Sunday, May 01, 2005

Runaway Story

Jennifer Wilbanks, the story goes, needed some time to herself. What she got was, well, the opposite.

Rather than confront her issues with a wedding larger than Charles & Camilla's, rather than embarass herslef and or Mommy & Daddy, she instead took what she thought was an easy way out and hopped a Greyhound for Vegas (of all places). Okay, the woman has issues.

But what gets lost, it seems to me, is this: what excuse do the Deluth cops have? They come out on Wednesday or Thursday with this big pronoucement -- this is now a criminal investigation. Why? What evidence could they possibly have had? With all the focus on this distraught young woman's perpetrating a hoax, how much attention is paid to the cops not holding the line on this simple, apparently self-evident fact -- there was no crime. This wasn't a child who disappeared, it was a woman who went jogging -- an experienced runner. No amber alert, no faked ransom note, no apparent attempt to totally disappear, just an ordinary person who freaked.

Theory on dumb assumption: Rich white people don't run away, so something must have happened. Had Wilbanks been black and lower middle class, there would be no dragnet, her family would have been told that this was a missing person and nothing more.

Wilbanks bought her bus ticket in advance -- she must have. To create the illusion, she left her wallet and credit cards at home ... along with her photo ID, so no flying. The cops can say that's evidence of a crime, I say it's evidence of stupidity. Further proof -- she ended her silence ona Friday night/Saturday morning, leading to wall-to-wall CNN coverage all day Saturday -- an utterly inexcusable treatment of a case of this nature.


Ruby said...

I think it was the fact that she called and said she had been kidnapped that got people all worked up.

I still don't understand what qualified this story to be on CNN at any point, though. And certainly not for continuous coverage that I was forced to watch at the gym yesterday. No commercials, no news, just runaway bride.

Jean Bolduc said...

True enough, but she didn't make that claim until the feeding frenzy was going full tilt. Looks to me like the media blitz encouraged her to make up a story to match the attention. She's still responsible, no doubt, but CNN and MSNBC's salcious treatment should earn them co-conspirator status if there's a hoax charge. They're impersonating news organizations.

It is pretty hilarious to see how easy they're duped. At least CNN's American Morning crew is at present blasting their own network for the stupid wall-to-wall coverage. Good for them.

Meanwhile, North Korea is locked & loaded while we snooze.

jw said...

There is no accounting for who gets their 15 minutes of fame. There are lots of folks who owe us 15 minutes back, like each of the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, and oh, dear, god, J-lo!

THIS is what a slow news day gets you.

Blogs are quickly becoming the better source for news. Shall we say a hooray for "citizen journalism?"