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Forget The War, Oil Prices And Corruption In Congress. There’s a new development in the Natalee Holloway Case.

Reported by Ellen - April 18, 2006

There was plenty of news yesterday: Oil prices hit a record high; there was an assault on US troops in Iraq by Sunni insurgents in Ramadi providing, as AP reports, “fresh evidence that the insurgency is thriving;” Republican Senator Tom Coburn predicted that six Congressmen and a Senator will go to jail over their involvement with Jack Abramoff; The pressure remains on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to resign; there are predictions of a White House staff shake-up pending. But none of that was discussed on Hannity & Colmes last night (4/17/06). Instead, the top story for a triple segment was an arrest in the Natalee Holloway case.

My better self longs to feel compassion and sympathy for the Holloway family who have suffered one of the worst-possible tragedies. But my noble aspirations crumble every time I see one of Natalee’s relatives telegenically whining about how unfairly they have been treated despite the very rare privilege of having been granted carte blanche media coverage. Have they ever expressed a moment of concern or sympathy for the thousands of other American families suffering the same kind of uncertainty and anguish but without the clout? I haven’t seen it. Nor have I seen anyone on the air consider that maybe the reason the Aruban authorities have behaved so unaccommodatingly is because despite the family’s smooth operations as media personalities, they seem to have antagonized the heck out of the people whose help they want the most. As someone who deals with a lot of tourists, I can assure Holloway’s family that the best way to bring about a lack of co-operation from locals is to start demanding that they do things your way.

Attacking local customs doesn’t help, either. It seems as though the only time the Holloway family isn’t complaining about their unfair treatment by the Aruban authorities, they’re complaining about the wrong-headedness of Aruban law or Aruban customs. FOX News is usually delighted to go along for the bash. Last night was no exception. Mark Fuhrman, another once-disgraced conservative turned television personality thanks to the marvels of FOX News’ Republican rehab, tried to indict all of Aruba along with the young man under arrest, a security worker. “This young man is 18 when he is running security on the beach and I don’t know – you know they have kids 18 in the bars, they have kids gambling and they have kids security. It kind of sounds, you know, like Disneyland. It doesn’t sound like anybody’s taking anything serious.”

Last I heard, there were plenty of 18 year-olds in our military fighting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. I have never heard Fuhrman or anyone else on FOX News claim that THEY are too young. FOX purports to support those troops but given their lack of coverage on the network, it's hard to take the claim seriously.

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