CBS has taken a wrong-headed stance on the Goldman case from the beginning, insisting upon calling it a "custody" battle when, in fact, this is a case about kidnapping. [In his June 2009 decision ordering the immediate return of Sean Goldman to the United States, Brazilian Judge Pinto called the wrongful retention of Sean Goldman by Lins e Silva, Sean's stepfather, a "second kidnapping."
Then CBS invited Sean's grandmother, Silvana Bianchi, and Lins e Silva to give their views on The Morning Show. Of course their claim was that Sean wanted to stay in Brazil and that he should be allowed to tell the court his wishes. [They did not tell CBS that one of the family members is an expert in parental alienation.] The outrageous performance of CBS and "the family" inspired me to get up on my constitutional highhorse.
On the morning of December 24th, the world watched Sean being brought to the US Consulate on foot, being pushed and shoved through hordes of paparazzi. According to the New York Times, "[t]he family had no immediate comment on American charges that they rebuffed offers for a more discreet encounter."
Oh, but . . . surely the Times' deadline is about the same as the CBS deadline. Could it be that the family wasn't honest with the New York Times? According to a CBS reporter, the horrific and emotionally distressing handoff of Sean to his father was planned in advance, was a cruel and calculated event. CBS (the news agency the Brazilian family does talk to) reported as follows:
Goldman did not speak to the media on Wednesday, but GlobalPost's Seth Kugel, reporting for CBS News, exclusively interviewed Sergio Tostes - the attorney for Sean Goldman's Brazilian family - Wednesday night in Rio - reported as follows:
CBS went on to report that Tostes said that further appeals would also likely affect the Brazilian family's future relationship with Sean, "so my priority from that moment on was to try to have as smooth a transition as possible." [Oh right. So you're going to smooth things over by making the transition a public spectacle, one that is an extremely traumatic event for Sean? That's going to make a smooth transition and help the Brazilian family's future relationship? Puleeeezzzz. (That last word is legalese for "bull_ _ _ _".)]
Continuing, CBS reported:
"Tostes and the Brazilian family are now planning to drive Sean to the U.S. consulate in Rio on Thursday morning around 8:30 a.m., parking the car a block away and walking to the door of the consulate. It is unclear if he will be invited in. Media outlets had previously expected Sean and his family to enter through the consulate garage and not appear in public. [Oh, and who might have notified the media that they should then be in front of the consulate . . . half an hour ahead of the expected time . . . oh . . . must have been Santa Claus. Duh.]
" 'I am doing this … because it will be a media frenzy in the United States,' Tostes said. 'We know very well he will be arriving there Christmas day. This will be the front page in papers in the U.S. and all over the world. We will have a farewell in front of everybody.'
" 'He’s in a state of sadness, of course he is,' Tostes said of Sean. 'We lost the case. We fought as hard as you can imagine. We lost the case.' "
The Globo Post article by Seth Kugel is here.
You may read the CBS version of "the truth" here: The article's title is a long one . . . hard to take when you have to hold your breath because of the stink in the room: "Brazilian Family Ends Sean Goldman Fight: Family's Lawyer Describes Handoff Plans, Visitation Spat in Exclusive Interview with CBS News"
Note that CBS knows this is a leading story. The URL for it reads:
Milking the story (from its warped view) for all it is worth, CBS aired on The Early Show a segment titled: Sean Goldman: "Psychological Armageddon"? Psychologist Says Boy, 9, Faces Many Challenges Adjusting to Life in U.S., with American Father, After Years in Brazil"
Hmmm. Another long title. Well I guess we know what that means.
The New York Times article "Boy, 9, and Father are Back in U.S. after Reuniting in Brazil" may be read here.
On another note . . . sour grapes about missing out on a story? A website called mediabistro complains that NBC paid for the charter flight from Brazil to the United States and just might get an exclusive from David Goldman in exchange. Oh, crass stuff . . . down to the number of dollars it would cost to charter a flight . . .
NBC is the media outlet that really gets it . . . that understands that this is a story about child abduction, not a custody dispute. And they sure get it about protecting a child from the kind of trauma that Tostes and his clients put Sean through yesterday, last week, the last five years. So NBC had a plane in Brazil that was flying to the U.S. and invited David and Sean to take up two empty seats. So what? To allege that the offer of a way out of Dodge ASAP was unethical is ludicrous. Green-eyed jealousy . . . There are all kinds of foundations that offer free flights to people in need. Given the outrageous treatment of Sean and David Goldman this past week, the past five years, by the Brazilian family, I can't think of anyone who needed a lift home more than they did. Shame, shame, shame. Could it be that CBS tipped off mediabistro?
It's apparent from in-flight video that both David and Sean Goldman are exhausted. But those are glorious smiles! You can see them at NBC here:
OK, faithful readers: I am making a New Years' resolution a little early. I promise not to write about the Goldman case for a while - at least not until after Silvana Bianchi files a complaint for grandparenting time in New Jersey. You have been very patient while I have indulged myself in this cause about which I am so passionate .