Cable television news reports continue to obsess about the missing Natalee Holloway in Aruba, a programming decision that Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson calls the “missing white women” syndrome. Robinson says that CNN, MSNBC, and some broadcast networks and major newspapers “aree so eager to display their high-minded earnestness that they’ve been running stories about ‘the phenomenon’ of missing-white-woman coverage.” Robinson says the case of Latoyia Figueroa, a pregnant 24-year-old woman of color missing in Philadelphia, is being used as a kind of make-up call “to even the score.”
Never mind that there haven’t been any developments in the Holloway case, says Robinson: “The same guy’s been in jail for weeks, and the crack Aruban authorities still can’t even say that a crime has been committed, much less by whom. People aren’t watching this story to follow an unfolding mystery, because it refuses to unfold.” The coverage is defended on the ground that the Hollway story is “every parent’s nightmare,” Robinson writes. He asks whether Figueroa’s disappearance nothing more than “every black and/or Latino parent’s nightmare”?