"...to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction..."

Friday, February 2, 2007

Spin Cycle - The Media and Natalee Holloway

In late spring, shadows lengthen and dance with the prevailing winds while the sun drowns in the azure waters that surround the tropical paradise of Aruba. Surf and sand yield to clinking slot machines, laughter and music in a usual scene for an island that has promoted itself as a crime-free tourist haven in the Caribbean. On May 30, 2005, however, the serenity of this island paradise is changed forever by a solitary incident. For over twenty months the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of an 18-year-old girl from Alabama named Natalee Holloway has been the subject of numerous articles and news reports across international boundaries. The crime against this young, defenseless American girl has captured world wide attention and exposed the truth behind the façade that is Aruba.

As tragic as the Natalee Holloway disappearance is, such happenings are not uncommon elsewhere. Almost daily we read, or hear of some young life being stolen from those that cherish them so dearly. It is an all too familiar chronicle of our times. However, the Holloway story is set apart from others because of what happened during the following days, weeks and months after she vanished.

This will be the first in a series of articles that examine what took place behind the scenes in Aruba after Natalee Holloway’s disappearance. From top to bottom a concerted effort was orchestrated by a group of media specialist and their primary mission was to besmirch the character of the victim and persistently defame members of her family. Knowing the cast of characters in this drama of misinformation is vital to our efforts of understanding what transpired during the summer of 2005. The list is long, but we will begin with a media consultant group headquartered in the U.S.A.

In 1989 the MEP party was struggling to regain power on the island of Aruba and win a political majority they lost with the demise of the party’s leader and founder, Betico Croes. Enter Mr. Robert DiLella, founder of Strategic Message Design Group, Inc. (SMDG), with a promise that his media savvy group could turn things around for the party. MEP obtained a decisive victory in those elections. This result cemented the relationship between DiLella and the leadership of MEP. It also established a precedent for the conveyance of information.

SMDG’s tactics during that election were very simple. Use every available means to cast doubt upon the character of anyone that opposes the party’s point of view. This wholesale character assassination was so cleverly done that no one individual could be held accountable for the many inaccuracies and slanders propagated as truths. Rumors were sown, nurtured and sent through an invisible word-of-mouth pipeline. The rumors began to breathe on their own and started to live as fact without source, or confirmation.

Robert DiLella began his media endeavors in the early 80’s as a part-time campaign strategist in New Jersey. In 1982, Mr. DiLella served as a staff member for Matt Reese and Associates assisting campaigns in Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, Michigan and Nevada. He later joined Cook Reuf and Associates a South Carolina based advertising and public relations firm. DiLella was the Director of the Political Division in the Washington DC Office where he developed communications plans for public offices in Georgia, South Carolina, New Mexico, Delaware New Jersey and Alabama. He also represented several corporations thrust into the political arena in initiative and referenda throughout the United States.

In 1987 Robert N. DiLella formed Strategic Message Design Group and later partnered with Stephen Cohen, Suzanne Dalton and Robert Colella.

Mr. Cohen has a broad background in handling high profile cases as a journalist and as a crisis manager. He has operated, as a senior news executive, for many of the most prestigious and largest local newsrooms in the United States. While at CBS, he was the news director of both WCBS TV and KCBS TV, later he served as Vice President and General Manager of WCAU TV in Philadelphia.

Throughout those years, he mentored; hired and guided the careers of many of today’s best known electronic journalists. Mr. Cohen was also the founding executive producer of Court TV, and was responsible for the launching of the network and the selection and coverage of many high profile cases from William Kennedy Smith’s rape case to the trial of Rodney King. He also oversaw the coverage of the Clarence Thomas hearings and the resultant Anita Hill testimony in the confirmation hearings.

As a consultant, Mr. Cohen developed non –state run media opportunities in China for investors; opened new markets for film production in Beijing; and created new network cable concepts for emerging media interests. He has also advised Aruba on crisis management and assisted in the creation of a planned approach to protect economic interests while dealing with outside media pressures.

He holds three degrees, including a B.S. in Education, a Master’s in Modern History, and an M.A. in Journalism. He is the recipient of numerous journalism awards including Emmy’s for excellence in television journalism.

(cont.)

36 comments:

klaasend said...

Nice work

wiseone said...

Great work!

hummingbird7525 said...

I have enjoyed reading your thoughts for awhile, always hoped you'd do something like this. Your very interesting way with words. A born story teller.

BTGirl said...

Great job! I'm looking forward to seeing more.

Anonymous said...

Easy so glad to see you doing this. Nice work.

Sam

Peaches said...

Nice job. I love great writing. I will await more.

Anonymous said...

When will you finish the story?

EasyWriter said...

I will be closing this chapter next week. Blogging is new to me and I have been trying to learn how to use the software this weekend, plus it is Super Bowl Sunday! Next week I will get into the specifics of how SMDG altered the way the Natalee Holloway story was reported in Aruba.

I would like to express my gratitude to those of you that have left words of encouragement. I will do my best to keep this blog factual and pertinent to cases of interest.

Thank You All!

Anonymous said...

great to see you writing easy, keep it up!

best always, none

Anonymous said...

Great writing and reserach, Easy. It's good to see you again.

SunFreak

mishy said...

Great to see you here, Easy. Excellent work. I've missed your postings. Looking forward to reading more in the future...

Anonymous said...

Credit where credit is due?

Your words:
This is not an outcry; it’s just a request for respect….

EasyWriter said...

Several times I have attempted to respond to the above comment, but the words have failed me each time. Reacting to such things in anger, serves absolutely no purpose and only perpetuates the existing animosity that has developed between me and a few people I once considered to be friends.

However, I will assure the readers of this blog that the words used here are my own, except for the data taken directly from various websites, such as the client list of SMDG or Aruba’s Strategic Communications Task Force (SCTF), which can be found on their respective websites. Some of the quotes I have included come from regular communications I have with people that are very familiar with the government of Aruba and the government controlled media outlets that exist on the island.

It is true that several people began the initial investigation into SMDG, but none of them wanted to be named in association with any type of publication for one reason, or another. That only creates the lingering question of how does one “give credit where credit is due” when no one wants to be named?

In fact, the whole matter is so confusing that it has caused me to examine the potential of writing an article about Internet relationships. They seem to be much more fragile than one would imagine. Reactions happen quickly. Words fly freely. And, feelings are hurt permanently. It is a strange phenomenon that deserves examination.

Nevertheless, this experience has ended those superficial Internet relationships for me. I wish them all well with their search for truth, but I will never draw upon their collective ideas for inspiration. There are many elements to the Natalee Holloway case that are baffling and my intention is to explore each with an objective eye not skewed by the dislike of any particular person, or any number of individuals. I will tell the story my way, or not at all!

There will only be one more entry from me that concerns SMDG and the SCTF. Hopefully it will tie up a few loose ends and put their effort into perspective. I can guarantee you that it will contain information not readily available through a mouse click and it won’t be speculation.

Anonymous said...

In fact, the whole matter is so confusing that it has caused me to examine the potential of writing an article about Internet relationships. They seem to be much more fragile than one would imagine. Reactions happen quickly. Words fly freely. And, feelings are hurt permanently. It is a strange phenomenon that deserves examination.



EASY.. truer words were never spoken. I agree.
~Angie~

EasyWriter said...

~ Angie ~

We live, learn and move on.

Anonymous said...

Hi therе! I know this iѕ kinԁа off
tоpіc but I was wondеring which blog platfoгm агe you using
for this website? I'm getting sick and tired of Wordpress because I'ѵe had issues with hackeгs anԁ I'm looking at options for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

my homepage :: pikavippi
my page > pikavippi

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I κnoω this іs someωhat off topic but I was wonԁering ωhich blog ρlatfoгm are
you using fοr this ѕite? Ι'm getting sick and tired of Wordpress because I'vе hаԁ isѕues with hacκeгѕ and I'm looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

Also visit my blog post - how to market your business on twitter
My webpage twitter management tools

Anonymous said...

Thankfulness to my father who shared with me concerning this web site, this webpage is really awesome.



my web blog ... hhk
Also visit my site ... zyb

Anonymous said...

Please let me know if you're looking for a author for your site. You have some really good posts and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I'd love to write some articles for your
blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot
me an email if interested. Thank you!

Check out my web page - get more followers instagram
Feel free to surf my web site ; more follower on instagram

Anonymous said...

Unquestionably believe that that you stated. Your favorite justification seemed to
be on the web the easiest thing to take into accout of.
I say to you, I certainly get irked at the same time as people think about worries that they just don't understand about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest as well as defined out the whole thing with no need side-effects , other folks can take a signal. Will likely be again to get more. Thank you

Also visit my blog - ava fx

Anonymous said...

Thanks , I've recently been looking for info approximately this subject for a while and yours is the greatest I've
discovered so far. However, what concerning the conclusion?
Are you certain concerning the supply?

my blog post; buy targeted twitter followers

Anonymous said...

If you want to grow your familiarity only keep visiting this
web site and be updated with the hottest information posted here.


Look at my blog: get followers

Anonymous said...

What's up, after reading this awesome article i am also cheerful to share my know-how here with mates.

Feel free to surf to my weblog; www.islamportal.ru

Anonymous said...

Very soon this website will be famous amid all blogging
and site-building users, due to it's fastidious articles

Look at my web site; get followers

Anonymous said...

Hi, i think that i saw you visited my blog thus i came to “return
the favor”.I'm trying to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

My site ... verifica carte di credito
Also see my site :: options buy

Anonymous said...

I've been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or weblog posts in this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this site. Reading this info So i am happy to show that I have a very just right uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I most undoubtedly will make sure to do not overlook this web site and give it a look on a continuing basis.

Feel free to visit my web site: option fair

Anonymous said...

You can definitely see your skills within the work you write.
The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you who
aren't afraid to say how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

Here is my web-site; the best online trading

Anonymous said...

At this time it sounds like Wordpress is the top blogging platform available right now.

(from what I've read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

Stop by my web-site; make a personalized stunning word art gorgeous great for anniversary weddings love romance

Anonymous said...

It's not my first time to visit this website, i am browsing this site dailly and take pleasant facts from here everyday.

Feel free to surf to my web-site; get followers
Also see my web page > get followers

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that's both equally educative
and engaging, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The issue is an issue that too few people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I found this in my hunt for something regarding this.

Feel free to visit my web page ... aaa fx

Anonymous said...

This is a topic which is close to my heart... Cheers!
Exactly where are your contact details though?

My site zulutrade

Anonymous said...

Hi there, all the time i used to check webpage posts
here early in the dawn, because i like to learn more
and more.

Also visit my blog: aaa fx

Anonymous said...

Hello there, You've done an excellent job. I will certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this web site.

Check out my web-site: investment trading

Anonymous said...

I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your
content. This great article has truly peaked my interest.
I am going to bookmark your website and keep checking for new
details about once per week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.


my site :: http://squeezepager.jigsy.com/entries/general/Squeeze-Page

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post's to be what precisely I'm looking for.

Do you offer guest writers to write content for yourself?
I wouldn't mind composing a post or elaborating on a few of the subjects you write concerning here. Again, awesome web site!

Review my web site; weightloss shakes

Anonymous said...

reductil