Greta Van Susteren, I am not sure why we would even have to say this to you … but why would you feel the need to answer criticism about your show and the coverage of Natalee Holloway? Who would complain about your coverage of Natalee Holloway, a missing teenager in Aruba, who symbolically represents all teenage girls who go on vacations and think they are safe and immune to real life dangers that exist in overstated safe island paradises.
Let us just say there is a big difference between criticism of one’s opinions and criticism of one’s content. One you have a right to, the other you do not.
I agree with Greta’s answer when it comes to those who wish to tell you what is important and what you should do and write on. The blogosphere is not all that much different from TV in that respect. Whether it be remote, key board or mouse; they are one in the same.
“They should take out the remote control if they don’t like it,” says the attorney-cum-broadcasting star with characteristic directness.
One wonders why people would criticize Greta for her coverage of Natalee Holloway. Is it the competition who fell to a distant second, or those that just feel the need to think they know more than a successful broadcaster? The make-up of Greta’s show would be a natural to cover such a story.
“On Natalee Holloway, we worked hard and fast in the beginning and we had all the sources and contacts — and being aggressive enables us to get the jump on other people.” (National Ledger)
For the most part Greta Van Susteren walked a fine balance between reporting, fact gathering, exclusives and ratings. That is what boosted her show, “On The Record” ahead of The O’Reilly Factor last summer. On The Record was must see TV for those that wanted information on the Natalee Holloway case. However, I will say she made a tactical error when she had the opportunity to interview Joran Van der Sloot, (interview 2 or 3) that cost her in the eyes of many. Not holding Joran’s feet, or sneakers as the case may be, to the fire was one. The other was stating “she was inclined to believe him“. It hardly seem possible especially coming from an attorney who was privy to so much inside information in the case due to her special relationship with Beth Twitty. Maybe it was just said in hopes of getting interview II?
For those who wish to criticize Greta for her coverage of Natalee Holloway miss the big picture. Yes, I know this is a new flash to all you college journalism majors, but the media is about ratings. The media is not about altruistic stories that win Pulitzers. You will learn that when you graduate. That being said, the media is about ratings. What the media learned is that missing persons gather ratings.
Thus, the big picture story of the Natalee Holloway investigation and how the media covered it was two-fold. One, the Holloway & Twitty families were guaranteed that Aruba could not sweep this tragedy into the sand as they have prior. This will become a blue print for all families of missing persons in the future. Two, more missing persons stories were covered on the news and cable shows than before. This is a good thing. Exposure of missing person cases is never bad. This is what is called a win-win situation.
Those who think Natalee Holloway has sucked up all the oxygen for “Missing Person’s” or get caught up in slogans like “Pretty White Girl” syndrome really miss the boat. First, the media does not have to cover any missing person story. It is not their obligation to be a public service. It would be nice, but no one forces them to. They are in business to make money, not save the world. Second, more missing persons stories have been covered and their is a demand for the public to see and follow them. Whether it be Greta, Rita, Nancy, Geraldo, ect … the fact that they have covered so many over the past year is a blessing to the families of missing loved ones. Third and most important, the reason why certain stories make it big on the MSM has to do with the nature of the story how one went missing and the determination of the family.
We will take three missing persons stories that have all lasted over 6 months and are still very much in the public eye. They all have one common thread through out. The three missing persons are Natalee Holloway, George Smith and Jennifer Kesse. What do all three stories have in common that make them in the forefront? All have three driven families behind the scenes that will stop at nothing to get answers and do not accept “no” for an answer. Earlier this week I had the privilege of talking to Drew Kesse. He has the same drive, power and optimism as any conversation that I have had with Beth Twitty or Dave Holloway. The parents and sister of missing honeymooner George Smith fall into this same category as they are not willing to settle with a cruise line like so many before. THEY WANT ANSWERS.
Before one criticizes for what others do, one must first see the big picture good that is done as well as for the specific case at hand. Its easy to be negative. Don’t complain, go out and make a difference yourself. In many cases complaints, digs or negative comments come from those in the industry trying to take others down a peg or not even understanding the story in the first place. Criticism usually occurs when one is doing something right and comes from those that wish they were at that point. Its the theory of if one cannot uplift themselves, then they will try to bring others down.
Do I agree with all that the media does? Not even close, thats why we blog. We certainly appreciate the fact that many in the media read us. However, we are opininated, therefore we blog. I find it hard to imagine that networks become so monolithic in their coverage of events. Networks and shoes within networks all battling over the same story. One would think they could do multiple stories. I am sure the network bigwigs all understand the theory of the “law of diminishing returns.” If blogs can cover multiple stories, one would certainly think that a new network with many more people could as well.
The one comment/slight criticism I will make of Greta is when she refers to her blog, GretaWire, which I do read. I hate to inform you Greta but its not a blog in the present day sense. Just one one misnomer of the internet that the MSM has tries to define, but does not understand. GretaWire is a web page with an email function. A blog has an interactive component to it where the blogger converses with those in their community that read their site. Answering emails is hardly interactive. One day the MSM will figure this out, or maybe they will just ask us.