Friday, January 19, 2007

Yet More Hornbeck, Arlin Henderson, Stopping Oil Subsidies, and Steve Irwin's Last Special (Thursday's First Hour)

Hi everyone. We begin tonight yet again with the Shawn Hornbeck story. You know what's funny? When I watched this story break on my local news early Friday evening I wondered if it might get a mention on 360 come Monday. Oh what a naive little blogger I was. Anyway, Anderson tries to lead off with Shawn and his family on Oprah, but there are technical difficulties, so they go with a taped interview with Dr. Sharon Cooper of the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children and Dr. Marylene Cloitre of New York University Child Study Center. Neither story should be the lead. The women are here to discuss Shawn's readjustment, but exactly how many speculating experts do we need to here from? It just feels really exploitive to me. Although the family did go on Oprah, so maybe they're okay with all this. I'm just really happy that Shawn has said he does not watch the news. If I heard people I didn't know talking about me or a member of my family like this on national television it would make me sick. Anyway, they had interesting things to say, but I'm not taking part in their speculation. They're experts, but when it comes down to it they don't know what he's going through and how well he's going to come through it.

Next up we have the Anderson piece on Shawn and his parents Oprah appearance. Anderson covering something involving Oprah. Shocking. Shawn has gotten a haircut, but what I notice the most is he makes basically no eye contact with Oprah. We learn that it was him who posted under the name Shawn Devlin on his parent's website. Damn. I was hoping it wasn't because that's really heartbreaking. Shawn's parents say he has not gone into any detail about what he went through, but they believe he was sexually abused. I have to wonder why they answered that question. Obviously everyone in the country was wondering, including me, but you know what? It's none of our business. It's just seems like having that out there is going to make it harder for him. In fact, I'm kind of bothered by the fact that they're on Oprah at all and I'm a little worried the media is taking advantage. Obviously Shawn has been through 4 years of trauma, but him being found had to be a major trauma for the whole family-though a good kind. All I know is that after a major life stressor you're not suppose to make any big decisions because you're not in the best frame of mind to do so. The media needs to give them some breathing room.

On now to a Jonathan Freed piece on Scott Kleeschulte, a nine year old boy who disappeared 19 years ago in St. Charles. Now Michael Devlin is going to be interviewed about this case. We then segway into an interview with Arlin Henderson's mother and uncle. Like Shawn, Arlin also disappeared while riding his bike. We learn from his mother that in 2001 someone actually falsely confessed to killing Arlin and the poor woman had to sit in court and listen to all the things he allegedly did to Arlin. Why are people so cruel? I hope someday soon she finds out what happened to him. On a related note, we have a Randi Kaye piece about how people are not always what they seem. It's pointed out that serial killers can look and act quite normal and could be anyone. Why, they could even be living next door! Be afraid people! Be very afraid! Mary Kay Letourneau and Ted Haggard are also brought up. Okay, what was the point of all that?

Transitioning now to a "Keeping Them Honest" piece from Joe Johns. The special 100 hours agenda is over with and if that didn't feel like 100 hours to you it's because it wasn't. They actually finished early. A fairly productive Congress? My head is spinning. Today they tackled Big Oil. The kibosh was put on those cushy oil subsidies and they also voted to try to undo a massive blunder that occurred during the Clinton years. You see, major oil companies have leases with the government to do deep sea drilling, but they forgot to include royalties in the contract. If the production grew or the price of oil shot up the companies should have been paying royalites, but it wasn't in the contract and the government lost $10 billion or more. Republicans are of course taking Big Oil's side, saying it wasn't their fault the government made a mistake. If you want to learn more about this, last June NOW on PBS did a good story on it and you can watch that here.

Next up we have an Anderson piece on the Discovery Channel Documentary that Steve Irwin was working on when he died. They shot it off the coast of eastern Australia. This then brings us to an interview with Philippe Cousteau who was working with Steve when he died. They talk about the special and then about Steve's death. Philippe tells us that they worked on him doing CPR and such for an hour and a half. Wow. That's a long time to do CPR. In this interview we learn that Anderson has dived and the last time he snorkled he saw a shark and got out of the water. Ha! I don't know why I'm laughing though since I can't even snorkel. I can't breath like that people. I am obviously a land only person. Normally I wouldn't mind this Steve Irwin stuff (it is a two hour show), but when it's coupled with all the Missouri story coverage, I get annoyed at all the hard news I'm missing. The Shot tonight is a deer stuck on ice. Aw. But get this, a helicoptor overhead actually uses wind from its rotor to push the deer to safety. That was creative. They should get some sort of deer saving trophy. Speaking of winners, we finally have the winner of the 360 Sweepstakes. Congrats to Leigh Penny! Though I had actually forgotten about the contest I am now a wee bit jealous. Although really if I'm going to win something I'm holding out for the powerball. So Leigh, if you happen to read this, drop by after (or even before) your trip and tell us all about it. I'm serious. You can use the comments or send me an email and I'll make a special post just for you. Well, that'll do it. Tonight was pretty bad. I think I counted only four hard news pieces. D+

Do you think the media is exploiting Shawn Hornbeck and his family? Now that the 100 Hour agenda is over, what should they tackle next?

8 Comments:

Anonymous Bev said...

I do think Shawn is being exploited but I think its because of his parents making the poor choice of going on the top tv shows. Maybe they're just trying to avoid having the press constanly after them and they figure that if they tell as much as they can now they'll give them a bit of piece. It's possible Shawn himself wanted to go on these shows but he's not in a position to make these decisions, his parents should be making them. He's scheduled to be on American Morning today and Larry King live tonight and you can be sure Greta will have them on. When Oprah told him to stand up in the audience he looked like a deer caught in the headlights. I hoe all this isn't detrimental to his recovery.

3:50 AM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

I have always felt that the kids shouldn't be shown on TV. Like you said, now everyone knows all the sick stuff and they can stare at him too. Poor kid.

Snorkeling... you know, I've snorkeled in Hawaii, and in California. It was in California at 19 that I almost drowned. Now, even 12 years later, I can't even put something on my face and put it in the water. I panic like it's cool. I really need to get over that because scuba diving looks fun.

6:37 AM  
Blogger courtney01 said...

The media is exploiting Shawn and his family and it's really disturbing. I admire Shawn for his courage but frankly I don't want to see him or his family on TV anymore. It's not because I'm bored with the story; it's because I'm tired of the media beating this story to death. And don't get me started on Bill O'Reilly and his dumb ass.

Ultimately the media will get tired of this story and move on. Will Shawn get the help he needs to readjust and deal with the things he's been through? I believe his family will do everything they can to get him help but I hope the media will allow this. The constant speculation about what happened to him is disrespectful and harmful to Shawn and his family, I think.

I hope and pray Shawn will find some measure of peace.

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eliza,
I'm THIS close to quitting AC 360. I switched to the Daily Show last night and I thought of you. They featured a new taser ( it comes in 3 fashionable colours ). No surprise, they showed Rick Sanchez's infamous taser "reporting".
Gissou

6:54 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Shawn's been gone more than four years, and his parents are spending more time doing interviews than they are spending time with him it seems. Guess I'd have to be in their position to understand, but everytime I try I keep thinking, 'Nope, I'd rather be with my kid'.
Am I just not getting this? Or is this to get all the media out of the way, so that they can go back to the lives somehow? I'm just not wrapping my head around it...

9:59 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@Bev-I guess we'll never know why the Aker's are going on all these shows. I think they're being taken advantage of, but who knows?

Sharla-Were you actually snorkeling when you almost drowned? Glad you're okay.

Courtney-I was going to email you about all this. Isn't it weird seeing our area get pushed onto the national stage? Usually I'm wondering if NY even remembers that we're here.

@Gissou-Hold on, Gissou. They'll get better...and then they'll get crappy again. It goes in cycles. I almost quit last year about this time because it was so bad. This has only been a few days. That was for weeks and I attribute it to Anderson working on his book. Anyway, the sad fact of the matter is if you're looking for a show that is consistent in quality than 360 probably isn't for you.

@stacey-I don't get it either, but we're not in their shoes.

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

Yes, I was actually snorkeling. A wave went over my snorkel and I sucked in ocean instead of air. Down I went!

7:39 AM  
Blogger Leigh said...

hey thanks for the congrats! I am an avid reader and sometimes commenter on All Things Anderson, and they are all prepared for me to report on the trip! I can't wait!

12:38 AM  

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