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Tired of CNN sensationalism

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By Jim Clark

Do you know who Bryan Dossantos-Gomes is?

Do you know who Caylee Anthony is?

I'll bet the answer to the second question is "yes." I'm pretty sure the answer to the first one is "no."

We'll come back to that later.

Last Saturday I was wandering through the exhibits at the Child Safety Day at the local Masonic Lodge. Parents were coming in, getting a card to provide information about their children, getting the youngsters fingerprinted, getting their pictures taken, and then they got some of the goodies like a firefighter's hat or a bicycle helmet.

Of course, once they walked in the door, one of the first things the children saw was the AARP flu shot table, with older adults getting needles stuck in their arm. But their attention was quickly diverted to the Rainbow girls from Ocala who greeted them, and things went smoothly from there. With firefighters, police officers and deputies on hand, it was a fun time for the children.

One of the promo flyers for the event had, in big letters, "Your child is missing" or something like that. It was a bit sensational, but it was meant to emphasize the importance of doing some of the things that were taking place there.

Missing children, after all, have been in the news around here quite a bit lately.

The most recent is Caylee Anthony. She's the 3-year-old missing from Orlando. By now, you've seen the tape many times of her mother being taken in and out of jail, going in and out of court, going in and out of her home.

Then there's the protesters. I'm not sure what they're protesting, I'm not sure what they hope to accomplish. All I know is these people are making enemies of the neighbors, enemies of law enforcement, enemies of the family.

The only person who seems to like them is Nancy Grace.

Nancy has a nightly show on CNN Headline News.

You remember Headline News, a great channel that used to have a full half-hour newscast every 30 minutes, around the clock. You could tune it in anytime and get the news ... period.

But now Headline News, led by Nancy and her cohorts, has become the National Enquirer, or worse, of cable television. Every time I have turned that show on in the evening in the past couple of months, it's been Nancy talking about Caylee, and her mom Casey, and other members of the family.

Hey, it's big news. It's not like the economy of the free world is collapsing or anything like that.

Do I like the fact that Caylee is missing? Of course not. And like most other people, I have a bad feeling that I know how this one is going to turn out. But I'm also willing to wait until law enforcement has all the facts. And I don't need Nancy Grace to remind me every night as I go around the dials that she's still missing, that her mother is a "person of interest," etc.

Nancy did the same thing a year earlier during the search for Trenton Duckett, the little boy missing from Lake County. And did that do any good? Trenton is still missing, his mother killed herself, and no one knows what happened.

Now, what about that name I threw out at the beginning - Bryan Dossantos-Gomes?

According to the missing kids Web site, Bryan was taken in a non-family abduction when he was less than a month old on Dec. 1, 2006, from Estero, an area near Fort Myers in Lee County. There's a description of the abductor, and it says "the companion is armed and should be considered dangerous."

That was over a year ago, and I don't see Nancy Grace speeding down the Interstate to find out what happened to this little Hispanic boy.

I wonder why?

For now, I'll just avoid Headline News. I've had enough of Nancy Grace, the protesters and Caylee's grandma.

All I hope for is that the little girl is, somewhere, alive and well. But alas, I know that's a long shot.

Jim Clark is the editor of the Williston Pioneer Sun News. He can be reached at editor@willistonpioneer.com or at 528-3343.