Enough Jon Benet

Karol Collymore

Ten years ago, I graduated from high school and was preparing for college. I was most concerned with hanging out with friends and being as carefree as possible. I was fretting over wardrobe, majors, jobs, and my parents who I didn't think would SURVIVE with out little Karol Ann (yup, totally wrong about that one) at home. That holiday season, Jon Benet Ramsey entered our lives. A little kewpie doll looking girl from a weathly family who had been killed in the basement. Sad, unfortunate, all those adjectives came to mind. But at no time, did I want to see it every day. I blame OJ Simpson for making that much media OK - Darn him for ruining all the soaps I wanted to see that part of my junior year. I didn't want to see her parents cry on cue every time a camera's light went on and I was glad for the distraction of going back to the dorm and the library nights.

In the ten years since, problems in the world are growing almost out of control. Several terrorist attacks have happened, North Korea would rather talk to the governor of New Mexico (Bill Richardson for President!) about their issues than the newly elected President Bush, the Gulf Coast tragedy still is being felt - even though its long off the news. Oh, and its hotter than hell in Oregon and Al Gore is the only politican that can discuss the ramifications? So what counts as news these days...oh, Jon Benet Ramsey.

I thought it was just the mass media, cable news, rating seekers. But it's not. KOIN news 6 was talking about what the alleged perputrator was having for breakfast in jail. I'm sure they weren't the only ones, just the one I happened to see. So with all that the world is handing us to deal with - borderline rasict politicians, Bush press conferences, election fraud, children without health insurance, the working poor, and raging wars across the globe - I would like to point our sick obession with a long dead child. And one more greater point: There are still 43 missing children in Oregon dating back to 1982 (www.missingkids.com). This does not count the ones that have been found, dead or alive. The only one on the list you've heard of? Brooke Wilburger, another beautiful blonde.

Comments

  • Becky (unverified)
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    A big AMEN to that. I had the television cable news on while cleaning my house Sunday and for hours the story was all about where on the plane this guy was sitting, what he was eating, what he was drinking, etc. I wanted to puke. It's all part of of a massive distraction campaign that is designed to keep us from paying attention while these people destroy our freedoms and bankrupt our country.

  • Karl Smiley (unverified)
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    Whenever I saw or heard Jon Benet this week, all I could think was "How many little Jon Benets got killed in Lebanon or Iraq last month? Their relatives and friends don't have to wonder whose bombs or missiles killed them and whose responsible for their deaths."

  • no one in particular (unverified)
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    Karl: PLEASE, don't disrespect Jon Benet that way. There's no way a little Lebanese or Iraqi girl could possibly be as beautiful or as worthy of affection as our excessively made-up miniature supermodel. I can't believe you would even suggest a thing.

  • dan j (unverified)
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    Karol,

    I'm in complete agreement with the out of control media hype. Enough already.

    Smiley,

    Good job capitalizing Jon Benet's death into "hate Bush" politics.

    Guess that's one more for your side. Right?

    Did you mom and dad really spend all that money on your social science degree so that you could unload such meaty comments as that?

    Funny, you didn't mention how many kids were killed in Israel from inbound rockets. Now why is that?

  • dan j (unverified)
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    Becky,

    Your right!

    All of the news organizations had their monthly meeting with Karl Rove. He laid down the directive to ignore the evil Bush empire and focus on some loser accused of killing Jon Benet.

    Sure, this requires a conspiracy with thousands of participants. But so what, don't let that get in the way of a good nut-job theory.

    They weren't counting on a sharp mind like yours to put all the dots together.

    Congrats!!!

  • (Show?)

    Keep in mind that late August is when we usually get Shark Week -- but apparently this year it's Jon Benet Week.

  • djk (unverified)
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    C'mon, Karol. You know pretty blondes are the only children worth caring about.

    Or didn't you get the memo?

  • James Caird (unverified)
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    Jon Benet has been dead longer than she was alive, and she's still competing to be the top story on all three networks.

    Ironically, if the Jon Benet chronicles continue through September, it will be a fitting story for Katie Couric's ascent into the CBS anchor chair -- an infotainment journalism icon covering an iconic infotainment story on the iconic network news show. It would be an historic moment (dare I say iconic) in the continuing slide into irresponsibility by America's Fourth Estate.

  • spicey (unverified)
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    Rob Breszny recommends a week-long media fast. Perhaps this is the week? No radio, internet, TV, etc.

    And, just saw the movie "The Secret" recently. I highly recommend - believe one can watch it on-line (after your media fast, of course). Talks a lot about how what you think about comes true, or comes into your focus. So, you want something to come about, think about it. But by focusing us on the stupidity of Jon Benet, we bring the story, and the vibe into our world even more. Want to lose the Jon Benet story? Focus elsewhere.

    for instance: http://www.fourfriggingdaystillIleavefortheplayahallelujah.com

  • danj (unverified)
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    Spicey,

    please notify all of the hungry and oppressed about "The Secret".

    They can solve their problems through positive cosmic energy. Wooowwww maaaannnn. That's grrroooooovvvvyyyyyy!!!!!

    Thank you Spicey for summing up in your post the difference between liberals and conservatives.

    You'll have to excuse me why I actually accomplish something and you enter into your next meditation session.

  • BlueNote (unverified)
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    Everything I needed to know about politics, I learned from the Wizard of Oz.

    Pay no attention to the men behind the curtain! Just focus your attention on the 6 year old "Beauty Queen". Or, if you don't like the Beauty Queen, just focus your attention on the crazed Arab toothpaste bombers. The point is, just don't look behind the curtain!

  • VR (unverified)
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    Note the irony of writing a blog about JBR to complain that JBR is getting too much press.

  • spicey (unverified)
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    danj: You'll have to excuse me why I actually accomplish something and you enter into your next meditation session.

    I wish you great actual accomplishments!

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    V, Irony noted. I thought about it, then I thought, nah, go ahead...

  • MLB (unverified)
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    This sad, sad story only serves to remind us all that these sick child molesters (even if he didn't kill JBR there is evidence he harmed other children) cannot be rehabilitated and, in my humble opinion, the Thai police and the media should have looked the other way while somebody glocked that sick-o Karr before he came back to spew his filth over here. Sort of reminds me of good old Charlie Manson getting room and board and 3 square whilst he writes lovely lyrics and is lionized by the press and Guns and Roses.

  • Gil Johnson (unverified)
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    Every time I've turned on the TV the past week or so, the Mariners have been on and losing badly to one team or another, so I have been blissfully unaware of the Jon Benet Ramsay spectacle until reading about it on Blueoregon.

    There are thousands of more important stories and thankfully, the print media covers many of them. I plan to join Spicey at least in fasting from the broadcast and cable media, at least until the Mariners get better pitching.

  • Mister Tee (unverified)
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    I don't mind them going overboard on the JonBenet story so long as multiple ED drugs are competing with online dating, incontinence protection, and "get rich in real estate" infomercials. As long as we are subjected to advertisements for all that ails the boomers ("erections lasting longer than 4 hours are a serious health risk") and the latest foreign currency scam coming to YOUR TOWN FOR THREE DAYS ONLY!!! Do our children really need to learn about all these things on television?

    I find the "another bomb blew up in Baghdad" stories far more tedious. At what point does the novelty factor wear off? We have a rough idea who is cutting off heads and planting IED's in Iraq; we still don't know who killed JonBenet.

    Sadly, death and destruction captivate the viewers attention, even more so if the victim is a child, or wealthy, or beautiful (three strikes against the Ramsys. The JonBenet story was perfect for non-stop news coverage: bereaved parents, an aggressive DA, a taunting (yet elusive) perp, and absolutely no idea who committed the crime. I hope the excessive coverage leads to a break in the case: if it contributes to solving the crime, it will have been worth it.

  • Scott McLean (unverified)
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    Hi Karol! Your article is outstanding! You are exactly right about the news media getting overdoing it with too much coverage of these high profile legal cases. I'm sick of this American obsession with trials, making the daily news more and more like a soap opera.

    In my opinion, right now what is needed from television analysts and radio talk show hosts is increased scrutiny of the war in Iraq and other unsuccessful policies of the Bush Administration. Those Republicans in Congress who just want to spend, spend, spend on the war, rather than put domestic issues toward the top of the priority list, should receive their share of the blame, too. Remember, they haven't even done a good job of securing our borders and ports. Isn't that a key part of the war on terror? I believe airport, border and port security should be the number one priority to protect Americans. And of course it can and must be done without eavesdropping on harmless Americans.

    The best way we can tell them they are wrong is to vote them out of office. Maybe Democrats will have to win back leadership in Congress for the news media to make issues (rather than high profile legal cases) the top story.

  • Scott McLean (unverified)
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    Sorry for the typos. It's almost as difficult typing within a box as thinking in one. Take care.

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    Thanks Scott. Scrutiny is needed, I just don't know how we get there. Unless one of us wins or inherits several million dollars, we'll still be voices in cyberspace.

  • John S (unverified)
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    1. No one is making you watch TV-the weather is beautiful this time of year-take your dog for a walk!!!
    2. The media is simply responding to what interests their audience (which is what the advertisers pay for).
    3. Number 2 above is a sad commentary on what Americans want to see on TV.
  • kc (unverified)
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    Gee, you've grown up a lot in 10 years. Keep up the good work.

  • Grant Schott (unverified)
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    There are something like 20,000 murders in the US every year and it never ceases to amaze me how a few murderers/victims became mega celebriites- Scott and Lacie Peterson are prime examples. Larry King, the "journalist" (well, not really) still talks about them, as do others. Appearances seems to be a major factor. Ugly murderers and victims just don't make the press, I guess.

  • Phil Jones (unverified)
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    Breaking News! John Mark Karr has left his cell to use the bathroom! Film at 11!

    That's how absurd it's become in Mainstream Media.

  • me (unverified)
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    [Gratuitous, anonymous insults deleted. -editor.]

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