Free-Range Kids

Why Is Everybody So Mad at This 9-Year-Old Reporter? Kids Can Do Stuff, Too

We should encourage all children to be so ambitious.

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Hilde
Screenshot via Orange Street News / Youtube

This story is everywhere today. As CBS News reports:

A 9-year-old reporter who wrote about a suspected murder in her small Pennsylvania town is defending herself after some locals lashed out about a young girl covering violent crimes.

Hilde Kate Lysiak got a tip Saturday afternoon about something untoward happening on 9th street in Selinsgrove, about 150 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

She went to the scene to get the details and posted a story and video clip on her website the "Orange Street News" later that day.

"Hi, Hilde Kate Lysiak here reporting from the Orange Street News on the 600 Block where a man suspectedly (sic) murdered his wife with a hammer," she begins the video. "I'm working hard on this ongoing investigation."

Unbelievably, some critics quickly told her to stop being such a grown up, posting comments on her videos that suggest she should let adults cover the news.

"I think she's very talented and her aspirations are great, but it's probably a bigger case than a 9-year-old should handle," said one such commenter. "Adults in the community are having trouble wrapping their heads around what happened. I can't imagine how a 9-year-old can cover a story like that."

Others said she should be playing with dolls, or having tea parties. Some used outright profanity.

Their angry, patronizing words remind me that throughout American history, African-Americans, women, and others not in power were commonly told to stay in their place and not get uppity.

Clearly, some people are still freaked out (read: threatened) when a type of person they have written off as incapable turns out to be outrageously competent and courageous.

Kids are the just latest group we underestimate and protect to the point of denying them the respect and freedom they deserve. Remember, Rhode Island just proposed a law that would forbid a child Hilde's age from staying home alone even for 10 minutes. Another proposed law there would keep her inside at recess if it was ever colder than 32 degrees outside. Are these laws protecting kids, or stifling them?

Hats off to this intrepid reporter, who is on the trail of one murder and may solve another: Who's behind the hit jobs on childhood gumption?

NEXT: Nearly 1 in 10 Knows Somebody Who Has Had Property Seized Without Criminal Charges

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  1. It’s more than a little odd for a nine year old to want to report on someone being beaten to death with a murder. That much I can understand. Doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with her doing so, however.

    1. *sigh* beaten to death with a hammer.

      Then again, by the time I was 10 or 11 my obsession with World War II had begun, so who am I to say it’s odd.

      1. My obsession with WW II started at about 7, watching “World at War” continuously. My parents didn’t seem to mind me watching holocaust footage, but I was the last of six kids so they may have been over supervising youngins at that point.

        1. I’m an oldest, and I can attest that my parents’ style of parenting was much more relaxed with number 5, my sister 12 years my junior.

          1. I have a brother 20 years my senior, so an even bigger spread.

            1. Go on…

            2. Youngest of six, and a twenty year spread ? You’re lucky if your parents remembered you existed.

              1. Pretty much. And my parents were 46 when I was born, so there was plenty of “Hey! Be careful and… oh hell. We’ve got six. We can afford a little attrition.”

        2. For me, it was my grandfather’s copy of the old American Heritage Picture History of World War II. That book was massive and had hundreds and hundreds of pictures. I used to sit and flip through it endlessly, every time we went to his house.

          1. My dad had that book. Same thing too, we’d just flip through it over and over.

            1. Yep. I can remember very clearly a color picture of a charred, still aflame corpse of a Soviet pilot. I’d imagine that you’d get arrested for letting a grade-school kid look at that now.

        3. World at War is now available on Amazon Prime. I’m to about Ep. 8.

          Its just awesome. Between Sir Laurence’s narration, and the interviews with actual veterans and survivors, it can’t be beat.

          Its a little heavy on Brit politics inside-baseball, but whatev.

          1. Agreed. Military Channel (or whatever the hell it’s called now) was showing it on a rotation a year or two ago. It has stood the test of time, despite some more recent scholarship bringing into question some minor details.

      2. I was more about World War 1. Go figure. I’m old, but not that old.

    2. Eh, she’s just emulating her favorite local news anchor from the nightly news. It’s no weirder than a kid helping their parent with an oil change, IMO.

      1. When I was around four my father was replacing the brakes on the family car and I was ‘helping’ — by filling the hub caps with gravel. He didn’t notice and just put them all on. When he backed out of the driveway the sound was horrendous so he pulled right back in and as soon as he pulled the hub caps back off he and my mother had one hell of a laugh.

    3. Check out her channel. It looks like she started a few weeks ago. If you watch her other reports this one makes more sense.

  2. Others said she should be playing with dolls, or having tea parties. Some used outright profanity.

    Their angry, patronizing words remind me that throughout American history, African-Americans, women, and others not in power were commonly told to stay in their place and not get uppity.

    Jesus, Lenore, it’s like you’re trying to say it matters how people are socialized. That’s unpossible wrongthing.

    1. Journalists are just upset to have it demonstrated that even a nine-year-old can do what they do.

      1. Next she’ll be standing on a freeway overpass during a snow storm reporting that it’s …uh…snowing. And the traffic is …uh….bad.

        1. +1 “why the fuck are we out here?!”

      2. Journalists are just upset to have it demonstrated that even a nine-year-old can do what they do.

        Ding ding ding! We have a winner.

      3. She actually scooped them, so they’re probably particular upset that she demonstrated that she can outdo what they do.

    2. Not in power!

      “We, the Delegation of Women, move to elect Barnaby Washington, chair of the Women and African American Relations (WAAR) board, to Chief of the History of Discrimination Perpetual Reminder committee. Additionally It has been brought to our attention that the Coalition of Minority Viewpoints feels as though their voices are not heard. Their complaints are duly noted. The Delegation of Women moves to officially ‘recognize’ the Coalition of Minority Viewpoint’s position on the lesser but no less important impact of their positions.”

  3. Shush kid, you’re embarassing the “professional” journalists too.

    1. It’s getting so you can hardly make a living as a gatekeeper anymore!

    2. I suspect that the “professional” journalists were the ones making the disparaging comments.

  4. Sounds like the baby boomers are just feeling more and more marginalized all the time.

    Pop culture catered to the tastes of baby boomers for so long. Has the last classic rock station been unplugged yet?

    And these children that you spit on
    as they try to change their world
    are immune to your consultations
    They’re quite aware of what they’re going through

    1. Has the last classic rock station been unplugged yet?

      No, it just plays Eminem now.

      1. The first day I really felt old was when I heard songs from Appetite for Destruction on the classic rock station, and I remembered that it came out when I was in high school.

        1. 6th grade for me. I feel so youthful. This thread has been quite a pick-me-up!

          1. I’m gonna beat you with my cane.

        2. Married with two kids and one in Cub Scout.

          Get off my fucking lawn you meddling kids.

    2. Here in New York there’s only one. And it plays the same 10 songs on loop. And no, Changes is not one of them.

      Living at the border between the NY and Philly radio bands, I never cease to be amazed at how superior the latter is to the former. NYC is supposed to be the epicenter of the music industry and they can’t manage to muster more than one good radio station?

  5. This is goddamn crazy, what the hell are they think…..RTFA Oh, nevermind.

  6. Has she contacted the President for his thoughts on common sense hammer control?

    1. He tweeted her “Cool hammer, Hilde Kate”.

      1. She’s headed to the Whitehouse to give an inspirational talk to Congress about passion in the professional workplace.

  7. “Their angry, patronizing words remind me that throughout American history, African-Americans, women, and others not in power were commonly told to stay in their place and not get uppity.”

    OK, hold on a moment.

    In many sad historical epochs, blacks and (to a lesser extent) white women were mistreated by being treated like children (or worse).

    Children are children. Of course, parents can and should give them more and more responsibilities and not smother or helicopter them, because that’s the difference between growing up self-reliant and growing up being a leech or a Democrat.

    If the people who know the child – the parents – think she should confront the more violent aspects of our society, then maybe it’s developmentally appropriate *for that child.*

    It used to be that children weren’t shielded from murder and violence *because they couldn’t be.* People were dying all around. That’s still the case in many parts of the world.

    We have (so far) the blessing of being a country where parents can largely decide for themselves how, and how quickly, to expose children to the seamy realities of life.

    1. But hold the Sharptonism, please.

    2. Maybe Lenore thinks “African-Americans, women, and others not in power ” are just like children.

    3. People are so concerned about group dynamics, when individualism would be so much more directly beneficial to them than collectivism.

      Assuring the rights of the individual assures the rights of the collective by definition.

  8. Maybe you and her can team up and start reporting on Free Range Kids? I bet she could use a mentor.

    1. That would be pure, unfiltered AWESOME.

    2. It would make for the unattended children stories more interesting when a 9 yes old is calling cps for statements.

  9. Their angry, patronizing words remind me that throughout American history, African-Americans, women, and others not in power were commonly told to stay in their place and not get uppity.

    Et tu, Lenore?

    1. Lenore is getting pretty damn uppity….

    2. throughout American history, African-Americans, women, and others not in power were commonly told to stay in their place and not get uppity.

      its like the last forty years (or more) of American history didn’t happen.

      1. Shouldn’t you be behind a desk writing a legal brief or something?

    3. Their angry, patronizing words remind me that throughout American history, African-Americans, women, and others not in power were commonly told to stay in their place and not get uppity.

      No, this is true. I clearly recall Clarence Thomas being called uppity during his confirmation hearings. To be clear, not at the hearings, just during that time-frame.

  10. Adults in the community are having trouble wrapping their heads around what happened.

    What’s so hard to grasp about some harpy going on and on and on and on until…. Shut up Gladys. For Gods’s sake shut Up! SHUT UP! SHUT UUUUPPPPP!

    1. It’s like you were there.

      You know the saying, behind every abusive husband is a wife who couldn’t just shut the fuck up.

      1. Better not start the domestic violence abuse jokes, wouldn’t want anyone to laugh.

    2. Abner why don’t you look at me when I’m talking ?

      I don’t need to Gladys. I’ve committed you to memory.

  11. She’s probably better at journalism than Sabrina Erdely, at least.

    1. Exactly. I mean, there was an actual murder, right?

      1. Just wait until you see the turgid prose she writes describing the murder as a first-person witness.

        1. Gotta sell those glossy pages, WTF. MOVE THAT PRINT!

    2. Right. Like a 9 year old could get a journalizm degree at Columbia.

  12. “To the moon, Alice.”

  13. Remember that one scene in Finding Nemo where Dori cuts herself and the normally friendly great white shark’s eyes roll back and he goes on a rampage? This is what you’ve just done to OMWC, Reason.

    1. I hear he has lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes.

      1. +1 never putting on a life jacket again

    2. Dude.

      You’re referencing Finding Nemo now?

      1. The fuck I am. Great movie

      2. He thinks he can do these things, but he can’t!

  14. I figure that as long as no one’s calling for what the kid is doing to be made illegal, they can have whatever opinions about it they want. And her parents can decide whether this is a good or bad thing for her.

    1. I’m sure CPS will be along to find out why she was left alone long enough to end up at the murder scene.

      1. Yeah. And that’s where it all goes to hell.

        When I was 10, I supervised my two younger sisters on a bus trip across the country. We’d all have been in foster care if the same rules applied back then. And yet, we were all fine.

        1. You and TMan should compare notes. Didn’t he tell the story of his parents leaving him in Denver when he was like 11 ?

  15. I’ve been reading Stephen Coss’s *The Fever of 1721* and it quotes from a school textbook, The New England Primer, from the 18th century:

    I in the Burying Place may see
    Graves Shorter there than I;
    From Death’s Arrest no Age is free,
    Young Children too may die;
    My God, may such an awful Sight,
    Awakening be to me!
    Oh! That by early Grace I might
    For Death prepared be.

  16. Would.

      1. , like to find out more about this young woman’s whereabouts.

        1. OMWC re-paints van with logo “free shuttle to crime scene”.

          1. Oddly accurate

  17. Here’s a poem in one of the old McGuffey Readers.

  18. Sorry, Lenore, but I have to agree with her critics. Journalism is not a profession children should take up. She should aspire to something socially useful, like prostitution or backwoods moonshining.

  19. I guess Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys books will have to come with trigger warnings and “not appropriate for those under the age of 21” labels now.

    1. I don’t know, John, The Case of the Felcher’s Sphincter was pretty graphic. I could have used a warning on it. I mean, what Frank does to Joe…my god.

      1. I just got a …….raging CLUE!

        1. Mine’s pointing to the left.

      2. The Pirates of Smuggler’s Cove weren’t really pirates in the tradition sense. And I really didn’t care for what they were smuggling.

        1. The Mystery of the Chinese Junk was SO not about what I was expecting.

          1. The plot of that one really moved sideways.

            1. You trying to summon joe?

              1. Yeah, little ol’ joe would get pretty mad about that one. He’d clench his tiny fists and his wee face would go all red and veiny.

          2. Do I even want to know What Happened At Midnight?

            1. The Sign of the Crooked Arrow was the one when they had to take Joe to the hospital when he, ahem, hurt himself.

    2. I always loved how the Hardy Boys were constantly being knocked unconscious by various bad guys and yet never developed any kind of long-term neurological condition.

      1. You didn’t notice the signs and symptoms?

        Have you been checked for neurological damage chip?

      2. And it is amazing how easy it apparently is to knock someone unconscious but leave no lasting mark or harm.

      3. Not to mention the copious use of chloroform which can cause brain damage or even kill if you use too much. And not even that much too much.

        1. He speaks from experience, folks.

    3. This is why I read the comments. Always read the comments.

      1. Read the comments but keep a spare keyboard handy.

    4. The villains were always “swarthy” .

      1. Don’t you know, criminaling is an outdoor job, so criminals end up tanned at the very least.

        1. Well, yeah, back then criminals had to go outside. Today it’s the pasty kid with the computer in his mother’s basement.

      2. I can’t remember which one it was, but while most of the ones I had were the 1960s revisions, I had one volume that was my dad’s with the original 1940s story. The plot somehow involved a dry cleaner, who was of course Chinese and whose dialog was written in the broadest, most offensive to modern sensibilities accent possible.

  20. I found another McGuffey poem, but it’s more optimistic than the other one.

  21. “Unbelievably, some critics quickly told her to stop being such a grown up, posting comments on her videos that suggest she should let adults cover the news.”

    The “adults” on my local news channels spend most of their time showing me videos of pets doing wacky things in faraway places, celebrity gossip, manufactured stories about some local, two-bit HVAC repair guy who didn’t fulfill a contract, etc. Wedged in between weather and traffic, of course.

    1. Lemme get this straight: some critics of her reporting, ostensibly worried about her frailty, used profanity in their comments??! Is there any self-awareness left in the world?

    1. Oscar Wilde was right, that scene is accidentally hilarious.

      1. Perhaps my favorite OW quip.

        [confession: I’m not sure it is a quip, as a lot of his “quips” are just dialogue from his stories.]

    1. Chlo?. She’s finally old enough that I can not be a total pervert when I think of her. 😉

  22. Is there seriously no reference in all these posts to anyone getting away with anything were it not for those meddling kids?

    1. [wild applause]

  23. If you could guarantee that my kid would turn out like this girl, I would actually want to have children. I would totally dig having this kid in my household.

  24. You go, Hilde Kate. You are doing something you love doing. Don’t ever let the haters stop you from following your dreams or having huge ambitions. You are a young woman worth looking up to.

  25. “I think she’s very talented and her aspirations are great, but it’s probably a bigger case than a 9-year-old should handle,” said one such commenter. “Adults in the community are having trouble wrapping their heads around what happened. I can’t imagine how a 9-year-old can cover a story like that.”

    Don’t burden this bright little girl with your mental limitations, thanks.

  26. Adults in the community are having trouble wrapping their heads around what happened. I can’t imagine how a 9-year-old can cover a story like that.

    Way to admit your community is lousy with idiots, and that you’ve been bested by a little girl. Fail.

  27. OK, here is the McGuffey story I was looking for.

    “4….[My mother] was paler than usual, but she met me with the same affectionate smile that always welcomed my return. Alas! when I look back through the lapse of thirteen years, I think my heart must have been stone not to have been melted by it. She requested me to go downstairs and bring her a glass of water. I pettishly asked her why she did not call a domestic to do it. With a look of mild reproach, which I shall never forget if I live to be a hundred years old, she said, “Will not my daughter bring a glass of water for her poor, sick mother?”

    “5. I went and brought her the water, but I did not do it kindly. Instead of smiling, and kissing her as I had been wont to do, I set the glass down very quickly, and left the room. After playing a short time, I went to bed without bidding my mother good night; but when alone in my room, in darkness and silence, I remembered how pale she looked, and how her voice trembled when she said, “Will not my daughter bring a glass of water for her poor, sick mother?” I could not sleep. I stole into her chamber to ask forgiveness. She had sunk into an easy slumber, and they told me I must not waken her.

    1. “6. I did not tell anyone what troubled me, but stole back to my bed, resolved to rise early in the morning and tell her how sorry I was for my conduct. The sun was shining brightly when I awoke, and, hurrying on my clothes, I hastened to my mother’s chamber. She was dead! She never spoke more??never smiled upon me again; and when I touched the hand that used to rest upon my head in blessing, it was so cold that it made me start.

      “7. I bowed down by her side, and sobbed in the bitterness of my heart. I then wished that I might die, and be buried with her; and, old as I now am, I would give worlds, were they mine to give, could my mother but have lived to tell me she forgave my childish ingratitude. But I can not call her back; and when I stand by her grave, and whenever I think of her manifold kindness, the memory of that reproachful look she gave me will bite like a serpent and sting like an adder.”

      1. Wow, that’s really dark.

      2. That’s OK, just think about all the times when you were nice to her.

  28. Why Is Everybody So Mad at This 9-Year-Old Reporter? Kids Can Do Stuff, Too

    No shit. Leave ENB alone!

  29. Wait, someone posted rude comments under a video on the internet? Unpossible!

  30. Kids Can Do Stuff, Too

    Counterpoint: Kids suck.

    1. Counter-counterpoint: Adults also suck.

  31. Wow, shes kinda cute. In a goofy sort of way lol.

    http://www.Anon-VPN.com

  32. When you are young, you are too impressionable an innocent to be discussing such adult activities.

    She should be doing little kid stuff! Like burning ants with a magnifying glass, salting snails and throwing kittens into the river.

    1. Don’t forget cutting the heads off matches and stuffing them into a closed container and then lighting them.

  33. Parents who don’t let their children have adventures should be charged with child abuse.

  34. Does CBS News really have to [sic] a 9-year-old girl saying “suspectedly”? Pedantic fucks.

  35. well, she used the word “suspectedly’ appropriately, so she’s already light years ahead of real journalists.

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