Barbara Yates
Barbara Yates
Portrayed by Helen Shaver
First appearance Pilot episode
In-story statistics
Residence Seattle, WA.
Occupation Journalist/Talk Show Host

Barbara Yates was a journalist and talk show host who became a celebrity figure in the wake of the 4400 crisis, when 4,400 people reappeared after having been missing for several years from different points in the time-stream. As each of the 4400 came back demonstrating various inexplicable abilities, Barbara felt that they posed a threat to the general public and used her program as a pulpit by which to raise public support against the 4400.

Barbara's sensationalistic tabloid approach to journalism sparked an emotional fire among her fan base and earned her the scorn of several key figures, most notably, National Threat Assessment Command director Dennis Ryland, who regarded her lack of journalistic integrity as ", inflammatory and dangerously irresponsible."

Barbara proved just how dangerous she could be when she publicly revealed the true names of many of the 4400 members, effectively making them targets of violent hate crimes. Another man who held great disdain for Barbara's lack of ethics was a returnee himself, Jordan Collier. Jordan was a charismatic if arrogant man, who became the self-appointed public face of the 4400. He appeared on Barbara's talk show and all but accused her of sparking citywide discord when he said, "Publishing the names and addresses of the 4400 is a crime, Barbara. It's a violation of the privacy of over 4,000 people, and whoever did it should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law." Barbara countered Collier's point by rhetorically asking, "So, warning people they may be living next to a public menace is a crime?"

Determined to put a stop to Barbara's actions, Dennis Ryland began checking into her background. After digging up some dirt on her, he went to her house and met her just as she was returning home. He invited her into his car then handed her a manila envelope, revealing that the contents relayed an interesting story about a television news host who had been involved in a hit and run accident. Ryland had Yates arrested for vehicular manslaughter.

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