While I can certainly see where it would appear that the CBS Special was made possibly to embarrass Elvis, I really don't believe that was the original intent of the special. I think it was simply a matter of several factors all coming together to create that illusion...Elvis' poor health, the choice of songs used in the special versus what could have been used, poor editing, etc.
I do agree that the special does somewhat resemble one of the "quickie" Elvis movies made in the mid-to-late 60's ("quickie" being the term used to describe director Sam Katzman ("Kissin' Cousins"), who was dubbed "The King of the quickies" for his ability to make movies quickly and cheaply). The special seems to have been thrown together, as mentioned in previous posts, with poor camera angles, questionable performance choices, etc. My guess is that those people that have suggested this was just a quick-buck scheme by The Colonel and CBS are probably right. The Colonel was in full-self profiting mode by this point in Elvis' career and obviously knew signing Elvis to do the CBS special was a no-brainer. Elvis was already on tour, so there was no extra costs that The Colonel had to put up for CBS to do the show...so the whole contract fee was pure profit!! How much easier could it have been to make money by arranging this special??
As for the fan comments segments, I honestly don't know why those were included. Personally, I don't have a problem with them other than they distract from the continuity of the show. Perhaps they seemed like a good idea at the time to help distract from the ELVIS: WHAT HAPPENED book as has been previously suggested...