Jaycee Dugard and her family have released recent home movies to 20/20, saying they hope showing Jaycee is doing well will make the media back off. Considering how GMA covered the story, this seems highly unlikely.
In the video, which was previewed this morning on Good Morning America and will be shown in full tonight on 20/20, Jaycee, her mother Terry Probyn, and half-sister Shayne, are shown baking Christmas cookies together and riding horses. Probyn also makes a statement, explaining that the family has accepted money from an anonymous donor but is not affiliated with any church. She says they decided to release a video because:
We want to thank you for the love and support that you've given us these past few months. It is my desire to share our miracle with the world, but it has to be done on our terms. What our family needs is privacy during the healing process.
Please give us the time we need to heal as a family without the prying eyes of photographers and the press. We released this video so you can see we are happy and well and when we have more to share we will. As a mother I am pleading for our privacy in this very public story.
It's true that getting ahead of the story by releasing a video will probably diffuse some of the media's lust for the first footage of Jaycee, but her family must know there's really no chance that the press will ever leave them alone. It's bizarre to watch GMA anchors empathize with Dugard and her family over their desire for "the media" to back off when ABC News is one of the hundreds of outlets that will continue to hound her. Of course, the story is salacious and upsetting, and the public is interested in what happens to Jaycee, but GMA's attempt to dramatize cookie making is laughable. Correspondent Chris Cuomo says in a voice over:
Now witness the power of love and family — Video of the Christmas a mother has waited so long to enjoy. Here's Jaycee with mother Probyn and half-sister Shayne, together at last baking cookies with secret ingredients of tenderness and hope. Sharing laughs and dreams in the ritual healing of the kitchen.
GMA's secret ingredient: Melodrama. All morning the anchors tease that we'll finally hear Jaycee's "first words" later in the broadcast, then all she says is, "Hi, I'm Jaycee." To hear her continue, "I want to thank you for your support and I'm doing well... It's been a long haul, but I'm getting there," you'll have to tune in to 20/20 tonight, 10pm, 9 central!
As Shakesville's Melissa McEwan put it earlier this morning, "why the fuck is this entertainment?"
Related: Why The Fuck Is This Entertainment? [Shakesville]