Elizabeth Smart talking to the media in front of the Frank E. Moss Federal Courthouse in Salt Lake City. (Jim Urquhart/AP)

The question is: is a way for ABC News to lock up Smart for exclusive interviews “when there are missing children or missing-person cases in the news” wonders Kurtz – you know, like Caylee Anthony, for months, before her decomposed body was found and the story turned into a sensational ratings/magnet trial with Caylee’s mother, Casey, accused of first-degree murder.

(A jury on Tuesday found Casey Anthony not-guilty of murder and other more serious charges, though it found her guilty of having given false information to authorities – but not before the story had transformed HLN’s Nancy Grace into our new Queen of Grief Porn.)

An ABC rep preferred to think of it as Smart being paid for “helping viewers understand missing-persons stories from the perspective of knowing what a family experiences when a loved one goes missing.” And she told Kurtz so.

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