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MSNBC Hypes JonBenet Coverage

8/16/2006 10:40 AM Eastern

News late Wednesday that a man had been arrested in Thailand for alleged involvement in JonBenet Ramsey’s murder prompted MSNBC to drop coverage of terrorism stories to run wall-to-wall coverage about the 10-year-old murder mystery.

While rivals CNN and Fox News Channel only ran brief updates on the case, much of MSNBC’s coverage consisted of the network patting itself on the back for breaking the story.

“This is a story you heard first on MSNBC,” new general manager Dan Abrams boasted at 5:20 p.m. (EST) Wednesday, as a graphic ran on the bottom of the screen that read, “First on MSNBC.”

Abrams also told viewers that the network “heard through the grapevine” that the suspect arrested in Thailand was a 41-year-old schoolteacher, adding, “We have his name here, but I’m going to hold off” on disclosing the suspect.

September