The media's love affair with dead white women

A New York Post columnist wonders why there's no media hue and cry about a 16-year-old black girl's murder.

Published August 4, 2006 12:13AM (EDT)

There is an interesting column in the New York Post about the media's obsession with missing women who are young, beautiful, and white. Andrea Peyser details the disappearance of Chanel Petro-Nixon, a black 16-year-old, whose strangled body was found five weeks ago within a mile of her family's home in Brooklyn, New York. The case is now cold, the police have little to go on, and it was three weeks before the case garnered any attention.

Robert Lucas manages the family's building and told the Post, "We've heard about a missing girl in Aruba for years. But has The New York Times ever been here? Has CNN?" When asked about the role of race in the slow media pick-up on Chanel's murder, her mother said, "I've wondered about that."

Gawker congratulated the column for its boldness, particularly considering that the Post "covers bad things happening to pretty women with laser-like intensity." Whether Peyser's insight will penetrate the higher editorial ranks at the Post in any permanent way is yet to be seen. But, as Gawker suggests, "Peyser should be congratulated for using her column to point out the mainstream media's lack of interest in victims of color, as should the Post."

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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