America's Top Story
From Friday to Sunday this past weekend, the top news story on CNN.com was about the disappearance of a high-school senior on the island of Aruba. Please understand what I'm saying here - all weekend long, when you opened up the CNN website, the big headline, the very first thing you saw, was something about Natalee Holloway. Usually the headline was accompanied by her picture. Now, please don't get me wrong, I would never want to downplay the disappearance of a child (although Natalee is 18), and I don't even want to suggest that the story isn't newsworthy. I'm sure that Natalee's disappearance is important news in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. But the TOP national news story? Are you telling me that absolutely nothing else happened for 72 hours that was of more importance on a national level than this? How about the discovery in Iraq of an underground complex that appears to have been the headquarters of a major group of insurgents? It seems to me that was a pretty important story with national implications. But apparently to CNN it wasn't more important than the disappearance of the high-school senior from Alabama. Or how about the red tide problem in New England which is devastating that region's shell fish industry, and experts expect will get worse before it gets better? I think that that is a significant national news story.
Once again, I don't want to minimize the disappearance of a child. But how many children go missing in this country every year? Every year?!? Hell, how about every day? And it almost never makes the national news. Why? Because it shouldn't!! It isn't national news! It is local news. The national story is that, in this, the wealthiest, most developed nation on earth, hundreds if not thousands of children go missing every year. But individual cases of missing children are not national news. So why is Natalee's story getting so much attention? Why did Natalee's story dominate CNN's website for 3 full days? If you have been following her story, you know why. If not, check out CNN's site and find a picture of Natalee. Natalee is a stunningly beautiful WHITE girl, and it doesn't hurt that she comes from a relatively well off family who lives in an upperclass suburb of Birmingham. I'm sorry if I sound jaded here, but if Natalee were black, were homely, were poor, or were a boy, this story would NEVER have receieved the attention it is getting.
The values and priorities of this country are seriously out of whack.