aka Are all Amber Alerts Equal?
For years Nancy Grace has told her avid followers that she is there for the kids – especially those who have been abducted, abused, murdered, or otherwise violated.
The first time she covers an abduction, she always says that time is critical. As everyone knows from watching television crime shows, the first 24 hours are very critical to a successful outcome leading to the safe return of a missing or abducted child.
A few months back, Celina Cass, an 11-year-old girl from New Hampshire went missing but Nancy Grace did not cover the suspected abduction until the 3rd or 4th day into the abduction. During her initial coverage well after the Celina was abducted, Nancy was discussing the abduction like it just happened and that “these” first 24 hours were critical.
I read about the case on the Internet so I knew that not only the first 24 hours had passed but also it was now the fourth day since the abduction. Ultimately, Celina’s body was recovered a few days after Nancy finally covered the case. Celina was found in the Connecticut River about a quarter of a mile from her home.
Nancy was so engrossed with the Casey Anthony trial and subsequent post-trial coverage that she obviously could not be bothered with timely coverage of current abductions, kidnappings, or murders.
It seems like Nancy Grace and her production team selectively choose the cases they wish to cover and present any and all information on their own production schedule. Unfortunately, life and death hangs in the balance.
Last year Brittany Smith, a 12 year old girl, was abducted in Virginia and ended up being spotted a week later in a California grocery store with her abductor. It is believed that because Nancy Grace immediately covered the abduction, the grocery clerk was able to identify Brittany and call the police.
Kudos to Nancy and her team for covering Brittany’s disappearance so quickly. In retrospect, my opinion is that it must have been a slow period for Nancy and it was by happenstance that she even covered the case when she did. Some might say that this is simply sour grapes, but I will now explain my rationale behind my opinion.
Ever since Casey Anthony was found guilty, Nancy has been obsessed with the case – covering anything from the sentence, the demographics of the jury, to where Casey Anthony is currently residing, if Casey will be sued in civil court, if she will be required to pay all police costs associated with the search for Caylee, and if Casey will be required to serve out her one year probation.
During all of Nancy’s obsessive-compulsive post-trial coverage, numerous children have gone missing but only a few have been mentioned on the Nancy Grace show.
This last week, for example, four young children were abducted in Georgia by their 34-year-old biological father. The children, three boys and a girl, ages 12, 10, 9, and 6, were last seen Monday, the 12th of September.
Police believe Francisco Madrigal, the alleged abductor, is currently driving a brown Chevy Tahoe with an unknown Georgia or Indiana license plate.
Francisco Madrigal has tattoos on his right hand (a scorpion), chest (“Miriam”), and upper arm (a rose). Police said Francisco Madrigal has exhibited some violent behavior in the past, therefore the children are considered to be in danger.
Madrigal is currently serving five years probation on child cruelty, and one year probation on disorderly conduct.
Nancy has yet to discuss this case on her show. Why you might ask? Well, Nancy found it more important to spend three complete shows analyzing the Dr. Phil interview of Casey Anthony’s parents, George and Cindy Anthony. The first of three Nancy Grace shows was hosted by Jean Casarez.
So far, two one-hour sessions of the one-on-one interviews between Dr. Phil and the Anthony’s have aired and Nancy has spent three full shows dissecting Dr. Phil’s first two shows.
The only other item discussed on Nancy’s show those three days are her 2 minute spots dedicated to honoring a fallen hero in Afghanistan or Iraq – other than that, the entire show was an analysis of each Dr. Phil show. I believe this was an effort to gain attention because of the interview Nancy Grace would NEVER get by interviewing the Anthony’s or Casey herself because of her biased coverage over the past four years.
To add insult to the Amber Alert System, Nancy, in her infinite wisdom again chose to not cover the four missing children by spending her entire Friday show covering her upcoming appearance on Dancing with the Stars.
She had guests, including previous winners and contestants from Dancing with the Stars, as well as some other contestants who will be appearing on the current season which starts tonight.
She was surprisingly quite sweet and thoughtful to each of her guests – even making sure to ask all previous contestants for suggestions on how she could survive the upcoming season on “Dancing”. She also spent quite a bit of time complaining about being in heels 4 – 5 hours a day practicing, which kept her away from her adorable twins.
As usual, though, this show also ended with a tribute for a fallen hero, which was thoughtful.
The sad thing, however, while Nancy was dwelling on the Dr. Phil shows for three days and focusing on Dancing With the Stars on the fourth day, precious time was quickly going by, and these four precious kids were still missing. Nancy and her production crew chose to not even put up a single slide with the pictures of the kids and their dad or the vehicle he is accused of abducted them in or even providing contact numbers for the FBI or the GBI. The make and the model were known, as well as the license plate – yetnone of this information was provided to her viewing audience. National coverage on a show that is supposedly there for missing and exploited kids could have helped get timely information out that could have resulted in assisting in a speedy recovery of the kids.
On CBS Atlanta’s website, in response to an article on the abduction, one reader, named Sheri wrote, and I quote, “Why bother looking for these kids, it’s the father who kidnaped (sp) them and these are illegals. Hopefully they went back to Mexico”.
I personally hope and pray that ethnicity or race or color or citizenship is not part of the deciding criteria that Nancy Grace uses to determine what case she and her production crew decide to cover – but my gut tells me otherwise.
For the live of me, I cannot understand why Nancy would still devote entire shows to the Casey Anthony trial and post-trial coverage while not spending even a few minutes on current Amber Alerts – especially when lives hang in the balance.
So, please, all you Nancy Grace fans who might be reading this, please feel free to jump in and defend Nancy’s position in not covering the missing Madrigal children.
Today, Monday, September 19th, Dr. Phil will be airing the third and last segment of his interview with George and Cindy Anthony, so it will probably be yet another day before Nancy even considers covering the Madrigal case. Nancy will probably not be doing her Nancy Grace show but still, whoever is filling in for Nancy could easily discuss the missing Madigral children.
Hopefully these kids will be found soon – and hopefully alive and well.
If anything unfortunate happens to these kids I wonder if Nancy will take the time to reflect on her decision to not cover these missing kids in the early days of their disappearance – and wonder if coverage might have made a difference.
All kids are equal in God’s eyes and they deserve equal coverage – especially on national television shows that purport to be there for missing and exploited children.
For additional information on the missing Madrigal children, please go to: http://www.ncmec.org/missingkids/servlet/AmberServlet
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