There's this sensational story in the news about finding Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby who had both been abducted some sick predator. Apparently the former boy, who was held for four years, had some "freedom" to go outside, use the computer and telephone, etc. Some are wondering why he didn't just contact the authorities or his parents.
Oprah Winfrey interviewed the parents of both boys and Shawn Hornbeck today. Off camera, Oprah claimed, Shawn Hornbeck said he didn’t contact his parents, "because he was terrified."
Bill O'Reilly, a couple of days ago, not only wondered why Shawn Hornbeck didn't walk away or contact someone, he speculated that the boy may have liked some elements of living with his kidnapper, because he didn't have to go to school, could play all day, etc.
Others have been outraged and even another Fox news host, Greta Van Susteren, challenged his comments.
He implies that by pointing out that this child did not try to escape and should have, he can make parents aware of the danger of abduction and scare them into teaching their children survival skills.
Survival skills? Like when someone kidnaps you and "terrorize[s] [you] with a handgun", do what he says so he doesn't kill you or someone else. When you're 11 YEARS OLD, this may be the only survival skill you can come up, even if you were lucky enough to be prepared by Bill O'Reilly — an honor trauma that Shawn Hornbeck didn't have the good fortune to receive.
Read here where O'Reilly does not apologize: Anger Over the Kidnapping of Two Missouri Boys. That's what he headlined the "memo." It ought to be called "Anger over the kidnapping of common decency." Among other things he says:
After teaching teenagers in high school, it is hard for me to believe that a normal kid would stay in a horrible environment when escape was easy, especially if the child had confidence in his parents. No question this monster Devlin made threats and intimidated Shawn. But teenagers have brains and Shawn had the freedom to get away if he wanted to.
It boggles my mind that Mr. O'Reilly expects an 11-year-old being threatened by a large man with a gun to behave no differently than his students. Given his comments, perhaps he forced kids to take his class at gunpoint.
Given Mr. O'Reilly's harshly-worded opinions (over the years) about those who victimize, blaming the victim is particularly unbecoming.
I'm at a loss for words for Mr. O'Reilly. His comments go beyond ignorance and insensitivity. They are repugnant in the extreme. I question the man's humanity.