The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Friday, July 26, 2002  

What Time Does Larry King Want Me?

The funeral for Samantha Runnion, the five-year-old Orange County, Calif., girl who was kidnapped on July 16 and sexually assaulted and killed within 24 hours of her disappearance, was held on the night of Wednesday, July 24.

The very next day, Thursday, July 25, Miss Runnion’s mother, Erin Runnion, appeared on “Larry King Live,” the CNN program hosted by the persistently annoying and repeatedly divorced Larry King.

Here’s how the show was promoted by CNN: “9:00 p.m. Larry King Live: An emotional hour with Samantha Runnion’s mother Erin, speaking out on the kidnapping and murder of her only daughter.”

Okay, so it’s been more than a week since Mrs. Runnion learned of her daughter’s death, but she’s already going on national television to talk about it?

I don’t have children, so maybe my expectations are distorted, but I truly believe that if something like this happened to my child I would still be in bed, all but lifeless, staring at the ceiling, unable to speak, to eat, or to face another human being.

An interview with the goonish and ghoulish Larry King would be the farthest thing from my mind.

Is this how Americans grieve today? Have we no sense of privacy or personal space? Can no one resist the lure of the camera?

-- J.M.C.

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