I've had a few requests to post about the string of missing persons in the news. As you know, I hate cable news. I think the first time a newscast ever cut to commercial was the beginning of the end. At its core the news media is there to provide a public service. How the hell would we know what was going on beyond our neighborhood without it?
The problem is when news networks compete for ratings. We didn't really feel the competition when the only news we got came from Ted Koeppel at six o'clock each night. ABC, and the other networks, didn't have to really pull any stunts in regards to the news- they had a whole schedule of shows to worry about. The news was relatively untouched in terms of the ratings race.
Then came the 24 hour news network. A network based solely on gathering and reporting events of the community and the world. Now, the news content becomes the source of the ratings. And the issues spew forth. What do you do on a slow news day? There is no room for slow days. If you're CNN on a "slow" day. Why not find something going on that FOX and MSNBC haven't reported?
In comes the missing persons stories. They are perfect for so many reasons! One, they are constant. The NCMEC (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children), estimates that in 2002, 58,200 kids were missing- and that's not including runaways! Those are all what they call non-family abductions. So you always have a supply of stories.
Two, they're provocative. Consider the story of the Groene children. Dylan (9) and his sister Shasta (8) were abducted after their mom, brother, and mom's boyfriend were bound and bludgeoned to death. Dylan and Shasta were reportedly raped and Dylan was killed. Shasta was then found and perp captured when a Denny's employee recognized him from the tv. How crazy is that. Def exciting enough to keep people watching.
The news networks could give two shits about Natalee Halloway and Shasta Groene. You wanna know why I say that? How many Shastas and Natalees have went missing and never found? Of all the missing and exploited children the news media only decide to report it when nothing else is really happening? How come no kids were worth reporting during the 2004 presidential campaign? It's bullshit. And we shouldn't pay them any mind. Whores. All of them! I get nauseous thinking about it. I just hope that the day I go missing nothing really cool is happening anywhere else in the world. Then maybe I might have a chance of making out alive.