PeeJ Opinions: Discussing topics relating to what we do

Burnett reality show idea a winner

The concept: A reality show funded by Mark Burnett productions, aired on CBS, specializing in the "Recovery" of abducted children. Sound far-fetched? It may, but the show is also in the works from the man who brought you Survivor and other reality TV fare. Using ex-military and police, Burnett has funded a project that could very well result in the recovery of kidnapped children. Using his considerable clout among TV executives, he has pitched this idea to CBS who have approved a limited run for the program. applauds strongly the idea and concept behind this television show. Our organization numbers 11,000+ strong, filled with concerned individuals addressing the problem of online grooming by exposing predators, working with law enforcement, and bringing attention to this epidemic-level issue. Perverted-Justice as an entity has seen the positive results from combining media and activism in our "Group Media Busts" which catch would-be child predators in the act, under the glare of television cameras. These ventures only raise awareness towards this terrible issue.

Mark Burnett however, takes it one step further. The merging of media and "Recovery" will alert millions upon millions to the dangers of child abduction. Parents who may be filled with terrible assumptions that such occurrences are rare, or worse yet, convinced that "they are safe" because of affluence or status. Burnett's show idea crashes these misconceptions by funding and airing the real-life recovery of actual abducted children. Not a dramatization, not by actors in a fictional plot that does not hit home, but the reality of the problem. Much like our organization shows you the reality of the kinds of chats that occur online, Burnett's show idea will "bring abduction home", making the existence of the American abduction epidemic a real reality for millions of parents.

However, is concerned that the "usual suspects" attempting to stifle pro-active movement against child abductors may shelf this much-needed television show. knows full well the savage distortions and attacks that can occur from others in the child-protection field, and is disgusted to see them used against Burnett's worthy project.

Quote: "The idea for Mark Burnett's new reality show of snatching children sickens me. These children he plans to recover have already been extremely emotionally damaged by being abducted. Now Burnett wants to exploit them by being on a TV show." - Lindsey Brooks, investigating manager for Child Quest International* (Please see note at the bottom of this article)

The problem with many child-advocacy groups is their refusal to applaud other organizations that they are not a part of. Lindsey Brooks of Child Quest International has an organization that also applauds, if their website claims are true and they have actually aided in the recovery of children. But the comments from the organization are irresponsible and myopic. To say that the show concept "sickens" her is to literally state, in our opinion, that the idea of children being returned to their homes sickens her. It is to state that the instant education of millions of parents sickens her. Perverted regards her statements are irresponsible, as knows that the safe return of even one child, is not something to be sickened over.

The idea that the children will be "exploited" by a group that potentially rescues them from molestation and death is a fabrication of the highest order. It is rescuing from exploitation, not exploitation itself. If you were to ask any parent of any rescued child which form of "Exploitation" they would prefer, you can guarantee that 10 out of 10 parents would rather see their child on Burnett's "
Recovery" then on the news, another barely-mentioned casualty of America's abduction epidemic. The worst part of Brooks criticism is the knowledge that individuals such as Lindsey would have no issue with the series if it were called "Child Quest" instead of Recovery, even with the same format.

Other criticisms levied at the show are also irresponsible. These criticisms range from "going outside of law enforcement" to "being more concerned with ratings than children." These criticisms are unfounded. As has found in our two years of operation, the police are underfunded, undermanned and overworked. Their job is one of the toughest imaginable, and most officers of the law appreciate support whenever possible. They know, as our organization knows, that each case solved by Burnett's group will be one less open missing children's case for them to work, allowing them to focus on another case, yet unsolved.

What critics do not realize, or perhaps do not appreciate, is that the medium of popular media potentially has more money and more clout than law enforcement does. Take for example the historical good that "America's Most Wanted" has accomplished. This is a show that profiles suspected criminals, faces, and names publicly on television for many years. Via tips from private citizens -- not law enforcement -- the program has assisted in the capture of hundreds, perhaps thousands of felons.

Yet you do not see the people suggesting that "Recovery" will "teach predators how to be more careful" throwing that allegation at "America's Most Wanted" when in truth, both programs are similar in nature. "Recovery" even has less of a chance to "teach predators how to be more careful", since the show format is not alerting them to possible tips about what location they were "last seen in" as "America's Most Wanted" does. Rather, the show concept is about rescuing them from the location that they are in.

We applaud "Recovery" and show producer Mark Burnett for this idea. We urge members of to contact CBS, asking them to continue with this idea. It is a worthy enterprise that may very well pay off in the recovery of abducted children. If you are against that, then we suggest taking a long hard look into a mirror.

You can give feedback to CBS in support of "Recovery" at the following link:
Contact CBS in support

*Note: Lindsey Brooks from Child Quest International has contacted us about this quote, or put better, misquote. Apparently in order to sell more papers, the reporter (only reporter she spoke with) whom Brooks spoke with took her statements, chopped them up and put them out-of-context along with a spate of misquoting. As the victim of misquotes ourselves from print media, we simply want to acknowledge that Brooks actually gave a quote that is far more agreeable in nature, stating that it's hard to have an opinion without viewing a copy of the show or knowing anything more than sparse details about the bare premise but that she hoped the show would not exploit or use abductions for "entertainment value", something we can all agree on. We'd like to apologize to Brooks for circulating a misquote, though we have no idea that she was misquoted to begin with. And again, we restate that we have no issue with Child Quest International, and that if their website claims are true, they should be applauded by all. Thanks!

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