Monday, February 05, 2007

Janet Jackson and Oprah

There are two things that have caused me to get queasy watching television (this coming from the guy that watched Faces of Death in high school and thought, mmm... monkey brains sho' do look tasty!). Anyway, one was Janet Jackson's nipslip during the Superbowl half time show. (What's wrong with me? am I getting old? That used to be my fantasy! The Patrick Demarchelier cover of Rolling Stone magazine was like free porn.) The other was Oprah bringing Shawn Hornbeck on her show after having been home for one week after being rescued from his kidnapper Michael Devlin. Not only did Oprah disgust me, but the entire world of TV media disgusted me. For the next few weeks, every time you turned on the TV, someone was pontificating the true nature of the relationship Shawn and Devlin, or why didn't Shawn try to escape, or what really happened behind closed doors, etc. I'm not saying that Oprah was the first or only person to exhibit poor judgement... the parents certainly were a factor, as were the media moguls. Hopefully all of the money Shawn's parents made from their various television appearances will cover half of the therapy Shawn will need, not only for the trauma suffered at the hands of Michael Devlin, but for the trauma suffered from the abuse of the televisionistas. What if it turns out that Shawn was abused beyond anything anyone can tolerate imagining, something to make us once hardcore Faces of Death fans turn green? What if it turns out that Shawn loved Devlin? Holy crap! Either of those scenarios would be far too much for the public to handle. Why, there would be a media frenzy! Shawn seems to be pretty well put together despite the improper actions on the part of Devlin, his parents, the media, and yes, even Oprah. I posted my comments of disapproval on Oprah's website, and I certainly wasn't the only one.

I still fantasize about Janet, and I still TiVo Oprah.!view=C

Two wrongs make it worse
Posted on: 01/19/2007 at 5:28pm

First of all, I want to tell Shawn that I am very glad he is home. I hope you’re doing well, and I wish that you are given the amount of time that you require for your own healing. I find it very likely that you may not only read these posts, but that you may even contribute yourself, perhaps under an alias, perhaps as yourself. I’m sure you know the Internet is full of self-righteous surfers with a million opinions (admittedly, I am one of them). I hope you are able to bypass all of those opinions that are discouraging to you and give yourself time to heal. Stay strong!

The second part of this post is to Oprah. I believe in you Oprah. When you told everyone about getting flipped off by the guy who had a car just like yours, I nearly cried I was laughing so hard. When you give away stuff on the show, I get as excited as if I were there. But... when I saw Shawn on tv, I felt a sinking feeling like I was watching the most disgusting, nauseating event in history. I believe in you Oprah! I really do. I believe in the things you do and what you stand for. I wanted to believe that this was going to turn out ok. That you would use this tragedy as a vehicle for awareness, referring back to the media reports as support for your cause, sending well wishes and invitations to appear on Oprah when Shawn had healed and felt comfortable in his own skin again. I believe you suffered a serious error in judgment by not only interviewing him and airing it, but also in having Shawn in your studio audience. Please forgive me for "going there" but how would you have felt if your parents brought you on The Tonight Show or some other national television talk show after you were molested. Maybe you would have had the forethought to get the message out, the strength to fight for those that couldn’t fight. And you did... you brought the fight to the public and people are far more aware now than ever before... but that was on your own terms, after you had a chance to cope, reason things out, ask why, why me, and what next. It took you 32 years to talk about your rape on tv, and it was on a Chicago television program named The Oprah Winfrey Show prior to becoming nationally broadcast. I do not recall a 43 year old Shawn, host of the Shawn Hornbeck Show, discussing with the audience of HIS national television show, the details, or even simply the admission of the trauma that he endured. It was one week! Shame on you, Oprah.

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