ABC’s Freak of the Week

Read this whole post before you click on the link at the end. And then think twice about clicking on the link.


It’s disgusting, disturbing, and I’m including it only to make a point about something I think is even more disgusting and disturbing.

No, I don’t think this baby is a freak. I think he has a horrifying condition that would put a literal saint in a difficult ethical position, much less ordinary human parents.

But week after week, ABC News goes out with cameras and reporters and finds horribly burned 3-legged dogs, children with ugly tumors, ordinary people suffering fantastically disturbing medical conditions.

And shoves them into the spotlight.

This week it’s a 2-year-old covered in sores, blind, and in ceaseless pain from a destructive genetic condition, splashed on’s landing page, with a picture and a tear-jerker headline: “Imagine Being Afraid to Hold Your Baby.”

Of course they pretend to be sympathetic. But this is the Freak Show of the digital age. It destroys the dignity of the victims AND the viewers. But ABC — and, yes, plenty of others — do it week after week after week.

I have an inner fantasy where a reporter and cameraman, lights and microphone in hand, knock on the door of the hapless parents of one such child. The parents answer the door and stand there only long enough to understand what the reporters are asking them to do. They then storm out of the house and begin to pummel them with fists and feet, shouting “Leave us alone, you vulture sons of bitches! Our baby is not some public spectacle!”

I can dream, can’t I?

And really … you know how you’ve clicked on stuff on the web that you later wished you hadn’t, because it was stuck in your memory forever? This may be one of those things:

Epidermolysis Bullosa: Worst Disease You Never Heard Of

The Wrong Answer on Race
Catholic Church Flexing Muscle in U.S. Hospitals
One Billion Atheists: The Army of the Other Side
Assholes and the Umbrella of Safety