More Messages: Seems Like Old Times

Talk about an unpleasant flashback. On the June 26 edition of MSNBC's Live & Direct, vile hostess Rita Cosby was rasping about the unsolved murder of JonBenet Ramsey amid the squawking and exhortations of two (loudly) talking heads: Mike Kane, listed as a "former special prosecutor" (he was part of the Ramsey investigation from 1998 to 2000) and criminal defense attorney Jeralyn Merritt. Above a banner reading, "WHO KILLED JONBENET? JONBENET RAMSEY'S MOTHER LOSES BATTLE WITH CANCER, REVIVING INTEREST IN CASE," the screen was filled with the juxtaposition of wretchedly familiar images: first, beauty-pageant footage of the blond tot wearing a cowboy hat and strutting like a show pony, followed by video of hapless Boulder authorities searching the Ramsey home/crime scene for clues that weren't there or would lead to nothing.

When the debate turned to a contemporary quote from Dr. Henry Lee, a tabloid-TV double-threat (he was also part of the O.J. Simpson carnival) who speculated about the possibility of a Patsy Ramsey confidante coming forward now that she'd breathed her last, the sense of deja vu was almost complete. Indeed, the only thing lacking was a transition to another years-old story -- like, for instance, a new Bill Clinton denial that he'd ever had sexual relations with that woman. It came as a relief, then, when Cosby moved on to an alleged kidnapping hoax in Florida, followed by a report about Rush Limbaugh being questioned at an airport for having a Viagra prescription made out in the names of folks other than him.

Better a report about current fake-news than another golden oldie. -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts