UPDATE: (Saturday morning)
So low and behold the Daily Hampshire Gazette managed an exclusive interview with the beleaguered Swedish mother in the midst of her 15 minutes of infamy, who states her time in Bueno y Sano only amounted to four minutes, not ten; and her boy is actually two years old, not one.
Since the police report only gave her surname, "Degel," the intrepid Gazette actually had to do some leg work--or these days--more like finger work on a keyboard to track her down.
The article itself reaffirms my initial reaction that the RP ("reporting person"), although in this case apparently a group of people, overreacted by calling 911 rather than seeking out the parent or simply waiting an extra minute or two for her to return.
Branding her a "bad mother" and following up with "people like you shouldn't have children" also reaffirms my initial thought that they were those ubiquitous Amherst know-it-all's who probably do not have children of their own.
If my now 4- year-old was awakened too early in her nap cycle back when she was 2, there was Hell to pay.
I also found it a tad tacky for the newspaper to simultaneously use this overblown incident in their weekly "Gazette News Quiz" appearing on the highly visible break page:
A Swedish woman caused quite a stir in Amherst earlier this week when she left what on the sidewalk for a few minutes?
(a) Photos of her marriage to Tiger Woods
(b) Five pounds of Swedish meatballs (which are illegal in Amherst)
(c) A miniature daschund
(d) Her 1-year-old son
Notice even the "correct answer" is incorrect, and they misspelled dachshund. I guess since the exclusive interview was done only on Friday, the News Quiz editor did not have enough time for checking copy.
A Swedish publication scoops the Gazette with interview of an obviously pissed off husband/dad.
Original post: (Thursday evening)
For a weekly newspaper the greatest gift is time. When the presses do not run until Wednesday afternoon you have time to check and recheck copy for news that happened over the weekend or even timelier events occurring at the beginning of the week; an extra margin of time to ponder the perfect headline and dwell even harder about where to position the story.
Because in news, as with selling real estate, location matters.
So I waited with anticipation early this morning for the weekly Amherst Bulletin to see how they would handle the non story that sparked national and international attention: Amherst's abandoned--but only for ten minutes-- Swedish baby story.
The Daily Hampshire Gazette placed it on Tuesday's front page under a foreboding headline: "State to look into report of baby left in stroller."
But I was pleased to see the non story, although still appearing on the front page, relegated to a tiny corner, bottom right, well below the fold. Lousy placement. And the almost as important headline was changed to something far less foreboding: "Cultural differences lead to trouble in Amherst."
God knows Amherst practices cultural sensitivity. Take for example the top story they did chose to place in the prized, above the fold, lead position: "A small but devoted Muslim congregation gathers in Amherst." And later in the lengthy article disclose the group would take part in an interfaith march in Amherst on the fast approaching 10th anniversary of 9/11.
Well I'm glad they found something, umm, non controversial to bump the Swedish baby caper?