Posted by: Randy Allgaier | August 26, 2006

Jon Benet and All the Missing Girls of Color

Every time I see the media spend hours upon hours of time covering the story about a pretty young white girl who has been abducted, murdered or molested my heart breaks, but it breaks for that little white girl and the untold numbers of children of color that go missing regularly. 

The media should be ashamed of themselves.  They prey on the personal horror of families who are going through unmitigated hell while ignoring the anguish of families who might not be as telegenic.  Don’t these nameless victims and their families deserve a little attention?  If the premise of attention on unsolved cases is that the media can be used to help facilitate resolution to these crimes why only focus on crimes when the victim looks like the audience targeted by the advertisers?  The answer is simple- this has little to do with helping bring resolution to a crime or awareness of evil in the world.  It has everything to do with ratings that translate into advertising dollars. 

John Mark Karr is obviously a disturbed man in a world that saddly has a lot of disturbed men.  It is also clear that there are two attorneys from California that are salivating at the public attention and possible fame that the case will give them.  It was wise of the Boulder Colorado public defenders office insisted that these women shut their mouths.  It is partially due to the absurd amount of media attention wrought on this case that it has brought out sharks like Patience Van Zandt and Jamie Harmon who are shocking the legal analysts with their lack of legal acumen. 

But quite frankly does a case, even one with a bizarre history filled with investigative mishaps, a mysterious wealthy family,  a little girl victim who disturbingly prancing around like a made up miniature woman,  and a very weird and creepy suspect, merit the amount of air time that this 10 year old case is getting at the moment?  Think of all the young girls who have are missing- especially little girls of color- that might have a ray of hope for rescue or case resolution if the media paid .000001th  time that is being given to this case.  Oh but I forgot the media isn’t interesting in aiding the public good- it is interested in pandering for advertising dollars.

I am sorry for the Ramsey family and their decade of pain that has been paraded in front of the world.  But I think that there are other stories on which the media could spend their resources-Iraq, Iran, Korea, Illegal Wiretaps, Terrorism, a broken Presidency come to mind  These timely issues merit the white hot light of media attention.  One little girl’s tragedy is horrible but doesn’t deserve this amount of attention and it certainly doesn’t deserve all the attention reserved for stories like it.

If the medias insists on 24/7 coverage of stories about abducted children while putting the chaos of world affairs in the back seat, they should think about taking the time and effortinvested in reporting the Karr case and devote it to all the missing children in the country and the dispraportionate amount of disappearances among children of color.

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