summer of the shark

Remember last year's summer of the shark? Welcome to the summer of the abduction.

The public didn't need to watch little Samantha's funeral "live ... in its entirety" on CNN. The public didn't need to listen to Larry King bloviate about this topic night after night, not just with Runnion's grief-stricken mother, but also with a panel of people involved in the case, and, most pathetically, with celebrity hack Dominick Dunne. It's fine to alert the public when a child is missing or there's a serial killer on the loose in the neighborhood, but that's largely a job for local news. What Larry King, Bill O'Reilly, and the rest are doing is something else entirely: It's sensationalizing other people's tragedy.

The world is a scary enough place without kids being made to feel that at any moment a masked man could sneak into their bedroom and spirit them away. It could happen--and does on extraordinarily rare occasions. But our children are in no greater danger this summer than any other.
The New Republic: Summer Scare. The bottom line (as I suspected) is that they're putting the story of an 11-year-old girl beaten nearly to death with a hammer on the evening news not because they think it's newsworthy, but because they think it will sell advertising. Are you buying?
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