Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dr. Phil Joins the Conversation About Lisa

On February 3, 2012, Lisa Irwin's parents (Jeremy Irwin and Deborah Bradley) will break their public silence with an appearance on television's syndicated Dr. Phil Show.  When I got word of it this afternoon and posted it on my Facebook page (http://www.Facebook.com/kansascitypi) and subsequently my Twitter account, speculation and debate erupted.

Apparently, the parents flew out over the weekend for a sanitized taping of the program with attorney Joe Tacopina at their side during the "interview".  In other words, there was no studio audience.

How valuable will the interview be? Will the only winner be The Dr. Phil Show who has been courting this interview for months?  One thing is for certain, this will be a huge ratings grabber for the show.

It is not confirmed, but in order to allow his clients to do the program, Tacopina surely has final edit authority or similar assurance lying on the "cutting room floor".

What can be gained by such an interview?  Perhaps, renewed interest in what happened to Irwin's and Bradley's infant daughter, reportedly last seen October 3, 2011.  It may also give the appearance of openness, in spite of the sanitized environment which "Lisa-ophiles" have been craving.

What could be lost?  For those who are convinced already of one or both of the parents' culpability, they are sure to find renewed affirmation in what they already believe.  No matter what, their opinion will not be changed.  The body language and statement analysis experts will have a field day assessing eye contact, body movements, and unscripted replies to the questions posed by the ten year talk veteran, himself a native of the Kansas City metro area.

Both the hopers and the haters will find something to satisfy their palates in this TV adventure.  The obsession this case has had online has taken a perverse trip.  Admittedly, it is a real life mystery as to what happened to this innocent baby.  However, the compulsive voyeurism has led to supporters of varying theories attacking the other 24/7 by taking on multiple Facebook screen personalities in a cowardly way, hiding behind their computer to unleash attacks for any opposition to their own opinion.  It makes one wonder while those who have such aggressive hatred for those who oppose their point of view on these forums are spending hours espousing their myopic views and unleashing personal attacks, what is their in-person social interaction like.  Are they ignoring their own family members and/or friends while they criticize either Lisa's family or their online foes?

One thing is for certain.  We are at least talking about Lisa again.  But, remember, she did not ask for any of this.  She would have been happy at home, laughing and playing with her big brothers.