Thoughts on the JonBenet Ramsey Case

As more details emerge about John Mark Karr and the JonBenet Ramsey case, I wanted to look at why America is so fascinated.

The news right now is scary. Really scary. Civil War in Iraq. Cars blowing up on crowded streets. Planes (almost) falling out of the skies. War in Lebanon. North Korean missile tests. A defiant Iran moves ever closer to the bomb. Gas prices up. Wages and the housing market down. Immigration. Murder. Crime. I could go on and on.

People get tire of news that scares them. Your average news watcher can identify with passengers on airplanes. They can see themselves in that situation. They can relate to the fear of a terrorist attack as they walk down the street or shop in a market. They can feel the fear of war. Most news watchers remember the fear of nuclear stand-offs.

News watchers don't relate to being a six year old beauty queen.

The 'fear' of JonBenet Ramsey isn't one that they feel personally. The Karr/Ramsey media circus is something they can watch without the feeling of fear or apprehension. When the media reports on that creepy Karr guy, it's not something that they need to be afraid of. JonBenet Ramsey is a reprieve from the constant stream of scary news.

The details of the story aren't really important. The pattern would be the same if all of a sudden a new suspect in the OJ Simpson case had come to light. People are looking for a way out of fear. TV news producers know this. People will watch hours of reporting on JonBenet. They won't watch hours of reporting on Iran.

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