I just didn't realize how much worse.
I present to you Patent Application 20020091564, by Uri Geller:
Method and system for enabling viewer polling and election of prospective parents in broadcast child adoption proceedings
A child adoption proceeding is conducted in the form of a television game show and online media event, wherein couples compete against each other to win legal custody of the child. Adoptive parents are selected using a vote-by-phone and/or Internet voting scheme, together with 24-hour surveillance of the prospective parents, which enables television viewers and Internet users to inspect prospective parent-contestants in detail before voting for the winning parents. The present invention overcomes inequities of state-run or private adoption agencies, permitting a fairer selection process while providing greater time and access to observe a pool of prospective parents.
Thanks to Marsha Nagorsky for alerting me to this item, which she learned of via Gregory Aharonian's Internet Patent News Service.