1. REBEL HEART: NBC

Here is an excerpt:
“…By spotlighting and accusing them during their unfortunate circumstances you have helped make their lives a potential, personal living hell…”

Subject: Sailboat rescue off Mexico
From: “Richard Bradshaw”
Date: Mon, April 07, 2014 9:55 am
To: contact.nbcnews@nbcuni.com”

To read the rest of Rick’s email to NBC, click Read more.

I am appalled at the quality and one-sided reporting on the subject story and, if that is the level of reporting on EVERY story, think I must go elsewhere for “true and accurate” reporting if such actually exists in this day and age. One would think that if this was reported on at all that it would be done in a (I REALLY hate to say/quote this) fair and balanced way. The Nightly News is bad enough but to have multiple people on the Today show using the their position as an “authority” to espouse their own personal feelings about how these people…. You fill in the blank of negativity. You have vilified a family that you know nothing about for the sake of ratings under the guise of reporting news. I expected more from you and your staff.

It is very much apparent to those of us who DO cruise and who know MANY families who cruise including some VERY young children (some almost born aboard) who have never known any other home, that YOU and YOUR “contributors” know little or nothing about the cruising lifestyle. And, to be fair, not every one of us cruisers would agree with us as individuals nor with the family’s decisions. And yes, we have met the family and they are good people who, like many others, live a different way from the majority of people but then, there’s nothing wrong/illegal with that. Imagine your ancestors having the “guts” to leave their homeland and set out in a sailing ship of a couple hundred years ago or a coal/steam/diesel powered ship without all the current equipment cruisers have today that is often taken for granted. If they hadn’t, you, personally, might not exist today. However, in today’s world sensationalism rules apparently and THAT is what has been “reported”. You should be ashamed of the way this has been covered.

HOW you report is important. QUESTION: If you can’t be trusted to report correctly, as opposed to accusingly, on THIS thing, how can you be trusted to report on anything else? ANSWER: You can’t.

These people have done NOTHING wrong. They prepared for this for many years. They knew that “something” could go wrong. We all do. Usually it doesn’t but there is always a chance. There are many families out here cruising the way that these people are. Some with much less preparation than this family. Some have crossed oceans already. Some with smaller boats some with larger. It is certainly NOT uncommon to welcome “kid boats” into a marina or anchorage. Children raised afloat discover the REAL world instead of the world of make believe perpetuated on any number of screens land based children hide behind.

They learn responsibility and how to get along with all manner of people in many different cultures. They learn how to be creative and problem solve. They are home schooled and also schooled in the cultures to which they travel and spend extended time. These kids have parents that are with them and spend time with them, teaching them, hanging out with them, preparing them for adulthood. While on passage (several days to several weeks) that is 24/7. How many of the land based parents can even begin to claim that? Today, extremely few. Can you name any that you know?

What you have done is open the door for some politician/lawyer/prosecutor to make a name by prosecuting them for any number of perceived “crimes”. Try looking at their website. You will notice that several of us out here are supporting them but those that are not and have no idea of what this lifestyle is like are not. THEY are calling, anonymously of course, for these parents to be jailed, their children taken away, and that they should have to pay for the rescue. Vulgar name calling is common. Some are even posing as the 1-year old and putting words out there asking if the parents are trying to kill her. These words are out there forever. Imagine 20 years from now what the real child would feel like to run across those words. These anonymous people are the same people, BTW, that would probably think that having to pay for the EMT that saves their life or the firemen that extinguishes the fire in their home NOT be paid for by THEM. Just part of the service they have come to expect and for which they pay taxes. However that is THEM. They reserve their anonymous wrath for others.

By spotlighting and accusing them during their unfortunate circumstances you have helped make their lives a potential, personal living hell. What would YOU do if you took your young child/children on an extended road trip across, perhaps, the Southwestern U.S. and your car broke down in a remote area without cell phone coverage or you had an accident or your child became ill and then had people who you don’t know and who know nothing about you and what you do start demanding that because you have your children in such an inhospitable environment you be arrested, imprisoned, your children removed from you and given to others and then also forced to pay untold sums of money for a service that in their own circumstances are taken for granted? P-L-E-A-S-E, fact check your stories and then get the story behind the story BEFORE you ruin lives! Being first to get the “story” out isn’t worth the added anguish caused by presenting a half baked sensationalistic piece nation wide and world wide.

You REALLY want to help? Contribute a percentage of your annual income to their “recovery” fund. Just 1%, even 1/2%, of your annual income would probably put them well back on their feet. Take a look at your life and your family’s life. What would you take with you to start over if you lost everything and could only take 3 backpacks worth of your possessions with you as you left your home and expensive vehicles and just walked away? They lost their only home (their boat) and their only car (their dinghy) and all their families possessions and clothing that did not fit in those packs. As it is, people who DO cruise are contributing small amounts to help since we all know it could be us at some time in the future. Or maybe you would want to do a story by interviewing other families who cruise around the world to get a real idea of what these people do and how well adjusted they are. Also, you might interview the kids that have grown up and are out on their own as to what they remember and how it benefited or not them personally. Often times they are well ahead of the land based counterparts academically.

Rick and Lynn
Cruisers and Great Grandparents
s/v LA VITA
1987 Hans Christian 33T

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