No news is news

Tonight I was listening to Anderson Cooper (via Sirius) and he broke an unwritten rule of news: He criticized his competitors for overdosing on the Natalee Holloway story. Of course, CNN and Cooper can be accused of overdosing on a few stories of their own (ahem). But I’ll take a little news self-criticism, even if it is self-serving.

COOPER: Well, in Aruba, not much happened in the 11th week of the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, but you’d never know that if you listen to just about every other cable news channel.

We did a number of stories after the American teen went missing and her family’s anguish is and hard to imagine and we understand why they want the story to remain in the news, but we’ve been kind of stunned, because every night, our cable competitors devote hours and hours to this story, even though, sadly, nothing new is happening. We decided to start tracking their coverage, because to be honest, it’s getting downright ridiculous. Here’s what the other guys were reporting just last night…


BILL O’REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: Not much new in the Natalee Holloway mystery.

RITA COSBY, MSNBC HOST: The big mystery, of course, is taking place on the island of Aruba.

DAN ABRAMS, MSNBC HOST: Let’s go to Aruba. It’s getting ugly. Natalee Holloway’s mother is fighting back.

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: Meanwhile, a new battle is brewing between Natalee’s mom and a key suspect. We brought you that story last night. ….

O’REILLY: … 2 1/2 months, I’ve never seen in my 30-year career, a crime story covered this way, ever. It’s a mystery. It’s a soap opera. It’s a reality show and each night, people come in for the latest. I thought it would dissipate. I thought it would go away. It has not.


COOPER: It truly has not. The only thing we can honestly report to you tonight is that a young woman is still missing. A family is still in anguish. Until something else happens, until there really are developments, we’ll leave the rest to the other guys.

Until we get a good, juicy runaway bride, of course.

  • Hmmm… “O’REILLY: I’ve never seen in my 30-year career, a crime story covered this way, ever. It’s a mystery. It’s a soap opera. It’s a reality show and each night, people come in for the latest.”

    Bill’s surprised by REALITY being shown on the NEWS?

    Sadly, now that I think of it; I’m a bit surprised too.

  • AlexR

    “…I’ve never seen in my 30-year career, a crime story covered this way, ever.” Where has O’Reilly been? This kind of sensationalist binging is standard fare for the major media channels, especially television. Offhand I can think of plenty of crime stories that got the 24-7 treatment: Chandra Levy, the Atlanta courthouse shooter, Jon Bennet, the DC snipers, OJ Simpson, Laci Peterson. Not to mention Michael Jackson.

    Interestingly, another “genre” of crimes seems to drop off the radar much more quickly: multiple shootings in schools and workplaces (with the exception of Columbine).

  • Steve

    That’s nothing compared to O’Reilly doing a whole segment on (including a “media consultant” as guest) about what the Hollaway family can do to keep the story in the news.

  • Great Van Sustern (sp?) was doing her own mea culpa about the over-coverage of the Natalee Holloway disappearance. (forget what show though)….they’re all feeling the heat since their insincerity and love of the blond princess has been pointed out.

    yeah, a good juicy runaway bride who happens to be a spoiled, upper-crusty little twit…

    MSM’s using playing the race card again though when the real issue is social class. There was another young woman, 26, who disappeared in Aruba a couple of years ago. She wasn’t blond, wasn’t upper crusty, and her story still languishes. She got 10 minutes as an adjunct to the Holloway story. There were no big searches for her, and her family didn’t have the money to drop everything and move to Aruba. There was no Greta or anyone else. Her story was devalued because she didn’t have the “potential” of a well-heeled little girl…

    When will people wake up and see the larger issue in reporting is social class and status as much as it is the color of the missing persons’ skin.

    oh, I’m sorry–we live in a *classless* society! sure…

  • Menlo Bob

    CNN is awaiting the Karl Rove angle before buying Aruban real estate for Aaron Brown.