22 Nov Stossel and Sarno
In the 90’s, Ebay became the best way to find rare videos, mostly on VHS. In 1999, John Stossel profiled Dr. Sarno and his theories in a piece for the ABC show 20/20. Not long after it aired, that piece traded for hundreds of dollars on the Internet because it was the only media that existed on Dr. Sarno and his theories, and it was hard to find. Then Youtube emerged, and the bottom dropped out on that market.
Amazingly, for the most part, it’s still the only real media that exists about Dr. Sarno. We have come across a few radio interviews and a couple of local TV spots, but, despite selling hundreds of thousands of books, Dr. Sarno has escaped the notice of mainstream media.
When we started our project about Dr. Sarno in 2004, we knew we wanted to interview John Stossel about his experience. Unfortunately, we had no way to get in touch with him. Several years later, after we made “Battle for Brooklyn“, Stossel had us on his show to discuss eminent domain.
I was able to talk to him about our Dr. Sarno film, and he readily agreed to sit down with us. We had a great shoot, and I think it will add a lot to the film. Fifteen years ago, he stuck his neck out to put together the 20/20 piece; not only were the ideas far from mainstream, but he was detailing his personal story with back pain in a vulnerable way in front of a large audience. It was risky because he was challenging so many people, and powerful cultural ideas. In the end, though, he told us, it’s one piece that continues to resonate with people. In fact, 30 minutes after we left the shoot, he texted to say that he had just stopped to get a coffee and someone came up to thank him for the Sarno piece. Media has a way of reaching people when they need to hear something. We hope that our film can do the same thing.