Dog the Bounty Hunter is out to clean up the streets. As part of his quest to find potential murderer Brian Laundrie, the reality TV star and former bondsman is now holding up random trash to the Fox News cameras, because hey, you never know, it might be a clue.
The latest breaking news involves a partially crushed can of Monster Energy. Never mind that Laundrie was reportedly a health nut and environmentalist, and therefore unlikely to consume energy drinks or toss them aside — the infamous bottle-blonde mullet is on the case, either literally on Laundrie’s trail or merely picking up litter. Either way, Fox News will be there.
Laundrie is a person of interest in the murder of Gabby Petito, a #VanLife influencer who was reported missing on September 11th and whose body was subsequently discovered on September 19th. She had embarked on a road trip with her boyfriend Laundrie, but Laundrie returned home alone. He refused to cooperate with the police, and is now himself missing. A warrant is out for his arrest for bank fraud involving Petito’s credit card.
Petito’s story captured the national imagination, in part because as an influencer, she left a trail of social media clues that helped web sleuths narrow down the likely location of her body. The story has also shined a light on the different ways America reacts to stories about conventionally attractive white women and missing women of color. Now we’ve entered the third act: members of the media making an ass of themselves.
There’s a theory called audience capture, which posits that the media doesn’t lead stories so much as follow the clicks. It’s how a professional camera crew, who may have gotten into this field dreaming of Pulitzer Prizes, found themselves trudging through a Florida swamp as Dog the Bounty Hunter held up trash. It’s also, by the way, how a mid-sized music and pop culture website ended up covering the same story. For better and worse, the readers decide what’s important. Thanks for the click!
After the Monster clue, Fox News followed Dog the Bounty Hunter around Florida’s Shell Island, where he said he found a campsite. The cameras showed no evidence of camping, but the story got tweeted out anyway. Still later, Fox News reported in a short blurb that “Dog the Bounty Hunter finds no conclusive Laundrie evidence.” This, however, did not make it to their social media accounts. Stay tuned for whatever garbage Dog finds next.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 30, 2021
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 29, 2021