Saturday, June 23, 2007

Media Feeding Frenzy

The latest missing white woman who was pregnant frenzy ended in tragedy today as her body was discovered. Her name is Jessie Davis, and I feel for her family right now. It should be a private story. It isn't.

This should be worth a few weeks at least for Nancy Grace. I am cynical about these events because I experienced one such media pack journalism event in my life.

I was residing in California a few years back. It was during the pregnant teen-aged girls killing their freshly delivered baby press madness. I lived in an apartment at the time, right in front of the building. Out my window were where the trash dumpsters were stored for our building and the one across.

One night, somebody heard a sound, and discovered a baby in the dumpster. It was a baby boy brought to the hospital with a fractured skull. His chance of survival was unknown. The next several days, news vans were parked up and down my block. Watching tv reporters preen in the few minutes before a live shot is oddly unsettling. The police had no idea who did it, and it became an attempted murder mystery. Thursday night, they started doing live shots with bright lights for the eleven PM news. Each time, they did a live shot in front of the dumpster where the tragedy occurred.

Nothing was going on there, but they needed the dumpster for a good visual. Friday morning was trash day. The dumpsters around the apartment buildings, including those across the street, were all owned by the same waste management company. There would be a man who would roll all the dumpsters out into the street into a group, then feed them to the garbage truck to empty.

It didn't matter where they ended up. A dumpster was a dumpster. The media felt the same way. A reporter showed up for the noon news shot as this was going on. She waited until the dumpsters were put randomly back in place, and stood at the spot where the old dumpster was located. She then went on with her report using a "dumpster" to report no new news.

Over the week-end, some real news occurred. The baby was stabilized. He ended up being adopted by a loving family. The girl was a neighbor from a few apartments down. She was a good kid, who was 15 and hid the pregnancy from her aunt and uncle she lived with by wearing bulky jackets and sweaters. She panicked when she delivered and put the baby gently in the dumpster. It's skull was likely fractured later when somebody threw trash in. It was a horrific thing she did, but she was a kid.

The media calmed down once the news wasn't that exciting. There was no satanic cult drugs, or anything sexy. It was just a child who was a good student at school making the dumbest mistake of her life. Monday evening, I was able to take out the trash without bright lights shining down on me.

There was a missing three year old in Encino.