Michele McPhee is, according to her website, a “Best selling author, Emmy-nominated Investigative Reporter, Award-winning Columnist and Magazine Writer.” She is “the recipient of many journalism awards, including the Society of the Silurian’s Feature News Award for her New York Daily News 9-11 coverage. She was awarded First Place for Serious Column in the Boston Herald by the Associated Press. Her work for ABC Boston affiliate WCVB earned her a 2012 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Investigative Reporting.”
Wow. That’s an awesome record. However, a short look at her coverage of the Boston Bombing on her homepage is disillusioning. She degrades herself by virtually acting as the mouthpiece of Carmen Ortiz. Here’s her latest headline from October 12 (captions by McPhee!):
DEFENSE: DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV KNEW HIS BROTHER WAS INVOLVED WITH GRISLY 9/11/11 MURDERS IN WALTHAM THAT LEFT THREE MEN NEARLY BEHEADED
The headline’s wording is not only lowest yellow press niveau, it is also simply wrong. An attentive reader will soon realize that there is a “PROSECUTION HAS WITNESS SAYING THAT” missing after the double dot to make the headline factually correct. That’s investigative reporting, McPhee style.
McPhee has now managed to place a new masterpiece onto the front page of Newsweek: Twisted Sisters. Crime Reporter (aka Omramzey) has compiled an impressive summary of the biggest blunders which I gratefully re-post here:
Tsarni told reporters assembled on his leafy street that day he had not seen his brother’s brood for years. “I wanted my family away from his family,” he said. It’s not hard to understand why he would distance himself from the two young men accused of engineering that murderous blast, but he insists the whole family is trouble—from welfare scams to bomb threats to jihad—and it all stems from their mother, who fled the United States and now lives in Dagestan.
So, why, then did Ruslan send his son to live with the Tsarnaevs? Did Michelle not think to ask? Why not include that information or ask Ruslan about it?
The clip is cut off just as what appears to be the black flag of jihad hanging on a wall of the apartment comes into the frame.
It’s also, simply put, a flag of Islam. The Ku Klux Klan swiped the Christian cross for use in its ceremonies – does that make the cross “the silver cross of bigotry?”
Federal judge George O’Toole has put a gag order on the government and defense attorneys and has admonished prosecutors that he is “not happy” that former FBI officials have gone on TV to discuss the case.
There is no “gag-order.” WTF? The only parties involved in this case who are “gagged” are Jahar and his attorneys via the SAMs.
Investigative sources, who are not authorized to speak on the record, say those kitchen items were pressure cookers, the key components in the explosives detonated at the finish line.
OK. Somebody’s lying because the warrant says it was a colander and frying pans.
Investigators still don’t know where Russell and her baby were on the day of bombings, and she has never explained how she failed to notice the bombs and guns stored in her apartment, the bomb-making recipes on the computer she and her husband shared, the extremist videos of beheadings regularly viewed on that computer, the large knives her husband had stashed over doorframes, or even the black flag of jihad hanging that appeared to hang on their living room wall.
Except that investigators have found no evidence of bombs in the apartment. I’ve already addressed the flag – but that was in Jahar’s room – as evidenced by the video of him and his niece.
Ailina didn’t make bail and was led to a lockup in her long black burka and tan, flowered hijab.
What, Michelle? No mention of the fact that she did, indeed, make bail?
Sigh. There’s that “smirk” thing again. He has facial injuries – that you JUST outlined, Michelle! It probably makes him look as though he’s smirking and his attorneys have repeatedly said that. It’s even been in motions. (This is fairly minor, but it’s one of those easily debunked things that keeps getting plastered in the news)
The day before the blasts, Junes wrote: “Good luck my brother. I’m sure you’ll get in.”
Actually, no, Michelle, Jahar wrote that to Junes. Pretty easy to check.
Junes and Heda also took to social media to support Dzhokhar after he was captured in that Watertown boat, where he had scribbled anti-American, pro-Muslim extremist sentiments with a black marker.
Still wonder why he had a marker and not a gun. In any case, what he “scribbled” was the Shahadah – also easy to look up.
Apart from these embarassing misreportings, the article is an arrogant and obnoxious intrusion into the life of a single family who has had the misfortune that two of its members are said to be entangled in a crime – which is far from solved though. It is an interesting question if McPhee’s “investigative” reporting, errors included, qualifies for defamation – a question that will certainly come up after Dzhokhar ‘s acquittal.
McPhee has also analyzed the Blue Runner photo – she identifies Denise Richard there:
A news cameraman positioned in the press pen across the street panned to the photogenic Richard family as runners hustled past. A frozen still frame of the footage captured Martin, his arms dangling off the edge of the barricade as he scanned the blurs racing by for familiar faces. His mom Denise stood to his right, laughing. Martin’s little sister, Jane, 7, climbed up to his left onto the barricade, leaning her body into their dad Bill who stood behind her. The Richard family’s oldest boy Henry, 10, was on Jane’s left, his feet planted on the sidewalk.
But this is not what has been reported by David Abel, who spent many hours with the Richard family:
Bill was standing behind Martin and Jane, with Denise and Henry a few feet away. They converged as the crowds pressed toward the barricades.
Maybe Mrs. McPhee and Mr. Abel should hold a brainstorming session to deliver a consistent interpretation of the photo. I for myself don’t give any value to this photo – it’s faked.
The question is: Why this defamatory Newsweek article, Michele, and why now?
I’ve already given my personal answer: because McPhee is obviously Ortiz’ mouthpiece. The prosecution continues to grasp for dirty methods to influence the public perception and a potential jury. After the leaking of case-relevant details has been blocked, the sisters and friends are put in the crosshairs. This smear campaign cannot be blocked by the judge and fulfills the purpose of deterring people from thinking that Dzhokhar might be innocent.