Media Attention by Jacqui Flint
It has been a whirlwind of emotions for my family and me the last few weeks. Although I have been updating everyone about what is going on, at the same time, I have been just as confused as everyone else. This scares me. As I spoke with some friends at dinner the other night, some of my thoughts came to light.
Last week, I was scheduled to appear on Nancy Grace, a CNN legal show. This is a show, I have, admittedly, never watched. I have heard about it, and I caught a glimpse of Nancy a few years ago on Court TV. When a representative from the show called on a Thursday night two weeks ago, I was ecstatic. Here it was, the chance to get some national media attention for Danice's case. We have waited for years to have this kind of attention.
The following Tuesday I was scheduled to go to the CNN building here in New York for a taping of the show to be aired that night. I had alerted all family and friends and they had alerted all their friends too. This was a big deal.
I took the day off work and was all dressed and ready to head for Columbus Circle when I received a call from the representative who said the interview would be postponed until that Thursday. All the nervousness for the interview diminished and I could put it off for another few days. Wednesday night I received word that the interview was not going to happen Thursday, but perhaps Friday. A few minutes later I was told the interview might take place the next week. Again, I was agreeable and willing to be very flexible if it meant some attention paid to the case.
Today, the final verdict is that the segment has been put on hold indefinitely. Again, I am accommodating to the schedule of the media and I understand that other stories that are more time sensitive come about every day. Then again, all this back and forth has given me time to think this over. In addition, talking to the sheriff has given me some perspective.
While I am driven by the cause, I am also forced to think back to a time in 2004. I went to Modesto, California for a vigil for families of missing persons courtesy of The Carole Sund/Carrington Foundation. I spoke to many families, most of whom had lost someone and never had any resolve to their whereabouts. It was a time of bitter emotions, but also a feeling of empathy for one another. I remember feeling very motivated after that weekend because I was able to truly feel the pain of loss without worrying feeling a lot of the pressures of everyday life occurrences that get in the way of being able to feel anything but stress.
Perhaps one of the more vivid recollections I have of that weekend is the image of Laci Peterson's parents. At that time, Scott Peterson was set to go on trial in a few weeks. I remember Laci's stepfather telling me that while he appreciates all the media attention Laci's case has gotten, it is also a tough call. Some of Laci's attention was definitely not the kind of attention a family wants for their murdered daughter. At that time, it was hard to turn on the television or look at the magazine rack without seeing Laci's face.
I have thought this over for a few days now. I have thought about the media and what their goals are. While I would say, for the most part, the media is on our side, it is a little scary to gain national attention. While families of missing persons yearn to get the word out and have their cases solved, there is a line between attention and exploitation. I would never want to exploit my sister or ruin any chances the sheriff's office has of being closer to solving the case. If Nancy Grace's representative should call again, I can only hope I can come to some sort of resolution in my head. To the casual observer, the easy question is "Why wouldn't you want to go on the show?" To the sister who wants to be extra careful in the way Danice is represented, there is no easy answer. Of course, this has been the problem for the past four years. The real question still remains, "What happened to Danice and why won't someone say something?" Still, as always, we love Danice and keep hope alive.