Minutes executive producer and creator Don Hewitt bristles at the idea that
his show is slithering downward toward tabloid journalism: "We've never caved
in to the Bobbitts, Dahmers and 0.). Simpsons. We do stories on Lloyd's of Lon-
don" (Newsweek, November
A few months later (October
the same group did appear in daylight,
on Donahue-"Roseanne's Family Speaks Out"-telling the identical story more
fully, helped along by suggestions from the audience: "Hello. I wanted to ask
the-ask you did you ever consider the fact that Roseanne is unhappy with her-
self, which is why she's pushing the family away?"
3 Declared in August
by the Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect of
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
4 Quoted in Douglas). Besharov, with Jacob
Dembrosky, "Child Abuse: Threat
or Menace: How Common Is It Really?" posted on Hey Wait, Thursday, Octo-
and in NRCCSA News 5, no.
Shalala is, I should say, referring to a report that covers all forms of child abuse,
but as I shall argue, we often code "child abuse" so strongly as "sexual molest-
ing" as to make them synonymous.
5 For a parallel analysis of this maneuver in reference to a different sex crisis, see
Philip Jenkins, Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis (New
York: Oxford University Press,
6 See Ellen Bass and Laura Davis, The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Sur-
vivors of Child Abuse rev. ed. (New York: HarperCollins,
"If you are unable
to remember any specific instances ... but still have a feeling that something
abusive happened to you, it probably did" (p.
or Beverly Engel, The Right to
Innocence: Healing the Trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse (New York: Ivy Books,
"If you have ever had reason to suspect that you may have been sexually
abused, even if you have no explicit memory of it, the chances are very high
that you were" (p.