Cruel.com has a link today to an awful story about a Japanese reality game show in which a man was locked up in an apartment without food or clothing and was forced to send in contest entries on postcards in order to win a certain value in prizes to be released. It took a year and three months and the contestant didn't eat unless he won food in a contest, at times resorting to dog food.
If I hadn't already encountered Japanese game shows before, I'd be horrified. But I've seen footage of a man being woken up by several other men dressed as soldiers who set off a flash-bang grenade next to his bed and then discharged entire magazines of M-16 blanks at him from less than a foot away (you could see where the muzzle blasts were burning holes in the bedding). He was sobbing uncontrollably when they cut away to the next scene, where a man at a dude ranch was lifted, bed and all, into a hallway so a rope tied to a horse could be cinched around his ankles. The horse was smacked on the rump and took off running, jerking the guy out of bed and into a muddy corral, where he was dragged for some time as onlookers cheered and laughed. He too was in a miserable state when the host interviewed him.
I should say I loved every minute of it and wished there were shows like that in the US, and that I love Most Extreme Elimination Challenge (except for the music). Now that Jackass has inspired a generation of numbskulls to torture themselves for our pleasure, I guess we don't need to torture innocent people.