I get asked about it almost every time I go and my response is usually pretty similar to the guy in the story. Do we talk about all of the teenage girls that go missing in Vegas, NYC or LA every day? The story was the perfect storm for Aruba; island destination, pretty girl, small town and over the top mother. As another posted mentioned, her actions were highly irresponsible and the blame ultimately lies at her feet.
As for why the TV stations are still doing stories on it; they come down for a few days, film a couple interviews and spend the rest of the time enjoying themselves and then write it all off as a business expense.
Obviously the reason for the current downturn is the world economy doing its best impersonation of the titanic after the iceberg.