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  1. #1

    Casey and Haleigh: Missing Children and the Role of the Media

    As you may have noticed once a child is found or the murder is solved, I tend to post less on the case and turn my focus towards other cases. Currently Haleigh Cummings. As I am mostly interested in retrieving missing children whether they are found dead or alive, hopefully the latter. I felt compelled to start a thread on a story I just read found here:

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/loc...tory?track=rss

    This thread is to ask your thoughts as to why everyone is still fixated on the Anthony case, when we still have a missing child out there whose story is quickly fading from the headlines. I don’t think the average Websleuther is guilty of this but the media certainly is and the general public who buys into the media hype. How can we help to keep these children in the media spotlight?

    I wrote the editor of this story to remark on my views of the similarities or lack of in the two cases of Caylee Anthony and Haleigh Cummings. I think the two stories are important to the public, not only on how we view them but how the MEDIA follows, manipulates, and draws attention to them. It is fair that a child that comes from a doublewide trailer gets less media attention than that of one that assumingly comes from a “normal middle class neighborhood?”

    Here is my view of this story:
    I think this story is unfair to the Cummings family and I disagree with Roy Peter Clark's view of the case when he stated, "I think the greatest difference between the Caylee story and the Haleigh story is social class. I don't believe that working-class Americans get a very fair shake in the news media in general."

    First of all the Anthonys as well as the Cummings are working class. In fact I bet the Cummings family is better off with probably little debt and Ron Cummings himself has stated he has enough money he said for a down payment on a home, whereas the Anthony family is in such financial debt, Cindy Anthony was threatening divorce prior to Caylee’s disappearance. George Anthony is not working. Despite Ron's explosive exploits during his 911 call, I'd say the Cummings family has a lot more class than the Anthony family who have cussed out, provoked and harassed caring citizens who searched for their Granddaughter, right down to Lee removing memorials and tributes left by well wishers. Yeah, what class! Never once did they thank searchers until their granddaughter was found. They have done everything they can to protect their murdering daughter.

    The only reason the Anthony case is getting more attention is because the media is fixated off the bizarre nature of the case, complete with a sociopath and dysfunctional family unit, who in my opinion all played roles in the murder of Caylee Marie, as this is a classic case of enabling. You don't have that in the Cummings family. Just your average, loving, hard working family. Yup, you're right no story there, so why give the child anymore air play? The media makes me sick. Haleigh Cummings is most likely alive having some pedophile rape her over and over again, yet we would rather watch some psycho girl and her crazed family manipulate the media and public into thinking she is innocent. This is not a statement to bash folks here that are still interested in this case. Just wondering how you feel personally about how the media follows cases like these.

    Comments welcomed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    848
    The Cummings case is still making the news every night in my neck of the woods--and I live far, far from Florida.

    That said, it's not quite as peculiar as the Anthony case.

    Yes, there are colorful and nefarious characters in Haleigh's story---but I think the reason that Caylee captured the media's (and public's) attention was the sheer outrageousness of it all. A mother didn't call police for 31 days?!

    Fair or not, that sells a story. It is compelling.

    Children go missing each and every day. Sadly, not all are spotlighted. Some cases really do have a certain je ne sais quoi that captures peoples' hearts.

    I don't think I'd attribute it to socioeconomics in this case. I am not naive enough to believe that that (and race) are never a factor, however.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    2,843
    Quote Originally Posted by Nedthan Johns View Post
    Respectfully snipped for space. The media makes me sick. Haleigh Cummings is most likely alive having some pedophile rape her over and over again, yet we would rather watch some psycho girl and her crazed family manipulate the media and public into thinking she is innocent. This is not a statement to bash folks here that are still interested in this case. Just wondering how you feel personally about how the media follows cases like these.

    Comments welcomed.
    My opinion on this is it has little or nothing to do with socioeconomics. The media reports the news. What are they supposed to do in regards to the Haleigh Cummings case, rehash the story every day on the front page? Like it or not, that's not really news. When a new detail is revealed, then yes, I would hope they cover it. In the Caylee Anthony case, due to the family's antics, there was almost always something new to report, even if it had no direct bearing on where and/or what happened to Caylee.
    To use missing adults as an example, a woman has been missing in my area for several years, her name is Kathy Stobaugh. Most people haven't even heard of her. We also have Stacy Peterson missing, and I bet you know her name. The reason for that is because Charles Stobaugh, the close to being ex-husband of Kathy, and IMO the scum who killed her and hid her body, has kept a very low profile, while Drew Peterson has been all over the place, making a spectacle of himself and attracting the press.
    Bottom line, if Ron and Misty threw a keg party tonight, it would be in the news. If Ron went and attacked a RSO, it would be in the news. Because they are doing what is appropriate for this situation, looking for their missing child, begging for her return, etc., unlike the Anthony's, they aren't getting the coverage the Anthony's have, and continue to get. IMO, that's what it amounts to.
    Lanie

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    487
    This thread would make more sense if the title was "CAYLEE and Hayleigh..."

    I don't think it has to do with class levels or money but about the story behind it and the media's perceived likelihood of locating the child. I think for a story to "make it big" on WS, it needs to have some level of mystery which could be researched. Some cases have it. Others don't. A child who was murdered by her father this past weekend, and he turned himself in and confessed - that has no mystery. Nothing to talk about except how sad it is. Hayleigh's has some mystery... Adji's has not very much at all... Caylee's has a lot. I think that's the majority of the difference.
    Dawn

    ________________________
    Everything I post is my opinion only.

    "Responses to grief are as varied as the day is long. But responses to guilt are oh, so predictable. What do guilty people do? They lie, they avoid, they run, they mislead... They act like nothing is wrong." - LDB, 7/4/11

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    229
    As much as I am intrigued and want to hear more and more about the caylee case, I think the media needs to do more on other missing children. NG does such a good job, but I would love to see her do 5 mins on caylee, 5 mins on haleigh, 5 mins on another missing child, and another, and another. There are more than just 2 missing children (well one) in this country. I think it would be fantastic for her to devote the whole show to ONLY missing kids......and get as many in there as you can. We, as a country can do more, to help these precious children. Think of how many go missing in a year vs. how many we actually hear about.



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