CNN Diagnoses 'White Woman Syndrome' In Coverage of Gabby Petito Case

Lydia Switzer | September 22, 2021
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On Wednesday, just days following the tragic discovery of missing woman Gabby Petito’s body and the autopsy ruling her death a homicide, CNN’s New Day aired a segment in shocking bad taste accusing society of suffering from “missing white woman syndrome.” The guest on the show, journalist Mara Schiavocampo, began by claiming, “This isn’t saying Gabby Petito is not important,” and then went on to complain about the way the media has relentlessly covered her story.

“When everybody knows their face, when everyone knows the world is looking for them, it makes a real difference,” she said. This, of course, is a good thing, and assisted in the search for Petito. However, Schiavocampo interpreted the national media attention as a flaw in the nation’s "value system":

 “And this is what we’re seeing with the value system, society's larger value system of white women being valued heavily and women of color not being valued as much comes through the media because a lot of the decisions about what’s being covered is made largely by newsrooms led by white men. And that’s the core of the problem here, is that this reflects the value system.”

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