Emmy magazine features interviewee John Walsh
Pick up the latest copy of emmy to read an excerpt from our interview with television host John Walsh, in which he addresses the power of the media that he discovered through the ordeal of the experience of his son’s kidnapping and death, and how this led to his involvement with the television series America's Most Wanted.
John Walsh was interviewed for one hour in North Hollywood, CA. Walsh talked about his early years in the hotel business and his success at an young age in this field, until his life changed when his 6-year-old child Adam went missing. He spoke about the power of the media that he discovered through the ordeal of the experience of his son’s kidnapping and death (“I realized early on how powerful and helpful the media can be, and [also] how exploitive and hurtful the media can be.”). He spoke about how his experience was dramatized as a television movie, Adam (and the sequel Adam: His Song Continues), in which Walsh and his wife Reve were played by Daniel J. Travanti and JoBeth Williams. Walsh spoke about how impressed he was with the handling, by producer Linda Otto and executive producer Alan Landsberg, to tell their story fairly and accurately, and the impact the movie had on awareness. He outlined his political activism, starting with the Missing Children’s Act of 1984 through the Adam Walsh Child and Protection And Safety Act of 2006 (that created a national sex offenders registry). He spoke in great detail about the series for which he is most associated, America’s Most Wanted, which he began hosting in 1988, for the fledgling FOX network. He described the bleak outlook for the series (despite the FBI’s involvement) yet its immediate success, with the initial capture days after the show’s first airing. He described the selection process for cases profiled on the show, the impact of the Internet, and commented on recurring segments of the show. The interview was conducted by Melody Chen on October 29, 2008.