Here is the Editorial from today's Herald Sun:
One thing hasn't entirely changed with Douglas Wood's hard-won freedom.
The price on his head is still a small fortune -- only now he hopes to pocket it.
Before even returning here, Mr Wood is milking his accidental fame. Unseemly as it seems, with a showbiz manager and hopes of riches, he is already being actively packaged and marketed.
People risked their lives as we spent an estimated $10 million trying to save his. In his haste to cash in, he should spare a moment to reflect on that.
Mr Wood might remember who he is really brought to you by.
But of course he didn't spare a moment.
It what seemed to be a real "Dash for Cash", no sooner had he arrived in Melbourne today (at about 0530am) and uttered a few carefully selected words to the awaiting media throng, it was announced by Channel Ten that it would air Douglas Wood - His Story next Sunday at 6.30pm (AEST) with an interview conducted by Sandra Sully.
First of all ,Channel Ten isn't really known as a news network, and Sandra Sully is more of a talking head who reads the late night news than a hard hitting journo. This type of thing belongs on the more edgy 60 Minutes with someone like Liz Hayes. To prove my point, the Douglas Wood story will be shown in between a repeat episode of the Simpsons and Big Brother!
But it doesn't really matter when the cheque is signed.
Here is what Mr Wood's spokesman, Mark Klemens, said today."The Wood family has been pleased with the level of interest in Doug's story demonstrated by Ten,"
"They are confident that the resulting Ten News program will be instrumental in telling the real story behind Doug's ordeal."
Which means they offered the most money. My bet it is somewhere up around the $400 000 mark.
I know it is a commercial world that we live in, and it is the Aussie way to flog your yarn to the highest bidder, but this just seems all to quick. This isn't some celebrity wedding, it is a story that has captured the emotions and thoughts of all Australians. It is an event that required careful handling by our Government, and a great deal of money was (well) spent ensuring his release.
Of course the magazine, book and movie deals will be announced it the coming days and weeks. To have it all reduced, so quickly, to this dash for cash, just seems wrong.