In Foucaultâ€™s genealogical account; the 19th century development of psychiatry fused the religious institution of the confession with a scientific discourse in order to create a confession regulated theory of human sexuality. Foucault identifies a number of ways in which this fusion was effected. Through development of new methods and techniques that postulate sexuality as the primary cause human behaviour. Foucaultâ€™s work has cited in support of the pervasiveness of a therapeutic culture on Television. I argue instead that is necessary to recognize that there are demotic and celebrity forms of confession. The Celebrity talk show; unlike its more demotic variants; represents a controlled process of revelation which is designed to display the celebrityâ€™s persona from a position of authority in relation to the host (as an professional equal) and the audience (live and mediated) as an admiring mass.
The paper concludes with a brief analysis of the Tom Cruise- Oprah Winfrey May 2005 interview as an example of the pragmatics of the celebrity para-confession.