Monday, August 29, 2005

All The News That's Fit...

I'm very angered at what some broadcast journalists feel I need to know as news. Too often I am bombarded by topics that I don't care about, or ones that oversaturate the airwaves.

A prime example of this is the disappearance of Alabama teen, Natalee Holloway. Far too much attention is being paid to this story. It is on par with the Michael Jackson molestation trial, it has become a three ring circus.

Now don't get me wrong, I am sympathetic to this young woman being missing for so long - but this is not on the level of say, the Israeli pullout of Gaza. This is a personal tragedy that has been brought to the world, and I'm not sure we are the better for it.

One of the prime offenders is Nancy Grace. Her show on CNN should be called "All Natalee - All The Time" because she doesn't spend much time on other topics. Even when Nancy Grace took a week vacation it was still Natalee TV on the Nancy Grace Show. Her guest host even went so far as to say that Nancy was "singlehandedly keeping this story alive". I guess the fill-in host has never seen Fox News because Gretta Van Susstren has her own version of Natalee TV, and so does Geraldo Rivera. You can see many versions of "All Natalee - All The Time" on the cable news channels. Nanacy Grace isn't the only one reporting this story, but you would think so if you listened to her guest host. Nancy isn't even the only one on CNN "keeping the Natalee Holloway story alive"; Larry King does his fair share of segments on the topic. But that didn't stop Nancy's guest host from proclaiming that Beth Holloway is grateful to Nancy Grace for being the sole person to keep the public aware of the story.

This guest host makes me sick. I am not going to mention her name here, but I feel that she is the most unprofessional person to host a show this side of Howard Stern & Don Imus. She puts her emotions into her reporting, offering opinion in the place of facts. We watch the news for an unbiased view of the news, not for someone to interject that the man who kidnapped Shasta Groene is a scumbag. Do I think he's a scumbag? (YES, I do) Do I need a broadcaster telling me she thinks he's a scumbag? (NO, I don't - unless we are having a personal conversation) Geraldo is guilty of this as well, and because of it I don't trust his reporting.

Another thing that upsets me is that people refer to Natalee's mom as Beth Holloway. That isn't her name, and neither is Beth Holloway Twitty. She is no longer married to Dave Holloway, so just call her Beth Twitty - please. She's Natalee's mother, she doesn't need the "Holloway" to give her pain more value. I'm offended that people like Nancy Grace put "Jug" Twitty, Beth's husband into the spotlight and not Dave Holloway. I have never seen Beth & Dave being interviewed at the same time, even if it was from two different locations. It's always Beth & "Jug" or Dave and his wife. Somehow I think "Jug's" pain at Natalee's disappearance pales to that of Dave's.

I have some real problems with this case, but I don't see many people asking these questions:

1. Why didn't someone look into where Natalee was when it was obvious that she didn't come back to the hotel by 4am... or 6am?

2. Why didn't someone ask questions when Natalee didn't make her way to catch her flight?

3. Why wasn't there a system in place to assure that the students were accounted for so that when Natalee didn't make the second flight an alarm would have been set off?

4. If Natalee had so many friends, why didn't her "friends" make sure that she was accounted for long before the time to meet for her flight home?

5. Why did her friends allow her leave Carlos & Charlie's with three men that nobody really knew?

6. Why aren't the "friends" and chaperones being called to task for their neglegence in failing to make sure Natalee was around to leave the island?

7. Why did the chaperones allow the second flight to take off without alerting the police that one of their students was missing?

I'm upset at how this is beinghandled, on all sides. The Aruban authorities have bungled this investigation. Natalee's friends and the chaperones mishandled the situation by not keeping tabs on all of the travellers. The media has oversaturated the airwaves with this story. And Beth Holloway has gone a bit too far in trying to find her daughter.

I'll list a few things I think Beth has done wrong in her search for Natalee:

A. She was staying in the very room that Natalee stayed in. I find this a bit creepy because at this point people had no idea that Natalee might not be found alive.

B. She went on record every day, on any network, expressing her outrage at the three main suspects.

C. She went too far by making a world appeal to not let the Kalpoe brothers have a safe harbor after they were released. She insulted the people of Aruba by insinuating they weren't helping enough,and calling the Kalpoe brothers "criminals" when that hasn't been proven ... yet.

D. She proceeded to "stalk" the Kalpoe brother who worked at the internet cafe. Beth Twitty went on Scarborough Country and announced that she was going to keep doing this harassing tactic, every day if necessary until he gave her answers.

E. The head of Equusearch did similar tactics with Joran Van Der Sloot's parents. He ended up being wanted for questioning by the police - for either harassing the Van Der Sloot's or disrupting the environment durring a search.

But there has been a bigger downside to "All Natalee - All The Time". There was a woman in Philadelphia that was also missing. Latoyia Figueroa was five months pregnant when she went missing after visiting the doctor with her baby's father. This story wasn't national headlines until after much blogger activity. Some said that if Latoyia was caucasin, blonde, with blue eyes maybe people like Nancy Grace would have cared more. A similar situation happened in Florida when a Hispanic girl's body was found burned. She wasn't given the attention that Jessica Lunsford was, and maybe she could have been saved if she was treated the same as Natalee Holloway, Shasta Groene, or a Jessica Lunsford.

Now a missing woman in Ohio is beginning to get Natalee-like coverage. Is Julie Popovich getting more coverage because she is a model & caucasin? Hopefully she will be found alive and well.

I wish the best for Natalee Holloway and her family. I pray that she is still alive and that she is returned to her family. I send out prayers for all the missing people, even the ones not getting much press. In my area of Pennsylvania we have a missing man, Ray Gricar - Centre County District Attorney. Ray has been missing since April 15th. He received some media attention. I called Fox News and gave them the info. Amazingly Gretta Van Susstren went to the location to report the story. Nancy Grace didn't give Ray much time, but I did see that she mentioned him after someone supposedly spotted him in Texas recently.

What I'm asking for is QUALITY reporting, not QUANTITY. Give equal time to ALL the missing people. Help bring them all home.