Diane Couldn’t Stop Abuse

By Brian 

A report about dysfunctional stepfamilies on Friday’s Primetime “has set off a firestorm,” today’s New York Post says. It showed “the shocking beating of a teenage girl by her father.”

The story is headlined “Diane Didn’t Stop Abuse” — an egregious headline if I’ve never seen one. An unnamed “Post staff writer” says “outraged viewers have filled up the ABC News Web site’s message board with more that 1,400 messages in the first 36 hours after the broadcast – many calling for Sawyer and the program’s producers to be fired for not going to the authorities immediately.”

But the beating was captured on a videotape recorder installed in the home with the permission of the family. By the time ABC News had reviewed the tapes, the father “had been sent to the National Guard training camp and then onto Iraq,” while the daughter “had moved in with her grandparents.”

The headline is obviously unfair. How about “Diane Couldn’t Stop Abuse?”