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Inside Edition goes after Cheaters -- which probably loves the pub

Bobby Goldstein of Cheaters and Inside Edition's Deborah Norville

File this one under "The image on the Lincoln penny is that of -- Lincoln."

A ratings sweeps month "exclusive investigation" by Inside Edition raises questions about some of the "reality" depicted on the long-running, reliably seedy, Dallas-produced series Cheaters. Wow. Shocking.

The syndicated tabloid show (4:30 p.m. locally on CBS11) will report on Tuesday's edition that Cheaters "has hired people to pretend they have been caught in the act of cheating on their spouses or lovers."

Particularly at issue is an episode -- ranked #2 on the E! Entertainment network's 101 Craziest TV Moments -- in which Cheaters host Joey Greco allegedly was stabbed "during a wild confrontation on a boat in Texas."

Cassandra Terrazas tells Inside Edition that she was paid $350 to appear in the segment.

"There was nothing real about it," she says in quotes included in an Inside Edition publicity release. "We were all in on it. He was not stabbed. He was not harmed at all."

Bobby Goldstein, creator and executive producer of Cheaters tells Inside Edition, "I think you are on a wild goose chase." But he then adds a disclaimer: "Let me say this. If it was all poppycock, it sure did great in the ratings." He supposedly intends to "investigate" the matter.

The official Cheaters website says that the show's episodes are based on "actual true stories, filmed live, documenting the pain of a spouse or lover caused by infidelity. This program is both dedicated to the faithful and presented to the false-hearted to encourage their renewal of temperance and virtue."

Yeah, and The Jerry Springer Show and its recurring "fights" are dedicated to cathartic fence-mending between aggrieved parties with the collective IQ of a rutabaga. Simply put, anyone who buys into the "reality" of your basic reality TV series also would be a good bet to believe that babies arrive via stork.

Cheaters airs at a variety of times locally on KDAF-TV (Channel 33). It's also presented in 17 other Texas TV markets. As previously posted on unclebarky.com, former CBS11 investigative reporter Robert Riggs joined Bobby Goldstein Productions in February as executive producer of New Programming and Development. Riggs said he hoped to bring a "git 'er done" discipline to BGP, which "needs to become more than just Cheaters."

One of their planned joint initiatives, iaccuse.com, is still "under construction." Here's a video of the "stabbing" incident, which so far has been viewed almost 75,000 times on youtube.