David Louis Edelman David Louis Edelman

Have You Seen This (White) Woman?

I was browsing on Fox News’ website earlier today and noticed a story about a missing woman named Camille Cleverley. Apparently this woman, a 22-year-old white student from Brigham Young University, disappeared last Thursday with her bike and hasn’t been seen since.

Camille CleverleyStories of missing pretty young white women are such a regular occurrence on Fox that it’s become a joke, which is exactly what these women’s families don’t want. It sounds cruel to call the disappearance of a young woman a joke. But after the umpteenth missing-pretty-little-white-girl news story, shouldn’t we really question whether these stories are worth extended attention from a national news organization?

I’m sure the people in Salt Lake City, Utah are very concerned about this young woman Camille Cleverley, and I have no doubt it’s worthy of close attention in the Salt Lake Tribune. But why would the national Fox news team focus on the disappearances of young, white women? Sure, it’s tragic. But the story about the 48-year-old guy who was killed crossing traffic in Des Moines is equally tragic. So is the story about the 13-year-old boy who contracted leukemia in Savannah, and the story about the 52-year-old woman who OD’d in Anaheim.

I decided to do a search on the Fox website for stories about missing women. I searched for “missing woman,” “missing girl,” “girl missing,” and a number of related searches. What I found shocked the hell out of me. I counted 28 separate stories on Fox about missing women — and that’s just from this summer alone, from June 2007 to today. And let’s not forget that each one of these disappearances generated multiple articles on FoxNews.com; Jessie Davis’s story alone accounted for 59 unique news stories, if the Fox search engine is to be believed.

For the record, here are all the women whose disappearances were deemed newsworthy enough to have an entire story devoted to them by the Fox organization in the past three months:

  1. Jessie DavisPaige Birgfeld, a 34-year-old white woman from Colorado
  2. Camille Cleverley, a 22-year-old white senior at Brigham Young University
  3. Danielle Cramer, a 15-year-old white girl from Connecticut (found alive in her abductor’s house)
  4. Jessie Davis, a 27-year-old white woman from Ohio (found dead)
  5. Susan Fast, a 60-year-old white woman from Florida
  6. Cynthia Hankins, a 36-year-old black woman from Colorado
  7. Lorraine Hatzakorian, a 41-year-old white woman from New York (found dead)
  8. Stepha Henry, a 22-year-old black woman from Florida
  9. Amber LeAnn Hess, a 17-year-old white girl from Arizona
  10. Natalee Holloway, an 18-year-old white woman from Atlanta
  11. Marilou Johnson, a 50-year-old Asian woman from Detriot (found dead)
  12. Cheryl Jones, a 43-year-old white woman from Arizona (found dead)
  13. Donna Jou, a 19-year-old white girl from California
  14. Jennifer Kesse, a 24-year-old white woman from Florida
  15. Hannah Klamecki, a 5-year-old white girl from Illinois (found alive)
  16. Kara Kopetsky, a 17-year-old white girl from Missouri
  17. Madeleine McCann, a 4-year-old white girl from London
  18. Alyssa Heberton Morimoto, a 24-year-old white woman from Colorado (found dead)
  19. Liza Murphy, a 42-year-old white woman from New Jersey
  20. Kelly Nolan, a 22-year-old white woman from Wisconsin (found dead)
  21. Theresa Parker, a 41-year-old white woman from Georgia
  22. Jon-Benet Ramsey, a 6-year-old white girl from Colorado (found dead)
  23. Elizabeth Smart, a 14-year-old white girl from Utah (found alive)
  24. Kelsey Smith, an 18-year-old white woman from Kansas
  25. Lisa Stebic, a 38-year-old white woman from Illinois
  26. Francine Tate, a 50-year-old white woman from Wisconsin
  27. Haleigh Whitton, a 11-year-old white girl in Alabama
  28. Kimberly Whitton, a 36-year-old white woman in Alabama (mother of Haleigh)
  29. Mahalia Xiong, a 21-year-old Asian woman from Wisconsin (found dead)
  30. an unnamed 2-year-old girl from Florida (found dead, race not identified)

Note that some of these deaths and disappearances happened quite a while ago, and yet they’re still making headlines. Do you realize that Jon-Benet Ramsey might very well be in her first week of college if she were alive right now?

Danielle CramerFor those keeping score, here’s the tally. You don’t have to be a statistical wizard to see the pattern here.

  • 26 missing white women (20 of them under the age of 40)
  • 2 missing Asian women
  • 2 missing black women

Man, what are these namby-pamby liberal yahoos always complaining about? Looking at the statistics, black women are doing just fine in this country! It’s the white girls who are disappearing left and right, isn’t it? It’s practically an epidemic! We need to convene a governmental task force to get to the bottom of this!

The knee-jerk liberal response — that the folks who determine what’s news at Fox are racists — is equally unsupported by the facts. Many of these stories were simply picked up by Fox from the AP.

But it’s no accident that Fox is choosing to emphasize these particular missing-white-girl stories. Visit FoxNews.com on any particular day, and you’d be under the impression that white women are vanishing off our streets every minute in the United States. Just like if you visit Slashdot, you’d probably conclude that the whole of Western civilization is up in arms over Microsoft’s perceived manipulation of open standards votes at ISO. Watch the CBS Evening News, and you’ll be convinced that the AARP is the world’s most powerful lobbying organization.

So what’s happening here with the Fox missing white women stories?

It seems pretty obvious to me that Fox is simply pushing stories that will appeal to a large segment of its base. I don’t have the Nielsen statistics in front of me to back this up, but we all know that Fox viewers skew towards conservative white families in middle America. And what’s more gripping to a white families in middle America than the disappearance of an innocent-looking white child?

Kelly Nolan

Of course, many of us long ago decided that Fox News doesn’t have the most, er, fair and balanced record when it comes to choosing which stories to highlight. The same is true of the Washington Post and the New York Times and just about any news organization you care to highlight.

So what’s my point? Well, I’m not sure I have a nice, tidy conclusion to all this. Perhaps I’ll just end this little rant by stating that what we call “the news” is rapidly devolving into crass emotional ploys for attracting eyeballs in order to grab a bigger piece of advertising revenue.

But then again, I’m sure you already knew that. You already knew that instances of missing white women are overreported in the media. I’m not sure why I’m even bothering to publish this. Barrel of fish, meet my friends Smith and Wesson.

***

A few interesting sites I found while Googling this topic:

Comments RSS Feed

  1. Al on September 6, 2007 at 1:34 am  Chain link

    Wow, the disproportionate amount of coverage is upsetting to me, but it doesn’t surprise me. Very keen observation.

  2. tommyspoon on September 6, 2007 at 7:56 am  Chain link

    I don’t call it “news” anymore. I call it “infotainment”. And I don’t watch it at all. (Except for “Countdown” with Keith Olberman. He’s teh funny!)

  3. Lou Anders on September 6, 2007 at 2:57 pm  Chain link

    Actually, I think Olberman is embarrassing when he tries to be funny. But I like him when he isn’t doing so.

  4. Deseret Dawg on September 6, 2007 at 6:36 pm  Chain link

    I agree that Fox News is a joke, having allowed substance to be completely hijacked by style, but why should the race of the victim be an issue?

    Now if you want an example of a missing white woman who was ignored by the national media, consider the case of Channon Christian. She, along with fiance, Chris Newsom, was brutally raped, tortured and murdered back in January, yet Fox News never picked up on the story. Only the Knoxville, TN media addressed it. The Knoxville community was so outraged by this hush crime that TWO public rallies were held in protest, one on May 26th, and another on June 16th.

    We can always find exceptions to rules.

  5. Dave Hutchinson on September 6, 2007 at 7:15 pm  Chain link

    The Wikipedia article is interesting; the `discussion’ page even more so.

  6. What on September 7, 2007 at 7:54 am  Chain link

    Why would you make light of the white-woman “syndrom”. Maybe too many white women are just disappearing.

    Ask the families!

    I am sure you are a Democrat. All Democrats HATE FOX news to the point that it becomes unhealthy, but to attack FOX for tragic stories like this is stooping below even amorality.

  7. tommyspoon on September 7, 2007 at 8:06 am  Chain link

    Um, “What”, I don’t think that David was making light of the ordeal that the families of these poor women are going through. His question is why should a missing person in Utah be considered national news. I’ve often wondered that myself. We’re not uncaring, just puzzled.

    With the huge number of people that go missing in this country, there should be an entire cable channel devoted to these victims. They could broadcast Amber Alerts and interview the local police departments regarding the circumstances of these missing adults and children.

    Then maybe Fox News and CNN and MSNBC can devote their energies to reporting other important stories.

    David a Democrat? Oh, that’s rich! You’re obviously new around here. Is that the best insult you Republicans can throw around these days? Almost makes me feel sorry for you. Almost.

  8. David Louis Edelman on September 7, 2007 at 9:38 am  Chain link

    Well, in What’s defense — not that I’m sure why I would bother defending him — I do tend to vote Democratic.

    But I don’t “hate” Fox News. Most of the time, I’m just kind of amused or puzzled by them. I have far more contempt for CNN these days — see my blog post from a while back The Vapid World of CNN.

  9. What on September 7, 2007 at 3:08 pm  Chain link

    Statistics show that 90% of the missing persons are run aways etc. and domestic related. Of course they aren’t going to run these types of stories as National News.

  10. David Louis Edelman on September 7, 2007 at 3:11 pm  Chain link

    And yet they do.

  11. […] I hope he went there for research purposes, but David Louis Edelman’s poking around at the Fox News website produced a very observant post. […]

  12. tommyspoon on September 10, 2007 at 1:37 pm  Chain link

    Well, she’s been found. Apparently, she fell to the bottom of a 200 foot cliff. Rest in Peace.

  13. Eric Blues: Culture, Politics, and Geek Stuff on September 14, 2007 at 1:31 am  Chain link

    […] screaming them through megaphones in the street. David Louis Edelman’s take on Fox News’ “missing white woman” bias qualifies for the megaphone treatment. Better yet, replace any future primetime speeches from […]

  14. Pam on September 25, 2007 at 1:43 pm  Chain link

    Lady in larger pic in mid screen with no name spotted yesterday in Matteson IL USA around 4:00pm in Michaels craft store in Matteson next to the dominicks . she had a little girl about 3-4 with her.
    peachsurprize@yahoo.com. The face next to the listings of the names

  15. Pam on September 25, 2007 at 1:50 pm  Chain link

    Ive seen a variety of so called missing persons over the last seven years that were not missing or dead when national media proclaimed them to be so. I have also investigated and learned these people are not in any way undercover cops or in a sting and in face live in a lifestyle where they reinvent themselves and their identies over and over.
    I can tell you that Lisa Stebic was seen 11 times during the time her missing face was on national news. I also can tell you that I personally met Elizabeth Smart and tried to assist her home with police help but she told me it was “like a joke.. and she wasnt supposed to talk about it.. she was staying with her Uncle at our apt complex.” I called FBI and no one ever came to check it out. I later learned two different men are really in PRISON as a result of a kidnapping that never occured.
    Current day Christopher Vaughn is in the WIll County Jail in IL for the murder of his wife Kristin and 2 kids who I saw 7 times in the remaining weeks.. AFTER THE NEWS STORY OF THEIR MURDER HIT THE NEWS.. She was not dead, was very much alive and well. She called Chris he was at his mothers.. He was arrested on unknown charges in the following week,. No one from the IL State Police or WIll County sheriffs ever returrned my calls.
    Peachsurprize@yahoo.com
    I have pictures that Lacy Peterson isnt dead. and ran a huge scam and collected $500,000.00 in public donations and changed her name. Scott Peterson went to jail for her murder. He is released according TODAY to the FEDERAL PRISON WEBSITE.. and Amber Frey who had gloria Allred represent her is a fraud and was NEVER SCOTTS GIRLFRIEND OR HAD ANY PART OF THE CASE UNTIL AFTER I CONTACTED THE CALIF STATE POLICE about my sightings of Lacy Peterson in IL.
    the FBI chicago started to look into the matter but Lacy moved from a nearyby apt in the middle of the nite taking a HEALTHY BABY WITH HER.

  16. David Louis Edelman on September 25, 2007 at 1:52 pm  Chain link

    Pam: Sorry to report, but that pic is of Jessie Davis, who was found dead a couple months ago. Must have been a look-alike.

  17. Pamela Maynard on January 31, 2008 at 1:32 am  Chain link

    I know this is an old blog but here goes…Let me tell you a sad story. I had a friend disappear back in 1979 even though I was not “hanging” around with her at the time I did care and over the past 14 years i tried to help the authorities because I had information that may be of use. The few times i called they couldn’t find her in the “system”. they did not want to take the time to even try. I even contacted unsolved mysteries and “wanted”.For the last ten years I have scanned the Internet looking for her name ( Cheryl Davis)or a story with no luck. Then about 2 months ago I did a Google which turned up a story written in 2006 involving a cold case where the police were digging for a woman (no name was given in the story). So I call and ask for the detective named in the story. 3 days go by waiting for a return call. I called back, talked to the Det. which he tells me it was my friend so I gave him a name of someone who I thought may know what happened to her. The det. tells me he thinks the person that I thought was involved is their guy, but get this, he’d dead now. If they had taken the time to respond to my calls we might know what happened to Cheryl. She was a white pretty girl who did not matter back then and also when the story was printed in 2006. She was not from a wealthy family so maybe that is why. My point is no matter if your black, white , poor or wealthy , male or female, life is precious and should not be forgotten or overlooked. nothing else matters.

  18. David Louis Edelman on January 31, 2008 at 7:19 am  Chain link

    Thanks for that, Pamela. Sorry to hear your story.

  19. Lcpl Jacob Biggers USMC on February 23, 2008 at 12:17 pm  Chain link

    I believe you have way too much time on your hands if you are willing to create a website agianst covering news on missing people. My mother P am Biggers is missing and without media attention, how the hell are you supposed to get the word out to the person that might just see her somewhere? You are a jackass and need to reconsider what you put on your worthless websight.

  20. David Louis Edelman on February 23, 2008 at 12:49 pm  Chain link

    Lcpl Biggers: I’m sorry your mother is missing, and I hope you find her. When you find her, please post another comment letting me know.

  21. Brad Daniels on March 13, 2008 at 10:15 pm  Chain link

    I think that the reason Fox does it, is because the dominant media
    is liberal and doesn’t do it.

    Thank You Fox for doing it.

  22. Paula Thomas on March 30, 2008 at 4:33 pm  Chain link

    It is apparent to me that you have never had any dealings with a missing person in your family. The tragedy of someone’s death or illness being on the national news can bring attention to their story, but does it help their illness or death? Bringing a missing persons story to national media increases the chance of that person being found. My nephew, LCPL Jacob Biggers was right. YOU ARE AN IDIOT!!!

    Paula Thomas,
    Pam Biggers, Sister

  23. rooster on July 17, 2008 at 2:13 am  Chain link

    D.L.E. After reading this page & looking at your site, it will take a day or two to put my complete assumption of you together in words. one thing is for sure, your no idiot,your work is impressive – to someone, you are an arrogant ASS . Surely someone of your intellegence could find something other to rant about rather than someone elses misfourtune. If it were ‘nt for networks like fox, some of these missing WHITE females may go un noticed. This would only be another sin commited on to missing or dead. D.L.E. please in the future,direct your rants in a positive manner . This one belittles a man of your obvious intellegence & makes lou look realy small..—– And to PAM —– HAVE YOU SEEN ELVIS ????? lay off the crack girlfriend, it’s bad for you..

  24. tracie on February 12, 2010 at 9:41 am  Chain link

    People …..Although the hit and runs, overdoses etc…are very tradgic they are not unsolved. Any missing person needs to have their story plastered anywhere and every where simply because we don’t know where they are or what happened to them. They could have been abducted and taken anywhere! If you have ever had a person come up missing in your family, you know the news stations won’t know your story unless they are informed. Fox six nor channel 13 knew that Pam Biggers was missing until a close family friend called them a couple days after the fact to inform them. It was only then that the story broke here in Alabama. Don, Paula, Jacob,Tracy, Leah and the reast of the family, I hope you know I have and always will have you all in my prayers. I still have faith we will find her. Don, I know your life has been torn apart but your family and new grandchildren need you to be strong now as I know you will and as I have always known you to be.

  25. Carol on April 30, 2010 at 9:33 pm  Chain link

    1. Paige Birgfeld — (still missing) Lester Ralph Jones named person of interest.
    2. Camille Cleverley — (found at bottom of cliff) ruled an accident.
    3. Danielle Cramer — Abductor got 50 yrs, 25 suspended
    5. Susan Fast — (found deceased) Stepson Thomas Fast convicted of her murder.
    6. Jessie Davis — Bobby Cutts got life sentence.
    7. Lorraine Hatzakorzian — (partial remains found) Paul Trucchio and Robert Mackey awaiting murder trials.
    8. Stepha Henry — (still missing) Kendrick Williams awaiting murder trial.
    9. Amber LeAnn Hess — (found deceased) Todd Hoke and Nicolas Castillo awaiting murder trials.
    10. Natalee Holloway — (still missing) No one has been charged. Joran van der Sloot has offered inconsistent confessions.
    11. Marilou Johnson — (found deceased) David Wright is serving a life sentence.
    12. Cheryl Jones — (found deceased) Car crashed into canyon
    13. Donna Jou — (still missing) John Steven Burgess sentenced to five years for disposing of her body in the ocean.
    14. Jennifer Kesse — (still missing) no suspects named
    15. Hannah Klamecki — (found alive) lost in woods
    16. Kara Kopetsky — (still missing) No suspects named.
    17. Madeleine McCann — (still missing) No suspects named.
    18. Alyssa Heberton Morimoto — (found deceased) Robert Amos sentenced to life without parole.
    19. Liza Murphy — (still missing) No suspect named. Husband attempted suicide, hired an attorney.
    20. Kelly Nolan — (found deceased) homicide, no suspect named
    21. Theresa Parker — (still missing) Husband Sam Parker sentenced to life imprisonment.
    22. Jon-Benet Ramsey — No suspects arrested.
    23. Elizabeth Smart — (found alive) Wanda Barzee sentenced to 15 years, Brian David Mitchell scheduled to be tried Nov 2010
    24. Kelsey Smith — (found deceased) Edwin Roy “Jack” Hall sentenced to life without parole.
    25. Lisa Stebic — (still missing) Husband Craig Stebic named person of interest.
    26. Francine Tate — (found alive) Ran off voluntarily.
    27. Haleigh Culwell — (still missing) Stepfather Barry Whitton named a suspect.
    28. Kimberly Whitton — (still missing) Husband Barry Whitton named a suspect.
    29. Mahalia Xiong — (found deceased) car accident

  26. andy on May 9, 2010 at 6:39 am  Chain link

    could be because white women are targeted more for their beauty

  27. David Louis Edelman on May 10, 2010 at 9:25 am  Chain link

    andy: No.

  28. Ken on August 23, 2014 at 2:50 am  Chain link

    Sp now when there’s a concern about a “white” female who is missing, it’s due to a “syndrome”? Now that’s not “racist,” is it David?

  29. David Louis Edelman on September 16, 2014 at 9:24 am  Chain link

    “No,” I don’t “think” it is, “Ken.”

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