Fifteen Minutes to Get Out Of Dodge

Somewhere near me, they’re draining a lake, looking for a woman who went missing about a week before Thanksgiving. The local news–via Twitter–is giving us a blow-by-blow description of the search. It seems they’ve just pulled out work lights, so the news-reader du jour suggests they plan on working late tonight. This particular disappearance–for whatever reasons–is catching a lot of attention.

And there’s something about anything the media touches that seems to turn into a three-ring circus.

They did do a lovely job of saying “pond” or “body of water” instead of “sewage lagoon,” though.

And if it weren’t unseemly, you’d swear you were betting on a dog fight. I mean… all the news readers have to know this is (potentially) a huge step up from their last major stories (which involve people accidentally shooting themselves, and Petsmart donating stuffed animals to an area children’s hospital.)

There’s not a whole lot that happens around here.

The investigation might be a whole lot better off without television. Without the internet. Without the rampant competition to get the scoop (which, if the stars align, may not exist in the first place.) Without the pressure to catch someone… anyone.

And honestly… If a psychopath dropped a body in a lake, the last thing anybody should be doing is telling him exactly where and when the police are doing. (The cop just pulled on his hip-waders.  He’s given the cadaver dog a Snausage. Fifteen minutes to get out of Dodge.)

So, what about you? Do you think news coverage helps or hurts an investigation? And if you were a reporter, just how far would you go to get the scoop?

(Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to add three sex scenes and a chainsaw murder to my novel. Good for the ole career, you know.)

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