Thursday, July 20, 2006

Compassionate reporting

Elizabeth Smart, the young woman who was kidnapped from her home in Salt Lake City back in 2002 (and recovered in March of 2003) appeared recently on CNN's "Nancy Grace" show to discuss the new national sex offender bill that she is championing. Host Nancy Grace seemed interested in holding a very different interview.

Basically, what we have here is a complete and utter failure to communicate. Elizabeth, who had already dealt with numerous interviews over the past three years regarding her abduction, has moved on as best as she possibly can. She has decided to use the experience to fuel her desire to push the new national legislation. Nancy Grace, on the other hand, made the determination that she would garner more viewers, and milk sympathy out of those that were watching by once again trying to get answers to inane questions about the abduction. Even when Elizabeth made it clear that she was appearing for a different reason, Nancy nodded, pretended to understand, and pressed ahead with further questions about what the captivity was like.

Mind you, this is coming from the same network that, while Israel and Hezbollah were shooting missles at each other, kept wondering "Middle East: Brink of War?" CNN used to be an official news organization, but with reporters like Grace, and an unwillingness to call a war when they see one, the question has to become whether or not they're still viable in covering the news, or if they've fallen down the same slippery slope that has plagued the other 24-hour news networks since their inceptions.

Looking at the website for the program has me already picturing what the conversation with Yvette Cade (who was horribly burned by her husband) may contain. For example:

NG: So, exactly how did the odor of burning flesh affect your sense of smell.
YC: It was awful. But I really don't want to talk about that.
NG: I understand. I know that it's hard for victims to relive their experiences. So, how exactly did the fire race across your skin.

Let's hope that I'm horribly horribly wrong about that potential conversation. If I'm not, then someone please find a way to GET THIS WOMAN OFF THE TELEVISION. Replace her with something wholesome. Y'know, like have an hour of screeching weasels.

You can call it "FOX on CNN".

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