Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Miracle In Missouri (Monday's First Hour)

Hello! I hope everyone is with power and not freezing to death. I hate winter in the midwest. We're dealing with massive ice and frigid temperatures and my sister going to school in Florida is sending me pictures...from the beach. Totally not fair. Anyway, the show tonight was pretty bizarre to watch. It's just weird to see something from my area blow up so big on the national stage. Besides the weather, finding the boys is pretty much all anyone is talking about here. I even caught a spot tonight from my local news where they said it might be the biggest story in our area's history. It's hard for me to be objective about the coverage since I'm closer to the story than people in other parts of the country, but I still think 360 went way too far. Sometimes I felt a little sick as I listened to Anderson and experts speculate about people that a week ago they didn't even know existed. It makes you wonder where they were back in 2002 when Shawn disappeared. But then again, I would hate it if 360 started profiling every kid that went missing. One plus in all this coverage is that everyone is pronouncing "Missouri" correctly. I don't know what the deal was during the November election, but they seem to have been cured.

We begin with a background piece from Jonathan Freed on what happened. I'm sure you all know by now that last Monday 13 year old Ben Ownby went missing and thanks to a witness and some quick thinking cops he was found on Friday...along with Shawn Hornbeck who had been missing four years. Michael Devlin is the man accused with kidnapping the boys and right now there are more questions than answers because it appears Shawn had plenty of chances to escape. In fact, he obvious had internet access because he made profiles on several networking sites and there is even a "Shawn Devlin" than posted on the website dedicated to finding him. This has since been taken down but you can view the cache here and scroll down to December 1, 2005. His other internet activity is well researched at The True Crime Blog.

Next up we have a piece from David Mattingly on Michael Devlin. During this piece I notice a "Taken" graphic in the corner. Nice. Not at all in poor taste. Anyway, Devlin worked at Imo's Pizza (Mmm Imo's) for 20 years and almost never missed a day of work until Monday when he took Ben. Some of Devlin's neighbors say he yelled all the time. We then move on to a Sean Callebs piece that speculates as to why Shawn didn't just leave. It is believed it might have something to do with how he adapted to the situation to keep himself alive. Then we're onto a Ted Rowlands piece that is introed with a huge graphic that asks, "Brainwashed?" God that's tacky. Why is 360 always out of control with their visuals? At least it's spelled right. Anyway, this piece recounts a similar incident that occurred years ago to two other boys. Timmy White had been missing for a few weeks and Steven Stayner for seven years when Steven, who had been brainwashed, took it upon himself to save the younger boy because he didn't want him to experience what he went through. Steven ended up having a hard readjustment and then later died in a motorcycle accident. What's interesting about this piece is that they leave out the part about how Steven's brother was so messed up from everything he ended up killing several people. Kind of an important detail there people.

On the commercial bumps they're showing other kids from the area that are still missing. This is awesome, but I'm wondering why they decided to just do the St. Louis area. Obviously they only have time for so many, but still. It's sad looking at all these faces. I know these faces. Heather Kullorn gets me the most because she disappeared only a few blocks from my grandma's house. My grandma had kind of a wooded area behind her backyard and I remember going out there after I heard about Heather, just to make sure there was nothing to find. It was not a fun walk. Unfortunately Heather had diabetes, so her chances of being alive are very slim.

Transitioning now to an interview with clinical psychologist Patricia Farrell, who does not think this was a case of Stockholm Syndrome. Instead, she thinks he was brainwashed, which usually occurs when the child is repeatly told the parents don't want him or something like that. The process can take only a week or two. Patricia speculates that Devlin might have been aging out Shawn. This was just weird to watch because all it was was speculation. Next we move to a Tom Foreman piece on how they do those age progression photos. It's interesting, but I don't know if would have recognized Shawn from that. After this we have officers Gary Wagster and Chris Nelson joining us live to talk about how they basically broke the case. They explain how they noticed the White Nissan while serving an unrelated warrant and then found out Devlin was the owner. When talking to them Devlin was intially friendly, but then turned into a different person, activating their spidey senses. Anderson is in awe of the officers and heck, my hat's off to them too.

On now to some legal talk with Jeffrey Toobin who thinks this is pretty much an open and shut case. However, it's pointed out that the defense has a little leverage in that no one wants to see these boys testify. They're going to be exploiting that and using it to negotiate. After this we have some clips from old pieces with Ben Stuber, who is some kind of safety expert. We learn that children should run the opposite way to get away from a car that is chasing them, disconnect the brake or tail lights if locked in a trunk, and keep hold of their bike if someone tries to snatch them off it and into a car. Not shown is the clip where he urges us all to grab hold of a trashcan if someone tries to push us in a van. Because there's always a big trash can just lying around. Okay I mock, but seriously if I ever get grabbed and I see a trash can? I'm totally grabbing it. The Shot tonight is a poor itty bitty donkey dangling in midair because the cart it was pulling was too heavy. I actually saw this on Olbermann last week. Uh oh, you're slipping with your Shot, 360! The show tonight was meh. If this story didn't happen in my backyard I'd probably be furious at all the coverage. There must be a ton of stuff that went on in the world that they didn't even touch. C-

Your take on the coverage?

18 Comments:

Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

Let's see. One of the things I dislike about the media....

REPORTER: "Ma'am! You just saw your son get shot right in front of you and he died in your arms! How do you feel [please cry for the camera]?"

For some reason, all that gets reported is death, destruction, and misery. I like to see good stuff every once in a while. Occasionally they show it- but for only a moment!

The speculation about the one kid that was gone for four years? Well, that's a given. I just don't like that their speculation makes people think of things they wouldn't have thought of otherwise. After all was said and done, and many things (like the internet) were revealed, it made me wonder- did that kid actually leave on his own?

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anderson will report at a venue near you tonight. He's in MO. Maybe he'll/we'll get a clearer picture with him onsite, but I doubt it.
Personally, I think he ought to move on from this stagnant case and cover other breaking stories.

2:44 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@anonymous-How do you know Anderson is in MO tonight?

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is live from MO tonight. This case has so many surprises, I'm glad they're showing so much of it. Fox News is STILL on the Trump/O'Donnell thing, I thought they were in first place in the cable news race. I watch their re-runs after AC360 at night and they're SO biased. I can't stand that O'Reilly, Greta isn't bad but she's all over these tabloid pieces, a lot more than AC.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eliza,
It drives me up the wall to see this much coverage of this kidnapping! I guess we have world peace and nothing else is going on around the world. Now I remember why I stopped watching CNN a few years ago! Was the second hour the same crap? I gave up 45 minutes into the first hour. I couldn't take it anymore.
Gissou

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Jan said...

I guess this is a feel good story for Anderson, because I can't believe that he is reporting from MO tonight. I watched American Morning, this morning and when I saw Solidad there, I said to myself, "I bet Anderson will be there tonight" and sure enough I guess he is.

He does have a tendancy to run these kind of stories in the ground.

I was suprised that their wasn't more on AC last night about the botched hanging in Iraq or what about the 100 hours of Congress. That surely isn't done yet.

I did have one good chuckle in the last hour when Randi Kaye, brought up the dethroning of Miss New Jersey and Anderson said he wasn't going to touch that one. He probably thought Rosie would be out to get him again.

Eliza you do such a great job in reviewing the shows.

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

@jan- what was that about Rosie out to get Anderson? Did she say something about him and I missed it??

I, too, am totally surprised that no one has brought up how the guy's head just "popped off" (according to one reporter). I suppose it'll be on later.....

Hey Eliza!! If you can figure out where he's at, you'd better go be one of those nerds hanging around trying to get a good look at him...

7:17 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Sharla-My inner fangirl is totally ready to go, but I'm afraid my practical side is going to have to put the kibosh on that. It's too cold! I don't even want to go out and get my mail, much less stand out in the cold for an hour.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous ivy said...

sharla --if you still didn't see it on youtube Rosie bashed Anderson for covering her vs trump instead of serious news,which could be a good point if she didn't say there are no real news on his show at all.

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Jan said...

sharla dawn their is clip on you tube. I figure Anderson has heard about it also just from his comments he made last night after the 360 news brief about Miss New Jersey

9:51 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

So anonymous, Anderson was in New York. What's up with that?

12:03 AM  
Anonymous ivy said...

@eliza - when it comes to anons sharing Anderson's location with us, as well as some other things --I'll believe it when I'l see it -lol

12:17 AM  
Anonymous ivy said...

why didn't 360 cover the beheading instead of hanging execution yet again? After alsmost 2 hours of same topic yesterday I thought today they would go into iraq situation in more detail, especially with all today's events, but they spent hardly 10 minutes talking about it. What's up with that?

12:23 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Ivy-yeah, I was pretty skeptical of the anon comment. It looks like they're not going to cover the beheading. There's a lot of things going on that they're not covering. I'm interested in the Hornbeck/Ownby story because it was from my area, but even I think all this coverage is ridiculous.

12:51 AM  
Anonymous ivy said...

@eliza --I don't mind MO boys coverage and it's good they focus on other missing kids cases --it's important, but there are other important issues in the world right now. They are a news show afterall. They already talked about everything yesterday. It's ok to focus on the missing boys case but please do it in balance with other things. 2 hours should be enough to cover more then one topic in detail. The fact that they're not talking about the last execution seems strange, especially that Burns from NY Times reports for 360 all the time lately and he was among journalists who saw the video of that, he talked with Wolf today. Commentator shows on msnbc had talked more about that and iran strategy (possible war basicly)then cnn's main prime time news show with reporters and resourses around the world. I just don't get it

1:16 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Ivy-360 does this sometimes. They get completely caught up in some sensational story and over saturate it to the point that their regular viewers are turning the channel. They were on a roll for a while there with pretty good shows, but here we are again. I hate that I can't depend on this show the same way I can depend on Countdown to give me the majority of the news I need. (Not that I don't read news too).

2:37 AM  
Anonymous ivy said...

@eliza --
sure, we all read news online but I tune in to SEE more detailed news, in-depth reports, opinions, some perspective and so on. Countdown or Scarborough anchors are commentators so I don't consider them news shows in a classic sense. I shouldn't get more of the main news coverage there then on 360. I agree with you, I've seen this pattern with the show and I can excuse it for 1 day coverage and that's it. It's not a slow news cycle to get cought up.

4:11 AM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

WOW- I'd say the best part of the clip on YouTube (Rosie saying Anderson sucks) was all the comments underneath it!!

6:44 AM  

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