Will the Irwin death tape ever be seen?

ABC aired a Barbara Walters interview with Terri Irwin last night on 20/20. She’s the widow of Steve Irwin, who was killed this month by a huge stingray while filming a segment for a program called Ocean’s Deadliest. Walters sure knows how to get to the heart of the matter. She asked Irwin if the video that captured her husband’s death will ever be shown on TV. And how much do you want to bet that Walters and her producers were also wondering whether they’d have access to it for the 20/20 special? Let’s face it: death by stingray = ratings gold. Terri Irwin says the footage will never see the light of day. But unless it has already been destroyed, I have my doubts. In today’s digital age, not much money has to change hands for someone to look the other way, and presto, it’s all over the Web. “What purpose would that serve?” Irwin asks Walters. Well, the film does serve as a harsh lesson on how not to pursue stingrays, no matter how innocuous the intent. Ideally, that lesson could be taught in classroom, while the Irwin family’s privacy is respected. But don’t hold your breath.

—Posted by Steve McClellan