Friday, August 18, 2006

Misplaced Priorities

More thoughts at end of post, scroll down...
So, as everyone and their brothers, sisters and cousins knows by now, a suspect in the JonBenet Ramsey killing has been detained in Thailand. Good news, indeed, I will say that a little piece of me hopes he gets his just desserts in prison for what he did to that innocent little girl, notwithstanding the fact that such a punishment would be meted out in such an extra-judicial fashion (if indeed he did what he says he did -- ed.). And of course, it was front-page, above-the-fold news. I was in the lounge at my work yesterday, though, and this was all that several people were talking about, and the discussion was getting pretty deep; they discussed their *ahem* theories as to who did it, and why, and all that good stuff, and I just had to wonder to myself, why in the hell are these people seemingly so fixated on something that has so little import on their own lives? The people who are supposedly our representatives in Washington are spending our money like drunken sailors on leave, the rest of the world under the auspices of the United Nations wants to take our guns away, Islamic fundamentalists are bent on killing us all or converting us to their religion, and yet what do so many of us get so animated about? The cold case of a murdered little girl. One would think the way the media covered the JonBenet Ramsey case for the last ten years that she was the only one. But, apparently, that's what the people want to hear about. To paraphrase a comment I saw on The High Road last night, Americans, if they were not more interested in who killed JonBenet Ramsey than who's killing America, would demand better from the media. No doubt in some cases they do, but we can see how much good that's done with today's headlines. Sometimes I just have to shake my head...

UPDATE: Perhaps some good did come from the media coverage of the arrest of the suspect in the Ramsey killing, at least locally...the Beaumont Enterprise ran a front-page story on Orange toddler Dannarriah Finley, who will forever be the tender age of four years old. Those of you not from this area might not know what happened to little Dannarriah just over four years ago, so here's an excerpt from the Enterprise story...

Dannarriah's mother told police the last time she saw her daughter was about 4 a.m. on July 4. When Arnold awoke six hours later, her other children were playing but Dannarriah was missing. She looked for the 4-year-old for two hours before calling police.
As many as 200 people joined the search for Dannarriah.
Four days later, a government inspector found Dannarriah's body on a dirt path about 30 feet from a pipeline on Pleasure Island. Her body was so decomposed searchers didn't immediately recognize the remains as those of the child, according to The Enterprise archives. She eventually was identified using DNA, The Enterprise said.
Police investigators say that under the cover of night, someone familiar with Dannarriah's Fourth Street neighborhood entered her home. The killer sexually assaulted Dannarriah, and when it was over, wrapped her in a floral bed sheet and later dumped her 40-pound body 30 miles from home.
Richard Whitmire, an engineer, was among the first to find Dannarriah's body. He said it looked like whoever dumped her thought dredging crews would finish covering her with clay-like deposits.

Why no front-page story on her? Why so many column-inches burned up from coast to coast on JonBenet Ramsey but not on Dannarriah Finley? I have no answers, only questions. I know that if the media took every story like this and ran with it, there'd be little room for everything else; still, though, I heard no talk of little Dannarriah when I was in the lounge at work today, and this atrocity happened right in our own backyard. I can't explain why this just grates on me so, but it does. Maybe those idiotic big-city newspaper columnists who whine incessantly about "gun violence" and constantly attack gun owners and our culture will say this imbalance of coverage, effectively saying one child's life is worth more than so many others, is the province of other media columnists, but they should be asking their readers about it anyway, because once again, JonBenet Ramsey isn't worth any more column-inches than any other innocent toddler whose life was so brutally snuffed out.