Elizabeth Smart Hired by ABC News
Kidnapping victim will discuss missing person cases
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2011 6:23 AM CDT
This May 25, 2011 file photo shows Elizabeth Smart talking to the media in front of the Frank E. Moss Federal Courthouse in Salt Lake City.   (AP Photo/Jim Urquhart, File)
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(Newser) – Elizabeth Smart knows firsthand what it's like to be kidnapped—and she'll soon be sharing that perspective as an ABC News contributor. She'll appear on Good Morning America and possibly other programs "when there are missing children or missing-person cases in the news," an ABC spokesperson tells Howard Kurtz. But Kurtz is not convinced: "Other than fame—as the victim of a horrifying crime—what exactly are her qualifications?" he wonders in the Daily Beast. On Gawker, Seth Abramovitch concurs: "Eep. Uncomfortable."

Smart, who endured a nine-month kidnapping ordeal when she was 14, could appear as soon as next week, thanks to the Casey Anthony story. But the ABC rep says the deal "has been in the works for months" and is not related to Anthony's trial. It's also "not about looking backward and telling [Smart's] story, which has been well told and retold,” the rep says. Rather, Smart will help "viewers understand missing-persons stories from the perspective of knowing what a family experiences when a loved one goes missing.”