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Proviso Probe

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

MEDIA, why missing pretty girls are news

After a spat of news coverage about missing white girls, there was some backlash against the media.

The most absurd case was the woman in Duluth, Georgia who got cold feet before her wedding. Absent any direct evidence of a crime the story became national news.

The media engaged in a little bit of handwringing. USA Today admitted in didn't cover a more newsworthy case where the woman was Black. See Political Animal (Kevin Drum).

In the case of Olamida Adeyooye, the media picked-up the story. It probably would have happened a day or two earlier if Adeyooye were "White", but the story did get widespread coverage.

The original archtype is the "Damsel in Distress". As the Wikipedia entry notes, there's an element of BDSM in the storyline.

Here's my insight.

The media is selling implied pornography with the missing pretty girl sydrome. It's asking viewers to imagine their personal fantasies, especially rape and murder fantasies. The missing pretty girl stories are middle brow snuff porn--snuff porn for people who are too inhibited to obtain and watch regular porn.

The implied porn phenomenon also explains what the media loved about the Clinton/Lewinsky/blue dress story. The imagery was riveting. They got to purvey porn without the negative stigma that gets attached to people that work in porn full-time.

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