Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Michelle McPhee - Will You Publically Answer the Ethical Questions and Concerns in My Article

 *This article is a direct result of a Facebook post by Michele McPhee. Through this I would like to openly challenge Ms. McPhee to respond to my comments, and or debate me on her radio show.

Massachusetts has long been a Democratic state that loves leaning to the left of center. Being so it has become a state that spawned Romneycare, the original blueprint for the colloquial Obamacare.

Massachusetts is also the residence of not only myself, David Harkins, but as well as a Ms. Michelle McPhee. For those who haven't heard of Ms. McPhee here is her own biography from her Facebook page:

Best-selling author of five true crime books; Emmy-nominated investigative reporter; award-winning columnist and crime reporter.
Ms. McPhee has done work for the Boston Herald, WRKO, and WCVB-TV 5, all of which are major Boston media platforms.

By all accounts Ms. McPhee has earned herself a distinguished career, one that should teach someone a great deal about journalistic ethics. It appears to me that Ms. McPhee is either lacking in those ethical departments, or knowingly violating her journalistic ethics to further some irrelevant agenda.

Below I will illustrate how Ms. McPhee does not deserve the recognitions she has recieved because she has disgraced journalistic ethics, and morality. Post editing published work without telling people is obviously unethical.


At 3:02 P.M. E.S.T. on August 8th, 2012 Ms. McPhee posted the following image, and accompanying caption to her Facebook profile, and nothing else:
For those who do not know Massachusetts has a food stamp program that is run electronically. Each moth a certain amount of either cash, food only credits, or both are added to your card. Regular cash is just that, it can buy anything, be taken from ATM's, used to pay bills. The food credits cannot be used for anything other than food, however, there is no limit to what food people buy (other than pre-cooked food which is banned). All of those are other arguments, which will be mentioned briefly but the main focus is on Ms. McPhee.

One must wonder why Ms. McPhee would post such an image? I'm going to go over this image, and some points, and if Ms. McPhee would like to clarify I would be happy to amend my article. I will happily have a telephone, e-mail, in person, or radio interview with Ms. McPhee to discuss the points below.

Unfortunately I made the mistake of posting my points on her Facebook page before I made this article. I forgot that journalists don't have ethics, and if they don't like the flow of a conversation they just delete the posts that don't agree with them. Thankfully there is a screen capture. Now I will show the before, and after of where Ms. McPhee (or her handlers) deleted a massive post of mine.

McPhee deleted a longl post from her Facebook page where I public-ally challenged her to a debate.

Thankfully I saved a copy of the post before it was deleted, and it can be found here in it's complete and unedited form, in the interest of transparency, and journalistic ethics.

As I was typing this article I noticed that not only had McPhee removed my post from her post, but she was not going through my list correcting what I had pointed out. I believe I should get a thank you, or a job at the company she works for. I'm in the process of contacting the Boston Heratld staff to inform them of this non-sense. Ms. McPhee has obviously made the jump from the written word of the Boston herald to the typed word of the nternet whereMcPhee attack she is free to edit the history of her own actions, and give her the ability to change what she said in the past.

"Another use for the Mass EBT card - cutting up what appears to be illegal drugs. Photo: courtesy of a law enforcement source." - Michele McPhee caption for Version 2 of the photo

How is it ethical to publish a piece of information, then be able to edit it after others have read it, and pretend it never happened? There is no correction notice. There is no admission of a mistake. Anyone reading this would think that it was originally written like that. In journalism is a mistake is made in a published worked, including Facebook, you don't simply remove it and not make any mention at all to the change, why it was change, etc. That is completely unethical.

Analysis Part 2

Why did Ms. McPhee post an image of an EBT card, with drugs on it, and no explanation. There is no source for this image, there is no article it is linked to, and it is simply a picture that could have been photo-shopped or made for any reason.

By acting this way McPhee is sensationalizing the image in order to cause a divide between the haves, and the have-nots. Some will get mad at those who use food stamps to buy certain items, or find ways to trade for drugs. At the same time there are plenty of working people who cannot afford to eat, but make too much to be on food stamps; may be better to quit.

Another problem with McPhee's post was that she simply made the statement that it was cocaine. Upon closer examination of the drug it is obvious that the drug is meant to be heroin hydrochloride, or diacetyl-morphine, heroin. If Ms. McPhee was at the scene where this photo was taken and a man had overdosed the paramedics would then come. When they asked what he took McPhee would respond with "cocaine". If she had said "heroin" they would administer Narcan and save the person's life. It is ignorant to label something if you have no idea what it is, especially when that substance could be drugs.

McPhee has had an extensive media career in the North East, especially the North Shore of Massachusetts. It is very possible that McPhee knew of the massive heroin problem that is  going on in the north shore right now. Mislabeling the drug on purpose in the caption to distract people is not too hard, and an easy task if a cop is on the take.

Again, why not heroin? A true investigative reporter would know that heroin runs rampant in the North Shore of Massachusetts. There are several cities which have exception high heroin use. Usually people don't think of hard-core drug abuse, and middle class children. They can affordt it, and they can afford the good stuff, which is what they get.

McPhee could have wanted to help spare the white community, or the North Shore of Massachusetts the shame of heroin by blaming the problem on that horrible "cocaine". Political analysis could be done for days, however, one could make a reasonable assumption that McPhee may have seen, or thought something like this at some point.

McPhee might not want to admit that that is the stereotypical view many Americans have. They also have a stigma with crack, or cocaine and it is seen as a black mans drug. Lastly you have the stereotype of people who use E.B.T. of being lazy, and simply taking advantage of the system while you feel you are being robbed by paying your taxes.

McPhee has now succeeded in making her own stereotype. Those who use food stamps, also use "cocaine". Simply by s
taying that many people would assume that it was a black person on food stamps using cocaine, not heroin, nor a white person. The very post was designed to cause a further divides in society.  That is a paragraph everyone should stop and ponder for a minute

Ms. McPhee, I had more to say to you, however, I believe I have made my point.

I will now ask you for the SECOND time if you will either debate me, or at the least discuss the points I have made on this subject. The reason I must ask again, on my own blog, is because you deleted my request as seen above. If your radio show will not have me as a quest I will happily have a recorded Skype conversation with you.

It would be nice if you personally responded to this, so I don't have to go through tons of managers, and media people, which I will if I have to.

David M. Harkins.

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