Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped out of her Salt Lake City bedroom at knifepoint at the age of 14 and held for nine months by a street preacher, will join ABC News as a contributor for missing persons cases, the Daily Beast first reported:
“This is definitely not about looking backward and telling her story, which has been well told and retold,” ABC spokeswoman Julie Townsend said…Smart’s role will be “helping viewers understand missing-persons stories from the perspective of knowing what a family experiences when a loved one goes missing.”
The network is expected to make an official announcement soon. Smart will appear on “Good Morning America” and possibly “Nightline,” and could start as soon as next week.
The news of Smart’s hire prompted mixed reactions — Business Insider’s media editor Glynnis MacNicol pronounced it “creepy” and “disheartening:”
“[B]asically she is being hired to shill her own terrible story on television every time another family is suffering a similar ordeal.”
Gawker had a more visceral take:
Eep. Uncomfortable. I mean, just how insightful do we really need our abduction insights tobe before our first cup of coffee?
In May, Brian David Mitchell was sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping and raping Smart, nearly nine after she was abducted. Wanda Barzee, Mitchell’s estranged wife who was also convicted in connection with Smart’s kidnapping, is serving a 15-year prison sentence.