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Silence has journalists looking at each other

by Jill Tucker
Daily Times-Call

BOULDER -- The camera lights glared, the flash bulbs popped and the pens were poised.

Tabloids and television crews stood shoulder to shoulder waiting for today's headline -- what many thought would be breaking news in the JonBenet Ramsey murder mystery.

About 100 journalists stood on the outside of an insider's news conference at the Boulder Library Thursday night hoping for the names of suspects or at least confirmation of information that had already been leaked to the press.

For the most part, they were largely disappointed.

As Boulder Police Chief Tom Koby retained a tight-lipped hold on the details of the investigation, anxious media poised for a big break in the case were forced to make due with very little new information.

With nothing much to focus on, those journalists turned their cameras on each other.

News crews filmed the television in the library lobby that was televising the roundtable conference sponsored by the city of Boulder. They filmed each other filming the televised conference.

And then they filmed each other filming each other.

As the five journalists who were chosen to participate in the conference emerged from the Channel 8 studio, television crews pounced on them hoping to get information from inside the studio that couldn't be obtained from the live simulcast in the lobby.

Outside the media center at the library, however, patrons in local brew pubs largely ignored the almost drowned-out newscast from bar stools.

At the Oasis Restaurant, Liz Bucy barely glanced up from her beer at either television carrying the press conference.

``All the hype in the media gets so boring,'' she said. ``I was talking to my husband about it. What's the big deal? People get killed every day. I guess with the O.J. thing over, they need something else.''

While not everyone was mesmerized by the police chief's first comprehensive news conference since JonBenet's body was found on Dec. 26, several patrons at the restaurant strained their ears to hear the most recent update.

``I've been reading about it every day,'' said waitress MaryRyan Bottger, who watched the bar's television between serving tables. ``I just think (the police) just don't know anything.''

At Old Chicago on the Pearl Street Mall, a television crew of three stood behind the bar to get a patron's reaction while the press conference was on a screen on the wall.

The staff had turned many of the several televisions in the restaurant to the press conference and the normally loud music was shut off.

Two other television crews also roamed from table to table for comments.

Hostess Tiffany Williams, however, was waiting for the conference to end so she could get back to the Avalanche's hockey game.

``We heard rumors there was going to be a confession,'' she said, looking bored with what she was hearing. ``I'm just tired of it.''