Monday, June 17, 2013
The three minor children of a man whose suicide was broadcast live on television are suing Fox News Channel, claiming that watching the footage of their father shooting himself in the head has left them emotionally traumatized.
In a lawsuit filed in Phoenix, Ariz., earlier this month, the three children of JoDon Romero, ages 9, 13, and 15, claim they have suffered emotional distress after watching a clip of the video posted to the internet.
The two older children claim that since watching the video, they have been unable to attend school and suffer flashbacks, "sleep disturbance and obtrusive thoughts," according to the lawsuit.
Romero, 32, is alleged to have carjacked a vehicle and led police on high speed chase in which he shot at squad cars and the television helicopter that pursued him. Fox broadcast the chase live, without a delay, on Sept 28, 2012 during "Studio B with Shepard Smith," including the dramatic final moments in which Romero exited his vehicle, drew a gun, and shot himself in the head.
According to the suit, rumors that an unnamed man could be seen killing himself began circulating in the schools of Romero's two older children, high school student JoDon Jr, and his middle school brother Frank.
"After school, the older boys went home and began looking for the suicide on the internet," according to the suit.
They found the video on YouTube and "as they watched, they realized in horror that they were watching their father."
Following the initial broadcast both anchor Shepard Smith and a Fox News executive issued apologies for broadcasting the footage.
"We really messed up and we're all very sorry," Smith told viewers. "That didn't belong on TV... I personally apologize to you that it happened... It's insensitive and it's wrong."
Fox News later issued a statement explaining that as a result of "human error," the footage was not aired on a typical five second delay.
"We took every precaution to avoid any such live incident by putting the helicopter pictures on a five second delay. Unfortunately, this mistake was the result of a severe human error and we apologize for what viewers ultimately saw on the screen," Senior Vice President Michael Clemente later said in a statement.
Lawyers for the boys said that they had been evaluated by a psychologist who found that they displayed symptoms comparable to post-traumatic stress disorder that "included flashbacks, repeated thoughts and feelings associated with viewing the video of their father shooting himself in the head, re-experiencing trauma, sleep disturbance, and intrusive thoughts," according to their lawsuit.
"This psychological trauma is substantial and long-term. It will, upon information and belief, require long-term psychiatric and/or psychological treatment," their lawyers Joel Robbins and Anne Findling argue.
The lawsuit does not specify the damages for which the children and their mother are suing.
Repeated calls and emails to Fox News for comment were not returned.
A recent report shows that in 40 percent of families with children, women are the primary earners, yet they continue to earn less than men–what does this say about society?
When the 21-year-old Miss Utah Marissa Powell was faced with this question last night during the Miss USA pageant, she responded that it somehow says something about education and the need to make it better because men are leaders. But she did not seem to be sure exactly what.
“I think we can relate this back to education and how we are continuing to try to strive to … figure out how to create jobs right now and that is the biggest problem. Especially the men are um, seen as the leaders of this and so we need to figure out how to create education better so that we can solve this problem,” Powell said.
Powell’s response, particularly the part about “create education better” immediately went viral on social media for its incoherence.
The multitude of responses on Twitter included The Atlantic Wire classifying her answer the “Worst You’ve Ever Seen;” Business Insider claiming that “Miss Utah Completely Falls Apart While Answering An Easy Question About Women Earning Less Than Men;” and The New York Post calling it a “painfully awful pageant answer.”
Read more about the study on female breadwinners that fueled Miss Utah’s question.
Her comments immediately drew comparisons to Caitlin Upton, Miss South Carolina Teen USA in 2007. When Upton was asked why a fifth of Americans cannot locate the United States on a world map, she gave a similarly rambling answer, including an explanation that “some people out there in our nation don’t have maps.”
According to her profile on the Miss USA website, Powell, a Salt Lake City native, is a singer, model and actress. She has appeared on ABC’s “What Would you Do?” and is the ambassador for “Healing Hands for Haiti,” which aims to bring rehabilitation medicine to the country. She has attended Westminster College and Brigham Young University. Her profile explains that she wants to be an advocate for adoption. Her parents adopted her little brother, who was subsequently diagnosed with several medical issues, including an inoperable brain tumor. Powell finished third in the contest. Erin Brady, Miss Connecticut, took home the crown.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
The next Miss USA could have a more permanent accessory than a crown.
Miss West Virginia Chelsea Welch carries a mark on her back from her time studying abroad in Tanzania. But it's not a scar from an injury or accident — she chose to put it on her body!
"The Massai, they put a lot of burns and scars on their body. They think it beautifies them," she explained to Yahoo! TV. "So at the end of my trip they asked if I wanted to receive one of their traditional circle brands, so I thought, 'Well why not, let's go for it.'"
The 22-year-old grad student recently posted a "Road to the Crown" video with an image of herself getting the distinctive mark. As for its meaning, Welch remained coy. "The circle, they think is just a beautiful shape, I don't think there really is a specific meaning to the shape," she said.
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Camilla Kuhns of Kirkland, Wash., makes the best cookies in the world. Ask anyone but her.
Kuhns is a 29-year-old anorexic with a penchant for baking. She has never tasted one of her own confections. Her younger brother, Seth, samples dough and final products to let her know if anything is off, and her mother, Ilene, tastes the frosting.
"Yeah, my mom's my angel when it comes to the frosting," Kuhns told ABC News Seattle affiliate KOMO-TV right before she entered an inpatient treatment program for her eating disorder two weeks ago. "I don't know what it is, but it makes me very anxious."
On her blog, Kuhns said she is 5'8" and weighs 104 pounds with her shoes and clothes on and while holding her purse. She baked challah breads, cakes and pastries for others to enjoy while her own daily intake amounted to a head of cauliflower with hot sauce and a tablespoon of nuts. To ensure she burned off every single calorie consumed, she exercised for three to four hours a day.
Her best friend, Amber "Nic" Poppe, said that Kuhns has suffered from various eating disorders since she was 11. Both her anorexia and the baking escalated recently after a tough year that included the death of a friend and a messy divorce.
"Baking became therapeutic for her. I know it sounds strange but it seems like her way of overcoming her issues with food," Poppe said.