I dunno about you…

…but Elizabeth Smart’s parents just creep the ever-lovin’ shit out of me. I don’t make watching the Today show a habit, but I happened to be watching Friday morning for the teaser interview with Katie and Young, Dewy Elizabeth, and even though I’d just stepped out of the shower, I felt like I needed another.

If my daughter had been kidnapped, raped and held captive by a crazy homeless man I’d hired to wash my windows, and I was lucky enough to get her back, I’d spend the rest of my life scourging myself in hopes of somehow escaping the guilt over it. Schmoozing with Today show hosts would be the last thing on my mind.

The Smarts are different. The Smarts must love seeing themselves on television. The Smarts can’t stop putting their beautiful daughter on display in beautiful settings — in this case, their lavish (“rustic,” according to Katie) country home in the Utah mountains — and maybe it’s just me? But everything about it felt deeply, utterly wrong.

And who knew? USA Today agrees with me. Interestingly, once again this puzzling behavior is being attributed to “deeply religious” people. “Deeply religious” will go down in history as the antimatter destruction device against any question of your motives. You can’t possibly understand. You’re not deeply religious like me.

Well. I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.

Posted at 10:43 am in Uncategorized |

13 responses to “I dunno about you…”

  1. alex said on October 27, 2003 at 11:10 am

    Something about the whole Smart saga rang hollow from the git. The little sister pretending to be asleep for hours after the abduction struck me as odd, too. Religion aside, that wasn’t a happy family before and it isn’t now.

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  2. Randy said on October 27, 2003 at 11:59 am

    I totally agree with you Nancy. I watched the Dateline interview last night, and what struck me was the amount of poise and polish the Smarts have acquired over time – but it seems these days that so many “average folk” acquire media savvy, so quickly.

    I also realize the police made errors during their investigation, but the smugness displayed by Mr. Smart made my stomach turn. He wants credit for finding her, *and* he wants to crucify the SLC police dept. Not a very Christian attitude, IMHO…

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  3. Mindy said on October 27, 2003 at 11:59 am

    Parading around on the morning show circuit…..ewwwwwwwww. And here I got the creeps just by their photo on the cover of Peep-hole magazine at the checkout while I unloaded my grocery cart. How very, very weird. Let’s hope that their fifteen minutes is over soon.

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  4. Barbara said on October 27, 2003 at 12:52 pm

    I agree with you all. This whole thing rang false from the start. Even Elizabeth’s hanging around when it seemed she could have gotten away struck me as odd. Or the fact that she was within shouting distance in the canyon foothills the nights after her capture and heard searchers calling out for her. I can’t imagine she couldn’t have made a run for it. But, putting her aside, how weird are her parents for standing in the media glare, loving it and gloating. Bizarre.

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  5. MTK said on October 27, 2003 at 12:53 pm

    I’m always a little skeptical about media organizations deciding to use the label “deeply religious” in the same way they dole out “left-leaning” or “conservative”. Praying openly, having some religious symbols on a wall or a fish bumper sticker — or even people referring to themselves as “deeply religious” — doesn’t necessarily make it so. Not to mention that a truly deeply religious Orthodox Jew acts/views things differently from an equally deeply religious evangelical Baptist or a deeply religious Mormon. Color me dubious.

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  6. danno said on October 27, 2003 at 2:34 pm

    The “deeply religious” Smart family seems to be more “deeply disturbed” than anything else!! There is something missing from the whole episode.

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  7. Barry said on October 27, 2003 at 3:07 pm

    Okay, I know this comment isn’t germane to the topic, but…I don’t know where else to go. Am I the only one who thinks Ben Smith’s writing is not just bad, but embarassingly bad? I can never make it through one of his columns. I typically skim through his sports columns to glean a little info on I.U. basketball or whatever…but I often don’t have the stomach for even skimming. I skim through his restaurant reviews only to see how often he’s going to address his wife as “Jules”. I’d write the J-G’s editors, but clearly they have no taste, else they would have fired his wannabe-Midwestern-Faulkner ass a long time a go. Warden can be even worse. Penhollow’s headed that way, too. What’s up? Have they no taste?

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  8. Mindy said on October 27, 2003 at 4:07 pm

    Barry: I managed to get past the awful writing in the J-G’s restaurant notes for a while, but the “Jules” references made me give it up entirely. And the fact that only one restaurant I recall ever receiving two negative votes was Golden China, my favorite spot for Chinese. Places I don’t like often get rave reviews. Lousy opinions and terrible writing make for a column to skip, IMHO.

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  9. Colleen said on October 27, 2003 at 4:52 pm

    OK–I stopped reading the restaurant reviews after the oompity billionth time they talked about what their 4 year old had. I. Don’t. Care.

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  10. Nance said on October 27, 2003 at 4:57 pm

    People! We’re taking this to a new thread. Back to the main page.

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  11. michael golden said on October 27, 2003 at 8:27 pm

    Did you hear the one about . . .

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  12. Sparki said on October 28, 2003 at 9:59 am

    Hate to be a wet blanket, but I disagree with the sentiments that Mary Katherine’s feigning sleep after the abduction was suspicious. She was 9 years old and terrified. She heard Mitchell threaten to kill Elizabeth. She saw them in the hall looking in her brother’s room. She had no way of knowing whether or not he’d shot her parents in their sleep before coming to take her sister. Put yourself in that poor kid’s place — at the age of 9 after watching your sister kidnapped at gunpoint, would YOU be brave enough to venture in the hall, especially if you thought you might find your parents dead in a pool of blood?

    Maybe all of you were braver than me at nine, but I don’t think I could have done it at 12 even.

    As for Elizabeth not shouting out when she heard the rescuers, she had been threatened with not only her death, but that of her whole family’s. It’s not so hard to imagine a young adolescent believing an adult who has already shown you his weapons and kidnapped you, now is it? Her later lack of escape is probably easily explained by Stockholm Syndrome or any other psychological diagnosis.

    I don’t agree with the publicity her parents seem to be seeking, and I can’t explain it, but I DO believe the kids.


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  13. Lesley said on October 28, 2003 at 10:11 am

    It’s good that women – however young – can come forward and talk about rape, placing the blame on the perp, where it belongs. But is this how Elizabeth Smart is to live out her life? There doesn’t seem to be any shortage of money in the family, so why write a book, and publish it? It’s unseemly. Who cares? This was a private tragedy, and what is to be learned from it that would benefit others? Vulgar, publicity-seeking people encouraged by smarmy TV celebrities.

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