I’ve long ago grown weary of the daily media bombardment about young Natalee Holloway’s disappearance on the tropical island of Aruba. Natalee is (or was, as the case may be), after all, only one person.
Nataleemania reached a new high in ludicrousness over our Independence Day weekend. On July 4, the Kalpoe brothers were released by an Aruban judge because of insufficient evidence against them. Third suspect Joran van der Sloot was ordered held for an additional 60 days. It is not this judicial action that inflamed me. It was the response by family spokesman Beth Holloway Twitty, Natalee’s mother.
“Two suspects were released yesterday who were involved in a violent crime against my daughter,” she said. “These criminals are not only being allowed to walk around among the tourists and citizens of Aruba.” She went on to admonish other countries to deny the Kalpoe brothers entry.
Twitty is entitled to her emotional moments, but I wish she’d keep her mouth shut. An American citizen condemning the efforts of one foreign government while urging other sovereign states to follow her orders makes all of us Americans look to the rest of the world like the spoiled brats that some of us are.
Twitty has not only accused the Kalpoe brothers, but also she has adjudged them guilty. Guilty of what? What violent crime does she refer to? She doesn’t even know! Does she have some overwhelmingly convincing evidence that the Aruban government does not have? If so, why didn’t she turn it over to them. If not, which is obviously the case, then SHUT THE HELL UP! In Aruba, as in the United States of America, a person is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. No matter what Beth Twitty thinks, this must always be the case.
Sure, the Arubans displayed some ineptness in how the investigation was conducted. Their island is not crawling with expert criminologists like our country always seems to be. Having lived on a similar island for five years, I know that islanders would much rather live their relaxed lifestyle and take our tourist dollars than develop neuroses worrying about criminology. I also know that perceived ineptness in areas where we think we can do better is a relative thing.
In spite of the initial botching, I think that the Arubans have been most accommodating. The media circus has taken their island captive and tacit threats of withholding American tourist dollars have pressured Arubans to turn their lives upside-down. Hell, as of yesterday, the Dutch have brought in F-16s to search for Natalee. This is costing a fortune.
I don’t begrudge Beth Twitty her grief over the loss of her daughter or her anger about mistakes that were made in the investigation. However, enough with the big mouth, already! That Natalee disappeared is probably more Beth’s responsibility than the Arubans’—after all, did Beth think that she was sending Natalee to a church picnic? The Aruban government is spending big bucks to continue a search where hope diminishes with each passing day. The tourist industry, by far the largest industry there, is suffering. The people of Aruba are entitled to get back to their normal lives. Let’s stop punishing them.
K walters says
sad this is sad
Being, more or less of a conservative frame of mind, I would say that I am a fairly faithful viewer of Fox News.
So, I find it appalling that lately I have had to turn to other sources for my news, because of the unrelenting coverage of the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in Aruba, and its aftermath, on Fox.
However, I did not fare any better with CNBC, CNN, and Nancy Grace and friends!!!
I have six children, and five grandchildren, and I can assure you as a father, and grandfather, that in this tragedy, I totally empathize with the loss, pain, and anguish Natalee’s parents, and family, are suffering, and that in our family, our hearts and prayers go out to them without any reservations. But if they need closure, so do we, the viewers.
In the weeks previous to the London terrorist attacks all that could be seen on the news media, and specially on Fox News, 24/7, was about Aruba, and the many spins on Natalee’s disappearance, at the expense of other news, and developments around the world.
Unfortunately, and however we may disagree with it, or dislike it, this tragic incident took place on foreign soil, their laws, and judicial proceedings are different from ours, and we have to wait for Aruban authorities, however incompetent they may seem to us, to conclude their investigations, and proceedings. Harping about it in a media circus every day, if anything, seems rather to generate negative reactions, than to help, as witnessed in the recent protests in Aruba.
I was hoping after the London bombings, and the media’s attention had been diverted to the events unfolding there, that Natalee’s disappearance would be quietly relegated to a back burner, and revisited only when any significant developments had taken place, but I was wrong.
On the Oâ€™Reilly Factor, on Fox, John Gibson, touched on the subject twice.
Hannity and Colmes devoted three segments of their show to Aruba, with the consequent interview of some member of Natalee’s family, in this case the aunt.
And Greta (God help us!), is back “On the Aruba with Greta Van Susterern Der Sloot!” As a result, I didn’t even wait to see what was coming up on Greta, but just switched the channel!
I switched to CNN, and, lo and behold, there is Nancy Grace as the “Grand Master of Ceremonies” of a veritable three ring â€œEmotional Circusâ€ about Natalee, surrounded by a panel of lawyers, forensic pathologists, palmists, and other experts, who after all their extensive, erudite dissertations, can only agree on that they know less about the case now, than when they first began to analyze it, about what possible forensic evidence could be gleaned from an alleged â€œhickeyâ€ Van Der Sloot Jr. May, or may not have had on his neck a couple of days after Nataleeâ€™s dissapearance (according to anonymous sources), and interviewing several members of Nataleeâ€™s family, and their entourage!!!
What sense is there in having interviews with several different family members on the same show, on the same day, asking them all the same questions, to which they all, unequivocally, make the same answers? The only members of Natalee’s family the media has not interviewed so far, are the family pets, and Iâ€™m not even so sure on that!!!
While all of this ‘Natalee Holloway / Aruba” coverage was taking place, the News Headlines on the very Web sites of the very Cable news channels conducting this barrage read: “Israeli Air strikes kill six Hamas militants” ( Isn’t this something maybe we should have been discussing?), “Rice scrambles to squeeze-in trip to Mideast as violence rages” (Wonder if this will derail the peace efforts in the region?), “Attacks kill 29 across Iraq” ( Is the insurgency abating, or intensifying? ), and “UN shredder still shredding” (Isn’t there any legal recourse to stop the destruction of these documents which may shed light as to the extent of the corruption within the UN, and help the on-going investigations?)
Other events are taking place around the world, many of which will affect all our lives, shouldn’t the media be focusing on them at this juncture, rather than on Natalee Holloway, and Aruba? When is enough Natalee Holloway coverage, enough?
And if (God forbid) her dissapearrance remains unsolved, for how many years will we have to endure said coverage????
The Nittany Turkey says
In my opinion, Greta Van Susteren has long ago breached the bounds of propriety in her “news coverage” of the Natalee situation. Her interviews with Beth seem like badgering cross-examinations. The other night, when the videos of Natalee doing her dance routines was played for the first time, Greta asked Beth, “Can you tell me. Is it hard for you to watch this at this time?” I think that Fox News has gone over the edge on this one.