Media

More Messages: The Skeptic

As noted in this June blog item, Patsy Ramsey's death a couple of months back, and the press coverage that followed it, seemed more like a temporary flashback to the first generation of tabloid-TV stories than a full-scale revival of interest in the 1996 death of Boulder tot JonBenet Ramsey, Patsy's daughter. But the arrest of a suspect, John Mark Karr, in Bangkok, Thailand, has unleashed the media dogs again. And they're hungry.

The initial wave of coverage has been amusingly schizophrenic, with commentators and pundits who've been banging the Patsy-is-guilty drum for nearly a decade briefly eating crow before laying out the "facts" again as a way of showing that their previous conclusions had been based on extraordinarily compelling evidence.

But rather than join the mea-culpa crowd, KHOW talk-show host Peter Boyles, arguably the most vociferous Ramsey critic of them all, is taking a bold but risky tack. On his August 17 morning show, rather than concede that he may have been wrong, he argued that Karr's confession "just doesn't add up" -- and he found plenty of support from listeners, who've spent years listening to Boyles make his case. Of course, there have been lots of naysayers as well -- e-mailers who feel "I'm a piece of crap," Boyles said. He read many of the nastiest missives on the air with a tone of barely disguised contempt.

Stay tuned, my friends. Because this is just going to get better and better. -- 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