Viewers React to Bethany Hamilton Interview

Dear Viewers,

When I got back to my office after the show on Monday night, I started to read the e-mails from the viewers (a sample below.)  What was unusual is that many viewers focused on the same interview -- the interview with Bethany Hamilton (search), the 13-year-old surfer whose arm was bitten off by a shark.  All the viewers who wrote in about that interview -- and I think "all" is not a generalization -- noted one observed oddity about the interview.  (See letters below.)

Frankly, because of the limitations in the monitor I have on the set,  and my concentration on the interview itself, I was unable to notice what the viewers wrote about.  Now, of course, I want to pull the tape from last night's show.  (As an aside, I have no explanation for this. It does not make much sense to me. Was he giving her answers? Helping a young shy kid??  What do you think?)


Editor's note: You can watch the interview with Miss Hamilton on this Web site in streaming video.

No. 1:

I am am avid FOX News junkie, I admit that!  Your Interview with Bethany Hamilton and her father, Tom was very interesting and appeared to be convincing except when the camera panned
away from Bethany to show her father and his lips were mouthing her exact words as she said them. HUH? So was this interview "fair and balanced" or was it scripted? Unless someone from your show can explain what was going on, I will have to, much to my dismay, throw FOX
News on the pile with the rest of the news media who distort and bend the truth.... ...perhaps he is a ventriloquist?????

No. 2:

I just watched your interview with the surfer girl that was attacked by the shark. It was so strange that I felt compelled to e-mail you.

First and foremost, am I the only viewer who observed the father moving his lips almost as a ventriloquist when his daughter spoke ??

Secondly: I am sure that the realization of being broadcast on national cable television could render an individual nervous, but this 13-year-old girl seems exceedingly inarticulate. Is she skipping school to pursue opportunities to surf?

I'm sorry to come across so harshly, but I can't stress enough my incredulity at watching the piece. I've never e-mailed ANY show, political or otherwise.

No. 3:

May I respectfully ask why it seemed Bethany's father seemed to be mouthing his daughter's replies?

No. 4:

Thanks for the interview with Bethany Hamilton. She's a spunky young lady, and everybody wishes her well. But WHY was her father constantly mouthing the same words she was speaking? It was distracting and puzzling. Was she using a script, or what?

No. 5:

My heart goes out to this little girl, she is truly a survivor, but I must comment on what I watched on your program: Bethany's father was mouthing the very words that she was saying in answer to your questions. I know this is a big story, but I doubt they have come to the reality of just what is ahead for this young lady. I am glad that she is ready to try and continue with her sport, but I really doubt that she understands how difficult this is going to be and I doubt that her father is going to be the type of support that Bethany is going to need. I believe that she can do it, but she has many challenges ahead.

No. 6:

That interview was horrible. If you worked for me I would fire you for putting that garbage on the air. The father answered the questions for the the girl. He kept mouthing the answers for her to answer!!! Plus, she came accros as a retard!! I am sorry she kept saying "my friend and me"!!

No. 7:

What strength that young lady has after having her arm taken by a shark! Good for her! Thank You for that interview.
I did want to ask, what was it Mr. Hamilton was doing during the interview? Seems like maybe he was somehow telling Bethany what to say. He was mouthing everything she was saying as she talked. It was so odd and I have never seen this before.

Again, Great story.

Best regards,

No. 8:

I just saw the interview with Bethany and her father. What was he doing with his mouth during all that?? Almost looked like he was mouthing the words she was saying.

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