- John Edward
name = John Edward
birth_date = birth date and age|1969|10|19
Glen Cove, New York
occupation = psychic medium
spouse = Sandra Edward
children = 2
website = [http://www.johnedward.net/ johnedward.net]
John Edward McGee, Jr. (born
October 19, 1969), better known as John Edward, is an American author and television personality. He is best known for his TV shows "Crossing Over with John Edward" and "John Edward Cross Country", which are premised on Edward performing as a psychic medium who attempts to communicate with the spirits of the audience members' deceasedrelatives.
Glen Cove, New York, Edward says he was convinced at a young age that he could become a psychic. After writing his first book on the subject in 1998, Edward became a well-known and controversial figure in the United States through his shows broadcast on the SciFi channel beginning in July 2000 and since May 2006.
The only son of an Irish-American policeman and an Italian-American working mother,cite book |last=Edward |first=John |title=After Life |year=2003 |publisher=Princess Books |isbn=1-932128-12-3 ] Edward was raised
Roman Catholic. Although Edward later stopped practicing that faith, he has said he never stopped feeling connected to God and is still closely connected to his Catholic roots.cite book |last=Edward |first=John |year=1998 |title=One Last Time |publisher=Berkley Trade |id=ISBN 0-425-16908-1 ] Edward once said, "This is something that is driven by a belief in God. It's the energy from that force that I think allows us to create "this" energy." [cite book |last=Edward |first=John |year=2001 |title=Crossing Over |publisher=Jodere Group |id=ISBN 1-58872-002-0 |pages=p. 21 ]
According to Edward, when he was 15 and "a huge doubter" (in psychic abilities), he was "read" by a New Jersey woman who convinced him that he could become a medium.cite episode |title= [http://www.nytix.com/TVShows/NewYork/JohnEdward/transcripts/ John Edward: An Alleged Psychic Who Claims to Communicate With the Dead] |series=
Larry King Live|network= CNN|airdate=1998-06-19 ] "She told me things that there is no way she could have known. And the first part of the reading was that this was the path that I was supposed to be on and that I was supposed to be a teacher and help people and — I thought she was nuts." Speaking of the same encounter in a 2002 interview, Edward said, "She told me I would one day become internationally known for my psychic abilities through lectures, books, radio and TV. I thought she was full of it until she started to tell me things no one in my life knew about... The details were unbelievable."cite news |first=Lisa |last=Ling |authorlink=Lisa Ling |title=Connecting With the Dead |url=http://www.usaweekend.com/02_issues/021013/021013john_edward.html |work= USA WEEKEND|publisher= Gannett Company|date= 2002-10-13|accessdate=2006-12-22 ]
Later, Edward worked as a
phlebotomistwhile pursuing a degree in health care administration at Long Island University.cite episode |title= [http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0310/02/lkl.00.html Interview With John Edward] |series= Larry King Live|network= CNN|airdate=2003-10-02 ] He met his wife, Sandra Coelho, when he was a student in a dance studio, and he became a ballroom dancing instructor before entering his current field of work. He and his wife had their first child, Justin Michael, on September 25, 2002, and their second child, Olivia Gabriella, on January 25, 2007.
Edward published his first book, "One Last Time", in 1998. His related appearance on "
Larry King Live" later in the year prompted enough phone calls to overload the show's switchboard.cite web |url=http://www.scifi.com/johnedward/aboutjohn/ |title=About John |work=Crossing Over with John Edward |publisher=Sci Fi Channel |accessdate=2007-01-11 ] The next year, Edward had a show of his own.
"Crossing Over with John Edward"
From 1999 to 2004, Edward was the producer and host of the show "Crossing Over with John Edward", which has been syndicated and was broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel in the United States and on LIVINGtv in the UK. In "Crossing Over", Edward performs what mediums call "readings".cite video |people=Edward, John |title=Crossing Over with John Edward |medium=Television series |publisher=Sci-Fi Channel |location=U.S. |year=1999 ]
Readings in "Crossing Over" involve Edward questioning audience members with what is presented as information being communicated by their deceased friends and relatives. Edward says he receives images and clues from "the other side" which the audience must assist him in interpreting. Aside from questionnaires filled out prior to taping, the audience is not supposed to supply Edward with any prior information about themselves, their family or whom they are trying to connect with "on the other side". Audience members respond to Edward's statements and questions, adding any details they feel are appropriate. The show often employs a split screen, the view of a reading without sound on one half of the screen while on the other half the subjects of the reading are shown in a later interview as they discuss their experiences. A
voiceoverby Edward is also implemented at times, sharing further insights and inspirational messages.
In other instances, Edward conducted private sessions away from the studio audience. The subjects of these segments later talked in greater detail about the situation that led to their reading with Edward and the effect the reading had on their lives. Periodically, segments revisit people who have previously appeared on the show.
"John Edward Cross Country"
Edward's current show, "John Edward Cross Country", has been broadcast on WE, the Women's Entertainment Channel, since March 2006. In this forum, the audience is not supposed to supply Edward with any prior information about themselves, their family or whom they are trying to connect with "on the other side."cite video |people=Edward, John |year=2006 |title=John Edward Cross Country |url=http://www.we.tv/article?CID=key%3D668%26tzOffset%3D0 |medium=Television series |publisher=
Women's Entertainment] The show opens with a statement that he simply "lets his guides draw him to the people that spirits are trying to connect with, and the audience should only validate the information he gives them".
During the first season of "Cross Country", Edward traveled across the US [ [http://www.tv.com/john-edward-cross-country/show/56994/summary.html John Edward Cross Country - TV.com ] ] , giving readings to large audiences in public venues. In the second season, the show was broadcast from a set similar to that used for "Crossing Over". [http://www.thefutoncritic.com/showatch.aspx?id=john_edward_cross_country&view=listings The Futon Critic] In both seasons Edward visited the people who'd been read during the show, along with their families, to see how this experience had changed their lives. It allows the people to live their lives and know that the person that passed is alright, and that they still love them.
Gary Schwartz, a psychologistand researcher in the controversial field of parapsychology, designed and administered a series of tests for Edward and several other mediums to verify their paranormal claims and published his belief that Edward's abilities were genuine in his book " The Afterlife Experiments".cite book |last=Schwartz |first=Gary |authorlink=Gary Schwartz |title=The Afterlife Experiments |publisher=Atria Books |year=2003 |month=March |id=ISBN 978-0-7434-3659-5 ] The study did not undergo scientific peer review, and Committee for Skeptical Inquiry's Ray Hyman, a psychologist and noted critic of parapsychology, wrote a detailed critique of Schwartz's methodology and conclusions in a 2003 issue of the " Skeptical Inquirer". [cite journal |last=Hyman |first=Ray |authorlink=Ray Hyman |year=2003 |month=January/February |title=How "Not" to Test Mediums |journal= Skeptical Inquirer|volume=27 |issue=1 |url=http://www.csicop.org/si/2003-01/medium.html |accessdate=2006-12-04 ] Schwartz responded to the critique, [cite web |url=http://www.enformy.com/Gary-reHymanReview.htm |title=How "Not" To Review Mediumship Research |accessdate=2006-12-04 |last=Schwartz |first=Gary |authorlink=Gary Schwartz |year=2003 ] leading Hyman to write a rebuttal. [cite journal |last=Hyman |first=Ray |authorlink=Ray Hyman |year=2003 |month=May/June |title=Follow Up Reply |journal= Skeptical Inquirer|volume=27 |issue=3 |url=http://www.csicop.org/si/2003-05/follow-up-hyman.html |accessdate=2006-12-04 |doi=]
Criticism and controversy
Critics of Edward assert he performs the mentalist technique of
cold reading.cite web |url=http://www.theness.com/articles.asp?id=49 |title=Medium Dead |accessdate=2006-12-12 |last=Blumenfeld |first=Jon |date= 2000-07-21 |publisher= [http://www.theness.com/ New England Skeptical Society] ] cite web |url=http://www.skepticreport.com/psychicpowers/jeblues.htm |title=Talking the John Edward Blues |accessdate=2006-12-12 |last=Endersby |first=Andrew |date=December 2002 |publisher= [http://www.skepticreport.com/ SkepticReport] ] cite web |url=http://www.popmatters.com/tv/reviews/c/crossing-over.shtml |title=Crossing Over with John Edward |accessdate=2006-12-12 |last=O'Dell |first=Cary |work=Television Reviews |publisher= PopMatters] Choosing the first reading from a two hour tape of edited shows as a sample, magician and debunker James Randifound that just three of twenty three statements made by Edward were confirmed as correct by the audience member being read.cite web | url=http://www.randi.org/jr/2006-04/042106edward.html#i1| title=John Edward Revisited |work=Swift |last=Randi |first=James |date= 2006-04-21|accessdate=2006-12-11 |authorlink=James Randi |publisher= James Randi Educational Foundation]
A 2001 "Time" article suggested that Edward used
hot readingon "Crossing Over".cite web | title="Talking to the Dead" | url=http://www.time.com/time/columnist/jaroff/article/0,9565,100555,00.html | publisher=Time Magazine |author= Leon Jaroff | accessdate=2006-06-14] In another incident, Edward was said to have used foreknowledge to hot read in an interview on the television show "Dateline".cite journal |last=Nickell |first=Joe |year=2001 |month=November/December |title=John Edward: Hustling the Bereaved |journal= Skeptical Inquirer|volume=25 |issue=6 |url=http://www.csicop.org/si/2001-11/i-files.html |accessdate=2006-12-13 ] James Underdownof the " Skeptical Inquirer" attended a "Crossing Over" show in November 2002 and said "there were no indications of anyone I saw collecting information... none of his readings contained the kind of specific information that would raise an eyebrow of suspicion. ... John Edward was a bad cold reader. He, too, struggled to get hits, and in one attempt shot off nearly forty guesses before finding any significant targets."cite journal |last=Underdown |first=James |authorlink=James Underdown |year=2003 |month=September/October |title=They See Dead People — Or Do They? |journal= Skeptical Inquirer|volume=27 |issue=5 |url=http://www.csicop.org/si/2003-09/seeing-dead-people.html |accessdate=2006-12-11 ]
Another accusation has been that Edward's accuracy on television is inflated by the editing process. After watching the broadcast version of the show he had attended and recorded, Underdown attributed a great deal of Edward's accuracy on television to editing and wrote, "Edward's editor fine-tuned many of the dead-ends out of a reading riddled with misses." In 2002, Edward said, "People are in the studio for eight hours, and we have to edit the show for time, not content. We don't try to hide the 'misses.'"cite news |first=Lisa |last=Ling |authorlink=Lisa Ling |title=Connecting With the Dead |url=http://www.usaweekend.com/02_issues/021013/021013john_edward.html |work=
USA WEEKEND|publisher= Gannett Company|date= 2002-10-13|accessdate=2006-12-22 ]
John Edward has denied ever using foreknowledge, cold or hot reading. [cite book | last = Edward | first = John | year = 2001 | title = Crossing Over | publisher = Jodere Group| id = ISBN 1-58872-002-0]
Shortly after the
September 11, 2001 attacks, Edward began filming at least one special in which he met with some relatives of the victims, with the intention of communicating with those who were killed. According to Edward's autobiography, he did not know that the producers had chosen the victims' families to appear on the show. The trade magazine "Broadcasting & Cable" sent a story, "'Psychic' Plans WTC Victims Show", on the daily subscription- faxsent to news media and TV-station executives on October 25, 2001. Steve Rosenberg, president of domestic television at Studios USA, the company that distributes Edward's program, had tentatively scheduled the program(s) to be broadcast during the November ratings period, but news of the taping sparked a national outcry. Both Sci Fi Channel and the "Crossing Over with John Edward" production office were flooded with phone calls and e-mail, some expressing outrage at the exploitation of the national tragedy, others at what they perceived as extreme tastelessness in search of ratings. Rosenberg initially ignored the criticism, insisting the programming would go on as scheduled, but within hours he terminated his plans. [cite news |last= de Moraes |first= Lisa |title= Medium Crosses The Line: WTC Segment Canned |work= The Washington Post|date= 2006-10-26|url= http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A53372-2001Oct25 |accessdate= 2006-12-18 ] [cite journal |last=Radford |first=Benjamin |year=2002 |month=January/February |title=John Edward's televised tragedy seance scrapped |journal= Skeptical Inquirer|volume=26 |issue=1 |url=http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2843/is_1_26/ai_80924575 |accessdate=2006-12-18 ]
March 24, 2005episode of the FOX News Channelmorning show " FOX & Friends", in response to a question as to whether Edward could communicate with the vegetative Terri Schiavo, Edward said "I do believe that the soul, the consciousness, can communicate when they're in a state, whether it be a mentally incapacitated person, someone who's in a coma. It's a consciousness, and the soul has a living consciousness. So whether it's in a physical vehicle or not, there is still the ability to connect [...] But she's clear on what's going – and I can tell you that she's definitely clear on what's happening now around her."cite web |url=http://mediamatters.org/items/200503250006 |title=Fox's psychic friend |accessdate=2006-12-04 |date= 2005-03-25 |publisher= Media Matters for America] Edward was criticized for this statement because Schiavo did not have proper brain function at the time. [http://www.co.pinellas.fl.us/forensics Thogmartin, Jon R., M.D.] "REPORT OF AUTOPSY" for Theresa Schiavo, Case #5050439, June 13, 2005[http://www.abstractappeal.com/schiavo/autopsyreport.pdf link] ]
Appearances in the media
Edward has appeared in many television shows, including: "
Entertainment Tonight", " Live with Regis & Kelly", " The Early Show", "The Crier Report", " The Tony Danza Show", " The View", " The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch", " Fox and Friends", " Maury", " Jimmy Kimmel Live", " The Wayne Brady Show", " Dateline", " Oprah", " 20/20", and the HBOSpecial, "Life After Life: America Undercover".cite web |url=http://johnedward.net/about_John_Edward.htm |title=About John Edward |accessdate=2006-12-22 |publisher= [http://www.johnedward.net/ JohnEdward.net] ] Other notable appearances and depictions include:
South Park": Edward was declared " The Biggest Douche in the Universe" in a 2002 episode of the same name.
Celebrity Deathmatch": Nostradamusforesees his loss to Edward and refuses to appear for the fight, so Miss Cleotakes his place and wins.
David Cross: In his comedy album " It's Not Funny", Cross jokes: "Oh, man, so I was watching that show ... there's this guy on stage, and everybody in the audience believes he has contact with the dead and spirits talk to him? (The audience shouts "Crossing Over".) Crossing—? no, no, no, no, no, it was, it was church."
Family Guy": Edward was parodied in " The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire", a 2005 episode in which a flashback shows Peter in the audience of "Crossing Over".
* "": In the first episode of the series, "Talking to the Dead",
Penn & Tellercall Edward and James Van Praagh"psychic scumbags", spend most of the episode discussing cold reading, and show that good editing can make a cold reader's performance more impressive.cite episode |title=Talking to the Dead |series=Bullshit! |serieslink=Penn & Teller: Bullshit! |network=Showtime |airdate=2003-01-24 |number=1-01 ]
PvP": In a story arc beginning April 1, 2002, three members of the cast win tickets to "Crossing Over". Brent thinks Edward is "a total fraud" and commands him "in the name of James Randi" to admit it.cite web |url=http://www.pvponline.com/article/1217/Mon-Apr-01 |title=Strip for April 01, 2002|accessdate=2006-12-20 |last=Kurtz |first=Scott |date= 2002-04-01|work= PvP]
Royal Canadian Air Farce": In a 2002 episode, guest star Peter Keleghanportrayed Edward trying to communicate with dead loved ones of guest Elizabeth Taylor(portrayed by Luba Goy). Taylor was very uncooperative and ended up giving Edward a headache, which she then tried to ease by giving him a massage.
Saturday Night Live": In an October 13, 2001skit, Will Ferrellplayed Edward in a "Crossing Over" spoof and made uselessly vague statements for the entirety of the skit.cite episode |title=Drew Barrymore / Macy Gray |series= Saturday Night Live |serieslink=Saturday Night Live |network= NBC|city= New York City|airdate=2006-10-13 |season=27 |number=3 [http://snltranscripts.jt.org/01/01cjohnedwards.phtml Skit transcript] .]
Will & Grace": Edward made a cameo appearance in the 2004 episode "East Side Story".
The Chaser's War on Everything": Appeared in a 2007 segment "The Fixers" which involved dressing up as the Ghostbustersand confronting Edward with a "bullshit meter". cite episode |title=The Chaser's War on Everything |network ABC|airdate=2007-11-14 |season=2 |number=24
Germantown, Maryland blues-rockband Clutchreference Edward in their song "The Mob Goes Wild" with the lyrics "And that man on the T.V. who speaks to the dead, you know that man's a phony" [http://www.lyricsdownload.com/clutch-the-mob-goes-wild-lyrics.html]
* "One Last Time: A Psychic Medium Speaks to Those We Have Loved and Lost" (1998) ISBN 0-425-16908-1
* "What If God Were the Sun?" (2000) ISBN 1-58872-003-9
* "Crossing Over: The Stories Behind the Stories" (2001) ISBN 1-58872-002-0
* "After Life: Answers From the Other Side" (2003) ISBN 1-932128-06-9
* "Final Beginnings: The Tunnel" (2004) ISBN 1-932128-02-6
* "Practical Praying: Using the Rosary to Enhance Your Life" (2005) ISBN 1-932128-12-3
* "Developing Your Own Psychic Powers"
** Tape (2000) ISBN 1-56170-762-7
CD(2003) ISBN 1-932128-03-4
* "Understanding Your Angels and Meeting Your Guides"
** Tape (2000) ISBN 1-56170-763-5
** CD (2003) ISBN 1-4019-0133-6
* "Unleashing Your Psychic Potential"
** Tape (2000) ISBN 1-56170-764-3
** CD (2003) ISBN 1-4019-0136-0
* [http://www.johnedward.net John Edward's official site]
*imdb name|id=1034015|name=John Edward
*tv.com show |id=3005 |title=Crossing Over
*tv.com show |id=56994 |title=John Edward Cross Country
* [http://www.beliefnet.com/story/136/story_13605_1.html John Edward Tunes in to the Afterlife] , an interview with Wendy Schuman
*cite episode |title= [http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0109/10/lkl.00.html Can John Edward Speak to the Dead?] |series=
Larry King Live|network= CNN|airdate= 2001-09-10
* [http://www.meta-religion.com/Paranormale/Skeptics/deconstructing_the_dead.htm Deconstructing The Dead]
Michael Shermerreports on Edward and an ABC-TV profile.
* [http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mcoldreading.html "How come TV psychics seem so convincing?"]
* [http://www.skepticreport.com/psychicpowers/jehitsmisses.htm Greatest Hits and Misses of John Edward]
* [http://www.csicop.org/genx/edward/ How the Mass Media Package and Sell Psychic Medium John Edward]
* [http://dir.salon.com/story/people/feature/2002/06/13/probability/index.html Shooting Cr
* [http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117929941.html?categoryid=32&cs=1 Daily Variety review of "John Edward Cross Country"]
* [http://www.re-quest.net/entertainment/movies-and-tv/tv/john-edward/index.htm Demystifying John Edward of Crossing Over]
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=McGee, John Edward Jr. (real name)
SHORT DESCRIPTION=American author and professed psychic
DATE OF BIRTH=
October 19, 1969
PLACE OF BIRTH=
Glen Cove, New York
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=
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