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Owens the master in JonBenet case:

My new media analysis column for the Rocky Mountain News looks at how Republican Governor Bill Owens used the JonBenet case, and other sensational national Colorado crime stories, to his political advantage:

Although Ronald Reagan faced a hostile media, he succeeded politically in part because he knew how to beat the media at its own game; by carefully limiting the supply of presidential photo opportunities, Reagan ensured that even when the words in a television story about his policies were negative, the pictures would be positive.

Similarly, Owens on policy was well to the right of much of the Colorado media. Yet he was very good at delivering soundbites for big crime stories, reinforcing popular (although not necessarily accurate) public opinion about somebody's guilt. He thus used the media to disseminate an image of himself as a straight-talking, common-sense leader who was not afraid to criticize the guilty (or rather, those who had been proclaimed guilty by the media).

Like a martial artist who turns his opponent's greatest force into a vulnerability, Reagan jiu-jitsued the picture-dependent national TV networks. Likewise, Owens turned the media's obsession with sensational crime stories into a showcase for himself.

Ron Hardin (mail) (www):
Wouldn't that hurt him with the 80% of the voters who are not soap opera news junkies, and in fact find it repulsive?
8.26.2006 8:43am
SteveMG (mail):
Wasn't there a great deal of pressure on Owens to step in? Say something, at least? If not appoint a special prosecutor?

From my understanding of the case, the incompetence and infighting between the DA's office and the police department was just absurd. Much of the public was crying for someone to step in and, if nothing else, separate the parties.

SMG
8.26.2006 11:51am
Justin (mail):
I very much enjoy how the conservative obsession with the mythology of a "hostile" media (see Clinton, Bill to fully understand the fallacy) allows certain conservatives to see no problem with rampant press manipulation, and often dishonesty.
8.26.2006 12:47pm
SteveMG (mail):
mythology of a "hostile" media

The personal views of journalists doesn't affect or influence their reporting? How they see the world and how they report on what they see?

Re "hostile" Clinton press: Hostile to his policies or hostile to his personal, umm, problems?

SMG
8.26.2006 1:12pm
JosephSlater (mail):
I'm with Justin. There's just as good an argument that the media was fawning and uncritical of Reagan than that the media was "hostile." And as much as the right wants to spin a myth about Bush (I note he was not mentioned in the original post, so this is not a response to that), it was the media's cowed lack of critical analysis of claims leading up to the Iraq war that helped get us into this mess.
8.26.2006 7:09pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
And as much as the right wants to spin a myth about Bush (I note he was not mentioned in the original post, so this is not a response to that), it was the media's cowed lack of critical analysis of claims leading up to the Iraq war that helped get us into this mess.

The one thing I can't solve is why dd he kill JonBenet? Was it part of Rove's plans for the Colorado governor's race? Also, why did he leave a ransom note?

And why is he brewing up another hurricane? Wasn't the first one enough?
8.27.2006 1:18am
Cornellian (mail):
That picture they always show of that little girl made up like an adult woman always creeps me out. What kind of parent treats a 6 year old girl like that?
8.27.2006 2:22pm