Why? For one thing, Clay acknowledged that when word of the affair reached his pals, it was high fives all around. (The main negative he voiced: Girls at his school are now wary about dating him.) Even more problematic, however, was the use of one flirty photo of McCandless after another to illustrate the segment. Bottom line, this incident wouldn't have become a national phenomenon if McCandless was less than a looker -- and Today's overt moralizing didn't disguise the exploitation in the slightest. It's the equivalent of old Cecil B. DeMille biblical epics in which the director showed how debased sinners were by mounting elaborate orgy scenes and then lingering on them lovingly.
Hypocrisy? Damn straight. But who cares when it pumps up the ratings? -- Michael Roberts