Lessons of the New JonBenet Ramsey Information

As the world now knows, 41-year-old John Karr says he killed JonBenet Ramsey, six years old, but didn't mean it. However, KGO, the ABC affiliate in San Francisco, reports Karr's ex-wife told them that's impossible because Karr was with her in Alabama at the time of the murder, December 26, 1996.

So once again, we don't know what to believe, but that doesn't stop the media from speculating all over the place. Now I formed my opinion on the Jonbenet murder after Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter didn't aggressively pursue the theory that an intruder broke into the Ramsey home the night of the murder. Instead, there was deep suspicion it was an inside job, someone in the family did it.

But the current Boulder D.A., Mary Lacy, has now concluded that a break-in might have occurred. How the two prosecutors could have reached such opposite conclusions on a crucial piece of evidence remains very troubling. We'll look at that a little bitter on.

Anyway, DNA should either nail Karr or expose him as a sick charlatan. But in this crazy world, anything could happen.

The primary lesson we should all learn from the Ramsey case is that we can no longer trust either officials or the press to deliver accurate information.

Just yesterday when that loopy woman caused chaos on the United flight, first we heard that she had a screwdriver, Vaseline, and matches on her. That's troubling, right? Then Transportation Security Administration Director George Naccara denied that, told us the report was bogus. So I reported that to you.

This morning, The Boston Globe reports the woman did have the screwdriver and matches. So what the deuce is going on? If you know, please let me know.

In my 30 years practicing journalism, I have never seen things this bad. Newspapers will print anything. The Internet's full of lies and misinformation. And many TV and radio people will literally put anything on the air.

A few months ago, the daily newspaper in Syracuse, New York printed an outright lie about me. When we confronted the editorial writer who did it, he said he read it some place. He had no remorse at all.

So what is happening in America is that all of us are getting false information and forming opinions based on the fallacious material. That, of course, hurts also, others and is devastating to a country that depends on truth to make fair policy.

I don't know if this guy Karr killed little Jonbenet. I do know there's something seriously wrong with him and with an information system that is collapsing around us.

And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Actor Mel Gibson has pleaded no contest to a drunk driving charged and was sentenced to three years probation today. Ridiculous? You can make that call.

Also, appearing on "The Today Show," Paris Hilton told the world she's a role model.


PARIS HILTON, HOTEL HEIRESS: I think I am a good role model and a lot of mothers come to me and they're real happy. And I think if any girl follows their dream that anything can happen to them.


O'REILLY: Especially if your parents have gazillions of dollars. In the world of Ms. Hilton, clues seem to be in short supply. Role model, indeed.