Oprah, others provide hope

By Michelle Moran
October 28, 2005


Two child molesters were nabbed as a result of the “Oprah Show” that aired on Tuesday, Oct. 18. It showed several wanted child molesters’ pictures with Opera offering a $100,000 reward of her own money for information leading to their arrests.

Within 48 hours of the program, two of the suspects were recognized by show viewers and turned into the police. The individuals were promptly arrested. Oprah’s efforts represent just one of the many contributions that celebrities are now making to society by using their fame and fortunes to promote issues and causes.

Oprah Winfrey told her audience, “It was as clear to me as if God himself spoke . that this is what I’m supposed to do, with your help, America.”

The two molesters caught by Oprah viewers were Niles Scott who was arrested in Belize, Central America and William Davis who was caught in Indiana. Both men were wanted for sexual assault crimes against children.

The two viewers that captured the molesters were featured on a later show where they received their rewards and told their stories of how they recognized the men. One viewer Karie Miller recognized one of the suspects on Winfrey’s show as the man living just upstairs from her family which includes three children. After seeing the show, Miller said, “I dropped my coffee. I said, ‘No, no, that can’t be him.’ But, it’s him. It’s most definitely him. . I’ve been feeling very guilty that I let someone like that get close to my family, and get close to my children; that I ignored what was in my heart.”

Oprah who is personally a survivor of child abuse said, “This is a full circle moment for me; for me to have been raped at 9 years old.”

Kim Blacka, a senior graphic design major, said “I think it’s great that stars can go public with their struggles to help others and to bring awareness to the issue.”

Over 10 million Americans a day tune in to watch the “Opera Show” that gives her a lot of control and power to influence viewers and to bring awareness to important issues. Winfrey’s other contributions include an Angel Network which is supported by viewer donations that’s been used to build over 200 homes for Habitat for Humanity and has sent 150 students to college.

Celebrities that have used their fame to aid others include actors, actresses, athletes, singers and TV personalities.

Jason Stouch, a history and political science major, said, “Celebrities are influential people and they should use it to their advantage.”

A few well known celebrities that have taken advantage of their status include U2 lead singer Bono, Michael J. Fox and Katie Couric. Additional celebrities that are using their names and influence are Pamela Anderson for animal rights and Jeff Gordan who support children with serious and chronic illnesses,

Michael J. Fox, who personally suffers from Parkinson’s disease which affects the body’s nervous system, set up his own foundation to increase public awareness of the disease and raise funds for research.

Katie Couric from the “Today Show” supports awareness and early detection of Colon Cancer, which is a disease that she lost her husband Jay Monahan to. She is also a cofounder of The National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance.

Bono from U2 who is very vocal in supporting many human rights and political issues participates in foundations such as Greenpeace, War Child and Amnesty International which provide aid to environmental issues, human rights, and to aid children affected by wars.

Loquitur welcomes your comments on this story. Please send your comments to: Loquitur@yahoogroups.com. The editors will review your points each week and make corrections if warranted.

Posted to the web by Brandon Edwards

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Michelle Moran

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