Friday, May 1st, 2009 at 12:04 pm in Crime.
It’s always strange to be a member of the media when a story you’re covering becomes big in the national news, as has been the case in Tracy ever since an abused boy in chains was discovered in December.
When you see a town in your midst reduced to a four-minute TV feature, complete with the sober voice of a broadcaster lamenting the loss of innocence, it gives one new perspective on how easy it is for the truth of a place to get lost in the spin.
A piece aired by Nightline last night, titled “American Gothic,” was the latest, following a long string including Nancy Grace segments, Dr. Phil and even a feature in People magazine.
The Nightline piece wasn’t bad (although I could have lived without 10 shots of the good old downtown water tower), but the title was a little much for a town of 82,000 that’s become a major residential hub for commuters working in the Bay Area.
Alluding to the classic 1930 Grant Wood painting of a stoic buttoned-up white Iowa farm couple really doesn’t have much to do with a Central Valley community where the population as of 2007 was about 30 percent Hispanic or Latino, with a long history of Portugese immigrants in the mix.