob McClain

    I once told someone that I was apsychic. Really? How so? Just like I’m atheist.