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Natalee Holloway May Be Missing In Aruba But Her Family Has Hijacked The Media In The U.S.

Reported by Ellen - August 18, 2005

Has there ever been a media coup more stunning than that pulled off by the family of Natalee Holloway? What other family has had unlimited airtime for an unlimited number of relatives to promote their story from their side only - no hard questions asked - for an unlimited time? While my heart goes out to the family for what must be an awful ordeal, it's uncanny how someone is always ready, willing and able to go on TV and advocate for subverting the Aruban criminal justice system and getting the media, especially Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes, to go along.

Last night's (8/17/05) Hannity & Colmes segment opened by noting for the zillionth time that Aruban law allows the authorities to keep one of the suspects in jail only until September 4 unless he can be charged. Colmes asked, "With that deadline looming, does Natalee's family think that real progress has been made?"

As far as I know, nobody in the family is an expert in Aruban law or criminal investigation, but their analysis is always accepted without question. You might think that "real journalism, fair and balanced" FOX News would want to have some kind of balance to the family's obvious (and quite understandable) bias. But no. I have yet to see anyone ask the family how their underage daughter slipped away from her chaperone in order to take off with three strange boys. Nor have I heard anyone on FOX News question, much less criticize, Holloway's mother for ambushing one of the suspects just for the sake of a confrontation televised with a hidden camera. In fact, Sean Hannity applauded her for it. When it comes to this story of such importance that it frequently gets double or triple the airtime of any other, the Holloway family is the be all and end all of perspective.

Last night's Holloway guest was Dave, Natalee's father. Colmes asked if Dave was concerned that Joran Van Der Sloot, the one in jail who hasn't been charged, may go free "and there may be nobody else held in this case." As usual, there was no concern expressed for legal proof of guilt nor the rights of the accused, which are sacrosanct in the U.S. After all Van Der Sloot's not an American, so who cares about his rights? It was Holloway all the way that everyone focused on.

Hannity made it clear he was taking the Holloway case very personally when he demanded to know "Why haven't they charged him? (I'm not sure who Hannity meant.) Why are these two guys out free and I'd like to know if WE can corroborate the timeframe of this man seeing them... and if that contradicts their past statements." So much for any objectivity or interest in the rule of law for him. It's Holloway all the way again.

Dave Holloway answered, "We would like to see the Kalpoe brothers re-arrested," as if he has certain knowledge of their guilt. Of course, nobody doubted that he did. FOX News has a vested interest in keeping the Holloway family sympathetic, credible and interesting.

With his most earnest look of concern, Hannity conveyed his disgust that the suspects are getting too much legal representation or, as Hannity put it, are "lawyered up." Hannity complained about the defense attorneys requesting prosecutors' files and transcripts, guessing that it was in order to provide some kind of defense, as if that in itself was a crime. "This is information that I would think you guys need and deserve more than them, right?"

Holloway wondered who was paying for the attorneys and implied that the suspects have friends in high places helping them out (as if that never happens in the United States).

Comment: I also wonder if FOX News isn't paying the Holloway family a fee to be available 24/7 for their newscasts or if the network is paying for some of the investigative and other expenses in order to help keep the family as "contributors."

Colmes closed by saying, "Dave, we thank you for coming on again and helping us keep this before the American public."

Comment: And the importance of keeping this before the American public is, what?

Sounds like Colmes has Stockholm syndrome.

NOTE TO READERS: Do you agree with me that the Holloway family wins the Gold Medal in Amateur Media Manipulation? If not, who should?

UPDATE: On Friday, 8/19/05, two days after this program aired, Hannity & Colmes hosted a panel discussion on this case that included a much more objective view. Interestingly, the most partisan member of the panel (which did not, for once, include any members of the Holloway/Twitty family) was FOX News' legal analyst Peter J. Johnson, Jr. While I planned to post a longer, more specific analysis of the panel discussion, I inadvertently erased my disk and lost everything. However, given my positions in the earlier part of this post, I think it only to fair to mention that a less Holloway-centered discussion ensued.

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