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Art Imitates Life

“Discovery Channel is turning into a modern day version of 'The Running Man,’ where desperate people risk their lives for fame … Without Discovery Channel paying top dollar for this footage there would be no market for these maniacs who put their lives at risk.”

Jason Calacanis, Calacanis.com http://www.calacanis.com/2006/09/04/the-discovery-channel-killed-steve-irwin/

Nobody Made Him …

“That might be true if they asked him go out and swim with the stingray and then it stung him to death, and he did not want to go in the first place. But that’s not what happened — he wanted to live his life the way he did. I don’t think he wanted to die the way he did, but I would not blame the Discovery Channel for his death.”

Marshall Sponder, replying to Calacanis http://www.webmetricsguru.com/2006/09/did_the_discovery_channel_kill.html

… But Did He Ask for It?

“Like many others in his profession, Irwin occasionally gave lip service to the importance of conservation, but at his core, he was an animal exploiter.”

Erin Edwards, PETA

Cold Reality

“It’s neither possible nor appropriate to assign blame in this tragedy. But reality television, in which Irwin was a major player, may be more of an accomplice to his death than it’s willing to admit. Whether the show is about feuding families, desperate addicts or animals (and the people who love them) doing the darndest things, there’s little question that when it comes to shock value, the bar is constantly being raised. Once upon a time, merely spectacular footage of nature was sufficient to attract viewers. Now television programmers are convinced that ratings depend on death-defying, personality-driven antics. And they may be right.”

Los Angeles Times, editorial

The Age of Gawking

“If the YouTube Age has taught us anything, it’s that whenever an event is caught on videotape, that videotape will end up on the Internet sooner or later. I’m absolutely certain that this is no exception. Probably a hell of a lot sooner than we think, the Steve Irwin Death Clip is gonna rocket to the top of the Internet charts.”

Jeff Harrell, The Shape of Days http://theshapeofdays.com/2006/09/the_steve_irwin_death_tape.html

Survival Instinct

“He clearly took a lot of risks, and television encouraged him to do that. It’s a shame that television audiences need that to be attracted to wildlife. Dangerous animals, you leave them alone, because they will defend themselves.”

Ray Mears, U.K. wilderness expert and TV host, as quoted by Reuters