Cable teleivison “has gone bonkers” over the Laci Peterson case, the Washington Post says, turning it “into an O.J.-style soap opera that never seems to fade.” The case has been discussed 79 times on Greta Van Susteren’s Fox News show, 40 on the “Abrams Report,” 38 on “Hannity & Colmes,” 38 on MSNBC’s “Countdown,” 37 on “The O’Reilly Factor,” 34 on CNN’s “Larry King Live” and 20 on “Hardball.” “It’s a compelling story with many angles that people, judging from the ratings, seem to be interested in,” says Fox News Executive Producer Bill Shine. “I’m responding to the ratings. . . . There’s a serial quality to the story that has lent itself to the nature of 24-hour news.”
MaryLynn Ryan of CNN/US says “They appeared to be a young married couple with their whole future ahead of them, and she disappeared. That got people hooked,” Ryan says. “People have become invested in knowing the outcome of what happened to her.” Phil Griffin of MSNBC likens the story to a Shakespearean drama: “Is it possible that he killed his pregnant wife? It’s so horrific, so terrible, that you just want to know.”
Many major newspapers never have run a front-page story on the case.