Home The Soapbox Does ‘Tiger King’ take off our ‘Making a Murderer’ heat?

Does ‘Tiger King’ take off our ‘Making a Murderer’ heat?


We’re with you, Wynnewood, Oklahoma.

We know what it’s like, Tampa.

Take our advice: there’s a long road ahead so steel yourselves. If you feel like you’ve already been sufficiently bombarded by Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin and lions and tigers and bears — oh my, bite your lip and toughen up. 

Things are just getting started.

Here in the east central portion of Wisconsin, we now have company in terms of living in the wake of a blockbuster Netflix documentary. 

And with “Tiger King” now dominating pop culture, it almost feels that we’ve finally come out on the other side from “Making a Murderer,” the controversial documentary series that first reached living rooms in December 2015.

The series, which raised questions into the Manitowoc County murder convictions of Steven Avery and nephew Brendan Dassey, brought forth a strong and endless stream of local media coverage. It’s brought us a certain level of association that tourism boards aren’t apt to list in brochures.

From 2015 forward, every celebrity remark, every court filing — hell, every sneeze from a player in the case — has drawn a headline.

Certainly, the cases would have drawn significant coverage regardless based on the brutality of Teresa Halbach’s death and Avery’s backstory. 

The documentary, however, bumped content production into warp speed — and for good reason. 

The case expanded interest in our local news products from a small chunk of Wisconsin to an international audience of can’t-get-enough documentary followers. Clicks mean cash for news outlets that have had a tougher run in the new, digital world.

So what does it mean for the locales of “Tiger King?” 

Certainly, their media outlets can see that winning formula.

Perhaps Tampa is large enough and has enough going on that they might avoid the weight of any long-term association to the series. They might not feel that “Home to Tiger King’s Carole Baskin” was added without permission to their community welcome signs.

Out in Oklahoma? I suspect it’s a different story. I fear they’ve woken up with a “Property of Joe Exotic” tattoo on their collective lower abdomen.

So what does it mean for us as appeals continue and the story of “Making a Murderer” still actively unfolding?

It might be too early to think we’re finally off the radar.

The early audience remains strong and still follows along as evident in the still regular coverage of even small developments. 

And perhaps, we might just see a new influx of interest.

News outlets are running stories offering that “if you liked Tiger King, here’s what you should watch next.” Guess what’s always on the list.

Then there’s this: Netflix is looking to combine Joe Exotic and Steven Avery into one double-feature spectacular.

Buckle up, folks.

And though it’s convenient, let’s avoid the temptation to blame it on Carole Baskin.