Regarding the death of Steve Irwin, I heard several people this morning saying “it’s unbelievable that he would die this way.” No, it’s not. This is a guy who was going to die this way, or something like it. The only surprise is that he bought it while swimming with stingrays, not crocodiles.
It’s not like the news came in that he had been crushed to death during a Monster Truck rally, or licked to death by a cute kitten. Irwin lived on the edge, for our entertainment. We watched because what he did was so risky. I have no problem with that, but let’s not act shocked when someone doing dangerous things gets hurt.
I was surprised at how many people called my show this afternoon to admit that they would like to see the video of him dying (a poll on KMOV.com tied to my appearance there got a similar response). I see no need for that. If it were an episode of “CSI,” maybe — although they’d make it even more gruesome than it must have been, including CGI views of the stingray’s barb actually entering Irwin’s chest and puncturing his heart.
Many of the callers pointed out that Irwin had always ordered his crews to keep the videotape rolling if something went wrong, and that seems to be what happened in this instance. So, they reasoned, he must have wanted the public to see whatever footage was shot.
My philosophy is different. As I told my colleagues today, if I have a heart attack in the middle of my show, they are to turn off the microphones and get me some medical assistance immediately!