Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Stingray tape

The initial postmortem examination confirms that a stingray's venomous barb pierced Steve Irwin's heart causing his death, according to this article from National Geographic News.

It's not surprising to imagine that this entire incident was caught on tape. But, this article does confirm that there was video footage of the attack. This footage will now be examined by the coroner.
Irwin's friend, director, and producer, John Stainton, who was on Irwin's boat Croc One when the attack happened, says it is too early to release the footage of his friend's fatal encounter to the public.
What? Does anyone actually want to see this footage? I know that I don't. But, you know what will happen. The tape will be leaked out in some way and eventually end up on the internet and probably YouTube.Com as well. His family, friends, and fans are suffering enough. I hope this video is never released.

Update: Health Psych made this comment, "And the Steve Irwin backlash kicks off..." This article from the Guardian clearly exhibits this.
As a Melbourne boy, Irwin should have had a healthy respect for stingrays, which are actually commoner, and bigger, in southern waters than they are near Port Douglas, where he was killed. The film-makers maintain that the ray that took Irwin out was a "bull ray", or Dasyatis brevicaudata, but this is not usually found as far north as Port Douglas. Marine biologist Dr Meredith Peach has been quoted as saying, "It's really quite unusual for divers to be stung unless they are grappling with the animal and, knowing Steve Irwin, perhaps that may have been the case." Not much sympathy there then.
Blaming the guy who got killed? What the hell is that about? It's worse than kicking a guy when he's down. It's kicking a guy when he's dead. This really gets me upset. Of course, the next paragraph of the article mentions the controversial episode where he had his one month old son in one hand when visiting a crocodile in an Australian Zoo. The press just get me fired up sometimes.

Here's what I predict is going to happen. Politicians both in Austraila and in the US will use the hype generated by the press to pass laws preventing less direct contact between animals and people. The politicans will get a hold of the videotape from the Irwin episode and will broadcast it to make their point. The consequence of this will be significantly less wildlife/nature shows for television. And, television networks like Animal Planet will eventually become extinct. To be honest, I don't even watch nature shows. Am I overreacting to all of this?

19 comments:

Penrick said...

I'm with you. I never want to see it but you know everyone is offering big dollars and some slimy friend is going to let it fly confidentially but with a huge price tag. I can imagine the hits will be through the roof. How sick eh?!

healthpsych said...

Exactly my thoughts too. This morning they're running computer generated reconstructions of the incident on morning television and I thought that was in pretty poor taste.

Dr. A said...

Computer generated reconstructions on morning TV? Wow! I can't believe that. Thanks for the update.

healthpsych said...

And the Steve Irwin backlash kicks off....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/australia/story/0,,1865124,00.html

Germaine Greer.

PARLANCHEQ said...

Alright, I'll admit it. I read a Sydney Morning Herald article online, which quoted someone as saying the footage was shocking. So, I clicked all their related links, thinking where is the footage, where is the footage? Morbid curiosity, I guess.

healthpsych said...

Oh yep, that worked well. Will mail the link, Dr. A.

Pattie said...

There will be those individuals out there who will be curious to see the video. It reminds me a bit of the guy who was killed on video filming grizzly bears (his name is escaping me right now) a few years back. Thankfully, that wasn't leaked out. Hopefully, this one won't either.

Dr. A said...

Thanks HP for the link. This really gets me upset. I'm going to add a update to my post to rant a little bit.

Sarebear said...

Argh. I sure hope his family has the tellies off. Can you imagine if they ran across one of those computerized reconstructions of it?

It's me, T.J. said...

Just a few thoughts here...

Didn't he die because he was fulfilling people's morbid curiosity.

I mean, people didn't watch him because he was a good narrator, or because of the quality of the filming, or even the academic content...

They watched him because he took risks.

And with every episode, and with every rating, and with every other economic pressure that is put upon a television program of that nature...

The next show has to always be better and more daring than the last.

He made quite a good living satisfying the human desire for watching this kind of stuff.

You can paint the program as a nature show, ecologically educational, wildlife preservation or whatever...

But that isn't what made him popular.

If it was, he would have had to knock National Geographic out of the number one ratings spot.

later...

Cathy said...

Rant On, Dr. A....I feel exactly the same way. Why do we always blame the victims for things that happen to them? My sons and grandkids loved watching his shows or when he would be on a talk show (Larry King) or etc...

Have you ever seen it not happen when someone famous dies. As another example (you are probably to young to remember this) It was terrible back in the 70s when Elvis died. SO many stories about him being a drug addict. It didn't matter in the long run, people still loved him then as well as today.

I doubt these stories with Irwin will go far. He has to many fans for this to damage his reputation, but it is still a shame. I hate the MSM! As for that story with his one month old baby, I remember that well. You would have thought the guy killed someone.

Dr. A said...

TJ, All good points. Even in the past ten years, television has evolved (or de-volved) into higher and higher risk taking behavior. Whether it be talk shows (Jerry Springer), game shows (Survivor), daytime soaps, or night time dramas - people watch and make stars of people out there on the edge.

There's an examination right now of the characteristics of popular TV these days. Will it really change anything, not really. TV will continue to become more risky, more vulgar, more sexy, and more dangerous.

princessoctober said...

Steve Irwin took risks to show people just how unpredictable an animal is. Its sad that he died doing the one thing he loved. Being up close and personal with animals that were supposed to be off limits. He was a great educator and showman.
Of course people want to see the footage. In most peoples eyes he was untouchable, and the untouchable was more than touched..that grabs peoples curiousity.

healthpsych said...

Just want to point out that this article was by Germaine Greer, who always seems to be looking for something negative to say. Someone who hasn't lived in Australia for quite some time.

There's a phenomenon in Australia that, as an immigrant, I find kind of bizarre. It's called the 'tall poppy syndrome'. Anyone get too successful, it's out with the knives. That's why so many successful Australians head overseas. Never quite got it.

I have to be suspicious of the timing of this though. Why didn't she voice all these concerns before? Sure is a good time to get her name in the paper again now.

The reports are that Steve Irwin was not interfering with the stingray, simply swimming past it. I'm sure the video would either confirm/refute that.

healthpsych said...

Sorry to keep rattling on...but to add insult to injury..in the news just now it was reported that the Australia Zoo website was hijacked yesterday and donations made by people stolen. Not sure how that works but anyway...

Steve's father has also refused an State funeral for his son because he was an "ordinary bloke" and the family wish to mourn privately.

wolfbaby said...

gotta love the media and politicians.. jerks all of them

It's me, T.J. said...

TV will continue to become more risky, more vulgar, more sexy, and more dangerous.

This is so very true.

Why don't we stop it?

Why have all the "good" people allowed all the "not so good" people to take control of our social environment, schools, and country?

Why do we allow the minority to dictate to the majority what will and will not be acceptable?

Are we so "nice" that we won't stand up for fear of hurting another's feelings?

Or are we just too scared to stand up for fear of being called politically *in*correct? Or a racist, conservative, radical, activist, religious nut, or whatever the media chooses to bash on that day?

We could stop inappropriate television, radio, movies, magazines, etc., if we wanted to bad enough.

But who is willing to stand up and say it? Much less commit to doing it.

Sorry for the rant on your blog, but I just couldn't help myself.

I now hand it back over to you.

Thanks.

later...

Rui said...

How pathetic of Greer to pen such cheap tripe! Steve has devoted his entire life to educating us about creatures that most of us will never have the opportunity of encountering, in his very special way. Greer should put a sock in it!

Anonymous said...

steve irwin abused animals for his own adrenelin junkie needs - he didnt need to pick up every snake he saw, tease crocs with food to get them to perform nor try to get up close and personal with wild animals - that in my mind is abuse of wild animals rights

i couldnt watch him for these reasons without cringing and feeling sorry for his victim

this aussie girl agrees with germaine greer

i am however devasted for his young family to have lost their father