2005: Cable News Nets Make America “Safe For Rich White Girls”

By Brian 

The Natalee Holloway Obsession: Beth Holloway Twitty had no previous experience with the news media when her daughter Natalee vanished in Aruba in June, but she quickly realized that broadcasting her story would increase expectations to solve the case.

She “greets reporters with hugs, remembers their names and thanks them for taking the time to listen,” the AP reported in July. “The media have been nothing but respectful toward me. They have been the voice of Natalee.”

For seven months, the case has served as fodder for cable newsers who have obsessively tracked the non-story:

> Dec. 21: LR: “It was the missing Cute White Girl for more than 100 days of nightly coverage. Without Natalee, we might have had to cover the news”

> Sept. 1: Rita Cosby gets stuck in Aruba during Katrina

> Aug. 24: Greta’s latest Holloway excuse: America has a GROWING EPIDEMIC of missing persons cases

> Aug. 25: NBC enters an Aruban jail and tries to talk to one of the suspects in Holloway’s disappearance; a judge orders the network not to broadcast the footage

> Aug. 24: FNC has gravitated to the Holloway story because “it’s easy and it’s brainless,” Jon Klein says

> Aug. 24: We learn that in early July, CNN drops the subject from most shows in the absence of new developments

> Aug. 22: For the media in Aruba, any tidbit will do

> Aug. 14: You’d think this was the crime of the century

> Aug. 13: Dan Abrams responds to Cooper, and calls the case “just a fascinating criminal investigation”

> Aug. 12: The Natalee coverage is getting “downright ridiculous,” Anderson Cooper opines

> Aug. 12: WP’s Robinson: “Hey, who cares about Iraq? They’re draining the pond! They’re digging in the landfill!”

> Aug. 11: Holloway gets a THREE HOUR BLOCK in PRIMETIME on FNC

> Aug. 10: Bill O’Reilly, probably jealous of Greta’s ratings, says the case is a “long-running soap opera,” and “they’re almost scripting it at this point”

> Aug. 5: How do these stories gain traction? “Usually, there’s an involved family that tends to be sophisticated in how to use the media,” MSNBC’s Mark Effron says

> Aug. 2: Dateline examines TV coverage of missing persons cases

> July 25: Greta defends her obsession: “I see it as a lesson in how we collect evidence”

> July 5: The word Aruba is uttered 658 times in one week on Fox News

> July 5: Beth Holloway Twitty is a media star

> July 1: News alerts “about sharks attacking blond scouts in Aruba” are ripe for the mocking

> June 29: Greta investigates the case in Aruba

> June 29: WP: “Wonder why the cable news networks spend so much time on stories of white chicks in distress? Easy, silly: It’s because you lap it up”

> June 27: Thanks to Holloway, Greta is #1 three nights in a row

> June 23: Greta owns the Holloway case

> June 18: Fox has 20 people “on the ground” in Aruba, Greta says; “We would certainly like to be part of finding Natalee — especially finding her alive and well”

> June 11: The cable nets get excited about false reports of a confession

> June 7: While vacationing in Aruba, a Scarborough Country producer meets one of the kidnapping suspects