“The Briefcase” : When Watching Poor People Struggle is Called “Entertainment”


“The Briefcase” is a reality TV show that gives $101,000 to poor people … to then guilt them into giving that money away. It is a Hunger Games of human misery.

Since the late nineties, television networks have thrown themselves into the production of “reality TV” because it is an inexpensive way to attract idle minds looking for brainless entertainment. Just take a second and think about the garbage television that was produced in the past years … Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?Temptation IslandHere Comes Honey Boo BooToddlers & Tiaras. The list goes on and it is just brutal. From idiot women competing for a guy because he’s rich to psychotic moms dressing up their daughters like mini-prostitutes, these shows reflect the toxic nature of today’s pop culture. They also reflect how TV network execs perceive the TV-viewing masses. To make things worse, most of these shows are fully scripted and fake, but the viewers do not seem to care.

With The Briefcase, CBS continues this tradition of absurdity … and takes it to new, sadistic and voyeuristic level. Here’s the trailer.


The trailer begins by describing the economic situation in America, where the earnings of lower-middle class families are shrinking and are being funneled to a very restricted financial elite.

“Across America, hard working families are feeling the impact of rising debts and shrinking paychecks. These tough times are testing the human spirit. Now, comes a new series that makes you question what really matters most”.

The show is however not about addressing the cause of this problem or to attempting to fix any of it. It is about dangling money in the faces of people in need and making them beg and cry for it. While this is happening, the producer of the show is in the background whispering : “Yes, yes, cry for that money. I want a closeup of these tears. Yes, now become angry and confused. That’s good TV. Nice. Explain how you’re worried about your debts and the future of your family. Yes, more tears! That’s the money shot!”

As if that premise was not dehumanizing enough, the show also pits together a bunch of stereotypes that are basically reduced to a label.

Mexicans. Did they really need to be dressed as mariachis at that moment?
The Mexicans.
The gay couple.
The gays.
The "God-feating, gun totting Republican family".
The “God-feating, gun totting Republican family”.

For each of these shots above, the producer was in the background whispering : “Yes, open that briefcase while wearing sombreros … Yes … Go outside, be gay and kiss for the camera … Yes, that’ll rile up  some people … Yes, shoot that gun in the woods … Do you have a cowboy hat? WEAR IT!  … Nice, that’s good TV.”

The show ultimately sells us a heartwarming moral : Being good is more important than having money. While this is ultimately true, that message is brought to you by some of the richest people in the world.

CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves is among the world’s highest-paid executives in any industry with an annual compensation of over 70 milllion dollars. The majority shareholder of CBS, Sumner Murray Redstone is worth 6.2 billion dollars (yes, billions). Both of them are deeply connected with the world elite in numerous ways and through various channels.

It is these people who are behind this “misery porn”, where the financial troubles of carefully selected families are exploited, emphasized and fetishized in order to sell advertising time and, as an extra bonus, to training the masses to accept their dire financial fate. Because, if they don’t, they’ll be labeled as greedy.


Subscribe to the Newsletter

Get an email notification as soon as a new article is published on the site.

Support VC


Leave a Comment

143 Comments on "“The Briefcase” : When Watching Poor People Struggle is Called “Entertainment”"

newest oldest most voted

I'm glad because my TV set is just a decoration piece, or for DVD movies once and while.

Solution: turn off your goddamn TV. Stop consuming wrong things, and they'll feel the blow. Everything is fake, news, tv shows, cartoons… even my so beloved movies are spreading an agenda. ****ed up world where living in.

I want to see a reality show of these "real housewives of…" Living in the projects of New York City and trying to survive and feed a family. I want to see a big business CEO move to the Gulf coast and save a family business that was devistated using only the resources available to that family. I want to see a TV chef cook for a homeless shelter with their resources.

Just when you think they can not top themselves boom! The satanic parasites increase the idiocy on television once again, and the wheel of death goes round and round because of the duped masses. The reality shows really reveal how much society has been controlled by the parasites at the top, and how much they enjoy watching their filth increase on a daily basis through the media. This show reminds me of the movie hard target in the beginning when the mafia tempted that poor black man for 10,000 dollars just to play on his emotions for fun and kill him. This world is coming to an end.

Glad to know I am not brainless because I do not and will not watch TV that they try to pass off as reality. I call it sheeple TV myself. The big 4 networks are nothing but the governments tools for the dumbing down of America.

This world makes me want to vomit.

I challenge them to bring me the case.

Just keep the money and give away what you want lol

Most of you say, I will not watch this. The point is you don't have anything to watch any way. Do something useful, learn, build things and be professionals in the end.
I do not watch the television for the seven years now and I am happy. I have even sold my TV. . .

This people sure love dehumanizing people and robbing them of their dignity while seeing them as useless pigs…….and yet according to the article, the rich who fund this not-so-different reality show sure love to prey upon the weak this way.

All the more reason for me to go outside more often and play sports like basketball with like-minded people who don't buy into this bullcrap TV shows like those stuck at home watching it like MK slaves.

Excellent article, man

so we can't say the word that pertains to molestation of young people? wow!

Time to permanently pull the plug folks…

Shows a joke families making 140k a year? That's not poor. Give me 140 a year and I'll be far from broke.

I hardly EVER watch TV, but I did watch this show by accident when I went to a friend's house. It's sick and maudlin. No one else in the room could see the game being played on the audience. Having us watch these people, who supposedly have too much stress in their lives already, obsess and agonize over more money than they will probably ever see again in their lives is psychopathic humor.

These apoplectic comments are probably from paid network trolls or people with limited intelligence who only see the images and listen to the script without considering the context and motivations of the behind the scene players.

Amercian bullshit at its freaking bestttttttttttttttttttttttt

Or just simple bullshit, but ok.

Money control the world.
Illuminati has money.
It's simple.

Please write an article about Bruce Jenner's transformation to a woman named Caitlyn Jenner. Funny how the show "Family Guy" predicted it on one of the episodes six years ago.


Ok honestly, VC? You're out of line with: "idiot women competing for a guy because he’s rich to psychotic moms dressing up their daughters like mini-prostitutes".
First of all, lack of intelligence is not a transgression. The problem these women have is that they're SHALLOW. Greed is the sin in question, and being an "idiot" has nothing to do with kindness or morality!
Secondly, there is no way you can dress like a sex worker ("prostitute" is a slur, by the way). You can rail against dressing children in provocative or heavily gendered clothing against their will or before they can decide for themselves, and I agree that child pageantry is exploitative as hell, but let's not drag sex workers into this. There are sex workers who wear saris down to their ankles and muslim sex workers who wear various head coverings.

And keep in mind that many of so called prostitutes may be forced to do that because of human trafficing. Google it if you don't know what it is.

arghhh. Not really. That's what they claim to get sympathy. Unless they are 12-13 years old. Then of course it's trafficking. The point is there is availability because there's demand. They wouldn't proceed to this profession, if men weren't willing to pay for the service. It's a case what came first, the chicken or the egg? At the end of the day they are all messed up without any dignity. They get money out of usually married men and it's not on. If those men weren't married and didn't cause problems to their wives and children, fair game. Trust me many prostitutes willingly bully and pester the wives. So for this reason and only I am not going to support prostitutes and men who use their services. Unless they are unmarried men or the ones who don't give grief to their wives and man up. I want to be with… Read more »

Of course, you know everything about their past lifes, like any single prostitute in this world. They're all the same. HashtagSarcasm I still hope you'll check it out. We should be careful when judging others. The person you judge can also be a victim and going through hell in their live

honestly, I am glad I no longer have cable… and as always, eye opening great comments!

Boy, that is one of the most spot on reviews ever.

What would *I* do with the money? I'd keep every penny. Because I know, personally, someone who would benefit from it more than any of the people this show could come up with. I would fly to Minnesota and buy her a house so she can move out or her Mother's basement. Veteran school teacher working "at will" who was fired for being old and expensive. She lost her house and everything she owned and is living on disability until she qualifies for her pension. She is an authentic poor person and I would give her every penny. They could even film it if they wanted.

Look even deeper, folks. Notice the "host / chaperone" types. This isn't exactly Jeff Probst we're talking about. Emotionless, factual, seemingly objective, and always pictured with those headsets and radios, directly wired into "the powers that be". Nothing these folks say would ever be candid.

Sick bastards!!!

My biggest though twas that the families from the first episode were not really struggling. They show the "struggling" Bronsons pulling a snowmobile around with a $50,000 2014/2015 Chevrolet pickup. Out riding a $10,000 to $15,000 snowmobile to "blow off some steam" This does not appear to be the actions of a "struggling" family. A snowmobile is a luxury item. I would bet they have a second vehicle. It upset me so much I stopped watching the episode and will not watch again. Such a staged and setup show so full of lies.

"these shows reflect the toxic nature of today’s pop culture."….Exactly…….How times have changed guys eh, from the 90's to now.

Sumner Murray Redstone's real name is Murray Rothstein and he owns mtv.

This also just reminded me of some people in NYC who got in big trouble by making an internet show where they went out into the streets and tempted homeless people into doing degrading things on camera by dangling money in front of them. If I remember correctly they got shut down by the Attorney General for abuse.

Excellent article, VC! I wouldn't doubt if everyone involved at the top of this show's production and funding are socio/psychopaths.
While the "elite" may have money, they are beneath us because they are unable to experience true emotions. Imagine never ever feeling love for another person, only ownership. Or having tools instead of real friends? Or never feeling bad for hurting someone's feelings?
The temperature of their hearts is well below 0, which is exactly how much they're truly worth.

That's because a number of them are Reptilian.

Don't forget, the show requires each family to submit to an NSA level of monitoring of their bills and expenses by the competing family to see if they are "really" deserving of the money. It's like the poor being subjected to increased state monitoring of their food stamps expenditures and being denied such indulgences as jarred tomato sauce.

The premise of the show is based on psy ops experiments called the Ultimatum Game and the Dictator Game. They are part of Game Theory, which is used extensively in politics and economics.

CBS also gave us Undercover Boss where CEO's get to feel good giving away money to employees they should have paid a living wage to in the first place.

Let's also not forget that the CBS logo is a giant eye.

Been a while since I've seen you post–good to see you again.
Great insight, as always!

How can we all come together and change the world?

Pray to Jesus Christ & put your trust in Him because the devil is already defeated- Jesus won!! Draw nearer to Him <3

Sending out positive vibrations, spreading knowledge and non-compliance to the powers in charge nonsense.

It would be funny to take the money and pay a hit-man to go after the show production team and capture it all on film for a new reality show…

That was the plot of another movie in about 1999 called Bamboozled.
The revenge was not for reality TV per se, but degrading TV none the less.

Ironically the executive that dies suggested, and then later produced the show in question thinking it was SO BAD, everyone would hate it, and boyott the station. (The star that dies had no opinion either way; he just wanted to get paid for his talent)

You are in luck! One of the very first reality movies, which is a massive piss take and black comedy, uses a similar idea. Contestants get a gun, camera crew and have to kill or be killed in order to become the last one standing- winner. The cult film is awesome and funny as- " series 7 the contender" is the name of the film. Enjoy:-)

Thanks Alecksus for that film suggestion – I'll check it out along with Bamboozled suggested by art repeats art below.

Bruce Jenner aka "Caitlyn" will be having a reality show soon to continue the sickos or Powers that Harass agenda with the LGBT community. As well as distraction from what their current and future plans with the world are.

I think Bruce Jenner did this whole sex change as a sacrifice for his family.

Why are you using male pronouns? It's HER family and HER name is Caitlyn. Y'all think there is some big LGBT agenda. Well, I am part of the B in that acronym and I can damn well tell you that most of us in the LGBT "community" are struggling with lack of acceptance from our families, anxiety about keeping our identities hidden from employers and relatives, and a continuing media history of being used as punchlines and shock value. Our agenda is to survive (preferably with our mental health intact) in a world that continues to show us hostility. Have you ever even met a trans person? Sex Affirmation Surgery is only a "sacrifice" in terms of social standing and societal/family acceptance. Trans people, trans women especially, face vicious judgement, higher levels of violence, and are routinely excluded from both men's, women's, and LGBT spaces. Worldwide, one transgender person is… Read more »

The sacrifice I am referring to is what is required of celebrites, as well as others in this world's limelight, to maintain or "pay for" their riches, revelance, etc. Usually they call for blood sacrifices hence family members or living creatures are killed on the celebrity's, politician, etc. behalf. Basically paying up to the devil for whatever deal they've made with him.

Not all sacrifices are blood, however, this gender change is one example, I've read Bruce truly loves his family and would not want to see anyone harmed. This gender change also serves a purpose for distraction and a number of other agendas the "elite" have for humanity and it does not consist of equality, understanding or love.

AGREE! The Kardashians are all just a distraction to keep people's minds off real issues.

I agree… Some sort of humiliating sacrifice

Yeah cause it's so humiliating to be a woman

That's not at all what Jazz was saying. It's not humiliating being a woman but sacrificing your genitals for ratings & controversy.

What an absolutely asinine concept. TV has truly hit rock bottom.

I'm somehow reminded of an old South Park episode where Cartman makes an older bully eat his parents and then has him mocked by his favorite band Radiohead. As the bully cries, Cartman says, "Yes! Yesss! Oh, let me taste your tears, Scott! Mm, your tears are so yummy and sweet! Oh, the tears of unfathomable sadness! My-yummy!"

ye, South Park has always been sick and twisted. And family guy, just plain weird shows.

And reality TV shows DON'T exploit people?

That's all it's about. It's sick and twisted like the rest of television. They enjoy watching us be miserable; best medicine is being happy in what God gave you and they can't beat you or bring you down. They THRIVE on misery, death, down-falls, sickness, poverty etc. Nothing good there; so is it really hard to see who is behind all the evil? Certainly not.

Netanyahu’s real feelings about America were revealed in a secretly tape-recorded conversation in Fink’s Bar in Jerusalem al-Quds in 1990:

“If we get caught they will just replace us with persons of the same cloth. So it doesn’t matter what you do, America is a Golden Calf and we will suck it dry, chop it up, and sell it off piece by piece until there is nothing left but the world’s biggest welfare state that we will create and control. Why? Because it’s God’s will and America is big enough to take the hit so we can do it again, again and again. This is what we do to countries that we hate. We destroy them very slowly and make them suffer for refusing to be our slaves.”


Lol yup! Just saw that movie for the first time yesterday, this society has been an Idiocracy for quite sometime now.

This world has gone straight to hell in a hand basket. Wonder what kind of people enjoy this craptastic TV. Really sad and pathetic

#3 of 3: For once, we have a reality show that gives the audience a legit feel-good ending because ultimately, EACH FAMILY OPTED TO GIVE ALL OF THEIR WINDFALL AWAY TO THE OTHER FAMILY! (Except the initial $1000 they'd been told to spend on themselves). Which is bs because no cash-strapped couple would be that generous in real life. But because each of them opted to give away their windfall, in the end, BOTH families end up with the $100k, which was very nice. How long they can keep that up & maintain an audience, I dunno. I'll guess I'll have to check out the next episode to see who breaks the kindness trend. NOTE TO VC: Your commentary is usually spot-on, but your remarks about this show were a huge FAIL because you clearly didn't bother to watch the show! Please don't mislead your readers by editorializing about programs… Read more »

I think you missed the whole point of the article. The thing is you don't need to watch the show to get an idea of the agenda they are pushing. Given that you watched it, and gave a good run down, and bought into the notion that they are really doing a good thing or helping out the needy, just shows how clever and manipulative the show is. It seems you are not dumb, but if you can watch this s***e, and then spruik it, as well as noting other good reality shows, then you have been duped, and taken for the ride they intended for the more discerning viewer. Ps, VC knows this, and can read between the lines,. Peace, and- just don't watch TV period. Is the answer:-)

You obviously are a reality show couch potato. You don't have the intellect to understand what VC was trying to tell you. That is how watching these kind of shows works. Pretty soon you're shaped into the little ball of clay they want you to be by their phony plot lines and manipulation of people's feelings and character. Turn off your dang tv and do something useful.

Sorry, what's your point?

#2 of 3: Both of the families on episode 1 were White, married middle-class couples with kids, very Wonderbread boring. The interesting bit was that in both households, the wife was the only one paying the bills. Which is a severely stressful when your life plan was based on being a 2-income couple. In Family #1, the Bergins in No. Carolina, dad Joe was laid off from his sales job at age 40. (He's 49 now) Then he started an ice cream truck business. Later he got into a serious motor vehicle accident, then only 2 of their trucks were working, so apparently, he's not making any $$ right now. His wife says she's supporting & their family of 5 (they have 3 girls) on her part-time salary of $15.50/hr. But they still have their nice, spacious middle-class house with a big yard & all the amenities, from what I… Read more »

Military benefits are not what they are cracked up to be. My parents live in a big house but are struggling to keep it. Just so you know, possessions do not tell the whole story. Some people appear to have something but are really having a hard time keeping what they have aquired. And the only way to not get pregnant is to not have sex. Birth control can fail. I know many women who used a method of birth control faithfully and still got pregnant. And just try telling a stressed out married couple to not have sex. That's hell on earth.

#1 of 3: "It is a Hunger Games of human misery." SERIOUSLY, VC? Did you even watch the 1st episode? If you had, nothing you saw could have lead you to that opinion. Seems like you're just aping what the online critics & late night comedians are saying about the show. But they're missing the point. For those who won't bother to watch it now that VC has dissed the show, stop reading now. For those who care to make their own decisions, you can watch the 1st episode here: http://www.cbs.com/shows/the-briefcase/video/ . I just happened to watch it online yesterday, so I'm gonna give you the REAL scoop! The premise of THE BRIEFCASE is as follows: — Someone from the show arrives at the doorstep of a financially-struggling family (but nobody on episode 1 was poor in my book) & gives them a briefcase containing $101,000. The mom & dad… Read more »

And yet you don't find it sick and twisted; clearly you can't think deep enough to! Sorry, but truth is this is a sick show like many others; real underlying meanings behind it all. Wake-up dear, you are drinking the devil's Kool-Aid.

I don't want to put any specific details, but I had a close friend who was on a reality show about a very "southern" tradition of making a particular type of beverage. Long story short, he is a very normal guy, yet the producers kept trying to force him to dress more "hillbllly" (overalls, straw hat, piece of straw in his mouth, etc). He was basically forced to quit for not cooperating. Reality shows are absolutely fake as hell. Fake as the news.

And also as fake as what we call "history"

Thank you to both of you, Christinne you are spot on; history has been re-written over and over again to manipulate the future. People are so blind to this reality that they call us "conspiracy theorists". LOL, I welcome the label because I don't require others' validation for my beliefs or reasoning. God, Jesus, has made this all too clear you just have to open your mind. Finding the truth today is extremely difficult.

What do expect on a channel who's logo is the all seeing eye?

Well RealTalk, it's everywhere you look, can leave you queasy at times. The symbols are everywhere! On TV, DVDS, Music videos especially. Why don't we try to create our own community worldwide. New TV, new music etc. It will be hard but where there is a will there is certainly a way. God bless you lovely people, it warms my heart to see so many out there who are on the right track. I will keep all of you in my prayers.

I have found that so often, those who have the least, are the most generous.

I watched the first episode and (spoiler alert) both families gave 100% of their money to the other family. It was very selfless. The show wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

Not necessarily. There are quite a few who take advantage of others to play the generous card. Generous with someone else's money? And how come they are generous only to much younger women? A tad strange. Their generosity is to have their knob polished. Plain and simple.

That's probably why they don't have a lot 🙂

Why not make a show where you teach people how to create wealth and be profitable, educate them, make them think outside the box, remove bad spending habits, etc..
That would not be entertaining I suppose…
The problem is not the people creating these shows but the people that spend the time watching it.
Demand and supply…

That's what I thought. American dream is about making money, becoming rich, not about giving it away and staying poor.

UNBELEIVABLE. that is a disgusting reality TV show! why not make a show where you continually give someone in need $100000 JUST BECAUSE? if you have too much money there should be a law where you have to give some away to poor people. poor people need to survive. what a bunch of baloney this show is!

There is a law in Islam, we call it zakat.

A few educational reality shows such as master chef, Gordon Ramsey, Pawn stars, fish tank Kings I do like. But all the others are just disgusting. I can proudly say that I have never watched the Kartrashians or toddlers&tiaras. As for the movie the Hunger games I was baffled that so many pple think that kids hunting down kids until they die is just entertainment after all the good guy wins? Say what? Kids killing kids? How about naked pple survival shows? And we call ourselves civilized? The Elite is desensitizing the human mindset against the suffering and pain from others. I will not watch any human degrading reality shows.

Did you watch the same movie I did?
Did you really not get the message of the book/film?

Reality TV, so called, is unreality TV.

I don't think anything is as unreal as "reality TV".

One would have to be a near idiot to find any entertainment value in the shows VC mentioned above.

One exception I can think of is Gordon Ramsay's "Kitchen Nightmares".

Assuming the stories are true, and I don't see how they could not be, the show actually helps people in need, in a voluntary, private sector manner, and does some good.

Kitchen nightmares is a fake show also. Their stories are indeed true but they choose people so far in debt that they'd need a miracle to keep their doors open. The businesses on the show have a close rate of 95%. The same with the show bar rescue. There area few sites that go into detail on who's still open and doing well or if they closed and when and how long after the show aired.. Everything on the goof tube is fodder.

Dear Rosie,

Thanks for that info. Much appreciated. Good to know.

That said, consider the flipside.

If the restaurants they pick are so far in debt that they'd need a miracle to keep their doors open, it makes sense to pick them, rather than ones that are merely going through a rough patch.

After all, suppose Ramsay only picked restaurants in relatively sound financial condition? He would then be accused of setting the bar too low and making things too easy for himself, would he not?

Also, even if the restaurants are likely to go under even after being helped, so what? Ramsay is still doing a good thing by showing other restaurants what not to do if they want to stay afloat.

I'm glad because my TV set is just a decoration piece, or for DVD movies once and while.

Solution: turn off your goddamn TV. Stop consuming wrong things, and they'll feel the blow. Everything is fake, news, tv shows, cartoons… even my so beloved movies are spreading an agenda. F****d up world where living in.

If ""they" were really interested in helping these people they wud do it in secret and not rub it in their faces in view of millions as though their patronizing these people.