Readers — This video of what Matt Lauer dubs “an alarming social experiment” is so outlandishly UNalarming, even the hosts at the end seem to be distancing themselves.
So here is the premise:
Would you notice a lost kid wandering around on his or her own? Would you get involved and help?
Staging a social experiment as many children return to school, the Rossen Reports team wired a boy named Bjorn Golden with hidden cameras to see if anyone would notice that he was apparently on his own and see if he needed help.
In fact, no one at the park questioned Bjorn. When the Rossen team showed the hidden camera footage to child safety advocate John Walsh, he said, “As the father of a murdered child, it’s very disturbing to me. It only takes a minute for the predator to identify a vulnerable child, swoop in, and you may never see your child again.”
Ah, there’s that phrase that is ruining childhood around the globe: “It only takes a minute…” Those words have convinced parents everywhere that if they take their eyes off their kid for even a single minute, their kid could well be kidnapped. Except that:
1 – There’s zero evidence in this video that “uninvolved” strangers would REMAIN uninvolved if they saw a kid actually in danger.
2 – There is no reason any of the strangers should think that this young man was lost. (The fact that he wasn’t lost probably only added to the normalcy of his demeanor.)
3- John Walsh’s idea that a kid walking around TRYING to look confident is just evidence that the kid may be feeling terrified means that anytime we see any young person looking happy-go-lucky we should automatically assume that he or she is possibly in grave distress.
4 – The “little boy”is 11! Not 3! He SHOULD be outside, on his own, on a beautiful day. Trying to make this seem dangerous, which would in turn make the onlookers seem callous, is to completely re-write the day, the place, the kid, the adults and — oh yeah — REALITY.
What’s next, Today Show? “We let a squirrel loose in Central Park and NO ONE stopped to consider it could be someone’s pet who’d gotten out! Stay tuned for Rossen Reports!” – L.