Access Pollywood: An Evening With John Walsh

by Erica Moody

The ‘America’s Most Wanted’ host talks guns, TV and Trump. 

Photo by Brendan Kownacki

John Walsh (Photo by Brendan Kownacki)

“He is one crazy bastard…a loose cannon,” John Walsh said of his ‘friend’ Donald Trump, in an intimate roundtable dinner/discussion at Cities restaurant hosted by Washington Life columnist and Hollywood on the Potomac editor-in-chief Janet Donovan and Cities proprietor Michael Kosmides. “He’s so wrong on the immigration problem…

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but he has brought up some uncomfortable subjects and I give him credit for that.” 

This level of candor is what America loves about John Walsh, a man who certainly doesn’t shy from uncomfortable subjects. The ‘America’s Most Wanted’ creator/former host and host of CNN’s ‘The Hunt’ is now host and on-air face of The Justice Network, a rerun network of crime and mystery shows that airs photos of missing children every hour on the hour. Since the network launched eight months ago, 35 wanted fugitives have been captured and 27 missing children recovered.

john walsh janet donovan

Michael Kosmides, Janet Donovan and John Walsh (Photo by Brendan Kownacki)

When the network’s CEO Steve Schiffman approached Walsh about the gig, he knew he couldn’t pass it up.

“The television medium has let me down for years, “Walsh says. “Since ‘America’s Most Wanted’ stopped airing, nobody airs pictures of missing kids. Seventy percent of missing kids are found by pictures in newspapers. USA Today shows pictures of missing kids every week…but not my medium, not the television medium.”

Walsh has a well-known personal story that has inspired his work, the abduction and brutal murder of his child Adam in 1981. Ever since then, he’s been on a mission to catch the “bad guys” who “roam everywhere,” even in upper middle class neighborhoods. With his wife, Walsh co-founded The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a nonprofit based in Alexandria, Virginia.

john walsh dinner

John Ford and John Walsh (Photo by Brendan Kownacki)

On violence in America, Walsh says “I think about it all the time.” He’s disappointed that the Republican debates haven’t addressed the issue and hopes that the Democrats will.

“We are the most dangerous first world country in the world. We have more homicides, more rape, more serial killers, more child molestation, and jails that are packed with the wrong kind of people…I went to the biggest women’s prison in the world in northern California, 4,000 women in it, and 80 percent of them were drug and alcohol addicted. They don’t need to be in prison. They need to be in rehab…They’re not violent. Who do you put in prison? Repeat offenders.” 

Walsh, who has testified on various issues on Capitol Hill over the years, also spoke heatedly about gun control and police brutality.

“There are no background checks.

We have too many guns, we really have no real gun control. The NRA has paralyzed Congress…Our political process and what they get away with on Capitol Hill is part of the problem. They [the NRA] are not legitimate lobbyists but they terrify people.” 

He says he doesn’t understand why anybody would choose to be a cop, but that they definitely need “more money and more training.”

“We’re the country that pays football players ten million dollars a year but cops can’t even live in their city because they can’t afford it.” 

For more John Walsh, make sure to tune in to The Justice Network.  

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