Good news, bad news from Cleveland

Cleveland is used to bad press. First there was the water: The Cuyahoga River caught on fire in the 1960s and Lake Erie was pronounced “dead.” Then there’s sports: LeBron James flees the city, the Browns fail to win a single Super Bowl and the Indians are the second-worst baseball team on the planet.

Then along comes Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. Theirs should be a happy-ending story to end all happy-ending stories. Held captive in a Cleveland house for some 10 years, they finally escape. Alas, it’s not that simple.

As BBC News Magazine reports, this is yet another instance of the “Missing White Woman Syndrome” where Berry (white) received about twice the coverage of DeJesus (Hispanic). CNN piled on by saying that while missing-children websites regularly feature photos of disappeared African-American and Latino children, “news outlets rarely feature their stories.”

Then Britain’s Guardian blasts Cleveland police, asking how the women’s whereabouts had “remained undetected for so long.” Too, cheap zithromax

f=””>police are criticized for not paying attention to Barry’s mother, who years ago told them Barry had not run away.

And what is the lead news story from the Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s website. You guessed it: The kidnapping story did not even get top billing. Instead the Plain-Dealer featured an announcement of a Limp Bizkit concert.

That’s the same newspaper that announced last month that while it would continue printing daily editions, it would begin three-days-a-week home delivery this summer.

So the good news is that the Plain-Dealer is not contributing much bad newsprint about the women’s kidnapping. The bad news is that the paper is not contributing much news at all, and that from a city with a once-rich Cleveland Press versus Cleveland Plain-Dealer daily newspaper rivalry.

Regardless of what media are left in coming decades in the “mistake by the lake” city, rest assured that the media will never let the three women forget their 10 years of hell. And that when they die, their respective Cleveland obits will read, “ … who was kidnapped and held captive in a house for a decade.” Because in Cleveland, bad news never dies.


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