I understand your point Julie, but Steve's dad wasn't the media focal point that his son has become. He didn't go out of his way to share Steve's early initiation with the world. Had he done so, I believe there would have been some negative reaction even back then. To openly and deliberately share this moment with the entire world only invites criticism and controversy. Its not like they were unaware of the potential ramifications of doing this.
I think Steve knew it had to be done (according to a family tradition). I think because the crocs are already in the zoo, he thought he would do it there being that he knows each crocodile like the back of his hand. I am also pretty sure he picked one of the friendlier crocs. Of course this is a relative term. Also, I do not see how Steve 'went out of his way' with this. I don't think he expected this kind of reaction. I really don't think they were thinking about the ramifications, I think they were thinking what a wonderful experience to share publicly. Of course, a stupid one, but he had good intentions.