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News :: Media
Boston Herald's Michele McPhee Needs Some Pointers.
01 Mar 2005
Modified: 07:21:03 PM
The slander piece in yesterday's Boston Herald showed what can happen when society allows people to obtain journalism degrees from the backs of matchbooks.
The slander piece in yesterday's Boston Herald showed what can happen when society allows people to obtain journalism degrees from the backs of matchbooks.

Michele McPhee needs our help. There are plenty of smart people in the Boston area who can surely give out some advice on how to fact-check and what-not.

Feel free to give her a call, but don't bother wasting the time of the operator at the main switchboard. You can call Ms. McPhee's desk directly at 617 619 6100.
See also:
http://news.bostonherald.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=70734

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I will be calling her.
02 Mar 2005
When I saw a photo of a friend of mine used to defame him and alude that he was a terrorist, I committed myself to acting on it.

I suggest further actions. How about a black propaganda campaign against Murdoch, the owner?
Re: Boston Herald's Michele McPhee Needs Some Pointers.
02 Mar 2005
A couple thoughts. One, the slanderous character of the article might not be McPhee's fault. Sometimes a journalist can do a decent article and the editors can alter the content. McPhee may be to blame, but let's not jump to conclusions.

Two, while harrassing phone calls might be emotionally satisfying to some, I doubt that they're the best way to get her to change her reporting style. They would just reinforce all the negative stereotypes about anarchists she has. If you need to call, a polite phone call is probably better. A letter writing campaign, both to McPhee and the Herald's editors may be more productive--they have copies of what people said then, staring them in the face. They have information they can go back to. You can write a letter to the Herald on-line at http://www.heraldinteractive.com/contactus/index.bg .

And, remember, as misguided as these people may be, they're still human beings and there's always hope for them.
Why do you assume that the telephone calls would be harassing?
02 Mar 2005
I intend to give her a very intelligent and interesting telephone call where she finds herself compelled to examine her ethics.

Also, do not discourage people from speaking their minds. If she is willing to put her name on something, then she is responsible. Using your logic, we should have just forgotten about the terrible misdeeds of German oven guards who were just following orders.
Re: Boston Herald's Michele McPhee Needs Some Pointers.
02 Mar 2005
i emailed the editors and her personally. both were thoughtful and calm. apparently alot of people have been contacting her expressing their feelings. keep it up.
Re: Boston Herald's Michele McPhee Needs Some Pointers.
02 Mar 2005
here's a sample letter you can send them on the website
http://www.heraldinteractive.com/contactus/index.bg .
--------------------------------------------------------------
I am very upset about Michele McPhee's inaccurate portrayal of the Anarchist Black Cross and of anarchists in general. Many of her facts are incorrect in "FBI: Anarchists operating in Hub" and the article is extremely baised. Journalism requires that facts are checked and that both sides are inspected. It is very clear that McPhee is pegging anarchists as terrorists, which couldn't be farther from the truth. The ABC does not train people to use any sort of weapon, and participants spend most of their time writing letters to prisoners. There is no evidence linking anarchists to terrorists, weapons, or violence. This 'article' is just slander, and it should not be tolerated, by you or by the public.
Cell Number
02 Mar 2005
Michele McPhee mmcphee (at) bostonherald.com 617-619-6191 office <b>617-938-4966 cell</b>
Re: Boston Herald's Michele McPhee Needs Some Pointers.
02 Mar 2005
I wasn't trying to discourage people from speaking their minds. I was giving my thoughts on the most constructive way to do it.

And, yes, in an ideal world, if someone's name is on something they would be able to take full responsibility for it. But editors have the power to alter stories written by their reporters. Now, you could argue that, if this had happened (I have no idea if it did--I was just cautioning against jumping to conclusions), McPhee should have resigned in protest. But all newspapers work that way, so it would be hard for her to find another job--and people gotta make a living somehow. (Which is not to say there isn't a point when people should say no and refuse to do something they're ordered to--as German death camp guards clearly should have done. Where the cut off point is far from clear though.)
Re: Boston Herald's Michele McPhee Needs Some Pointers.
04 Mar 2005
Muskrat,

We know for a fact exactly what this woman wrote and what her intent was, so please do NOT go around spreading misinformation. This was no editor's oversight. This woman knew what she was doing and she is responsisble.

Did you even bother to do a fucking Google search on this woman's prior attack pieces on various people before coming to IMC to put out this liberal "why can't we all get along" bullshit and try to make up excuses for this person who is spearheading the local component of a national campaign to criminalize dissent?! Did you even bother to find out about her past AT ALL before you tried the "maybe she's a nice person and her boss is a meany" tactic?!

The misinformation you are spreading here and your misplaced pleas for compassion for a person who is now responsible for at least one person mentioned in her article getting fired from their job and threats being made against another household is inexcusable and is a complete violation of basic solidarity with the folks who are being targetted right now because of McPhee's libelous actions.

So, here's the deal, Rat, YOU are now playing the liberal version of McPhee. You didn't bother to do ANY research, didn't do ANY fact-checking, you just started spewing your completely unfounded assumptions. Even worse, you are now attempting to deprive the activist community of one of the few tools we have to counter the lies of corporate smear-machines by trying to drum up comp[assion for the very person who is responsible for this attack on us.

Perhaps next you can explain to us all how Timoney is a misunderstood nice-guy? Or how maybe how Goebbels was done in by a mean old editor who twisted his articles?

Perhaps next time before you go trying to convince people in the community not to hold those who attack them responsible, you should at least deign to put in a fucking second or two of time researching the topic or asking someone who knows, so as not to be a solidarity-breaking moron on IMC.
Re: Boston Herald's Michele McPhee Needs Some Pointers.
04 Mar 2005
My apologies. You're right, I didn't think to do background research. The stuff people have posted so far didn't indicate she had a pattern of doing this. (Nor had I seen anything previously saying that someone got fired from their job because of the article--which is awful.) I was left with the impression that, while the Herald had a pattern of printing BS, that this was the first time anyone had an issue with this particular reporter. And all I was doing was pointing out that *in some cases* distorted reporting is the editors' fault, not the journalist's. In this case, based on what you say, I'm certainly willing to accept that it was the journalist's fault.

Now do you have to be so bloody nasty in responding to me? Why do you assume I'm trying to undermine the movement because I have a different perspective than you? I certainly was not spreading disinformation--everything I said was pretty clearly stated in a hypothetical fashion (like using the word "might"). Nor did I ever say people shouldn't respond to the Herald--I provided a link to the place on-line where you can send letters. At the time I thought it the most appropriate way to respond. Hearing that McPhee has a history of this sort of thing, yes, phonecalls also make sense.

Could we (those of us on the left, who post to this webiste) all try being a little more civil to each other? I'm not saying we shouldn't disagree with each other and we shouldn't correct each other when we screw up (as I did), but it does not seem too much to ask to be respectful of each other when we do so. I'm not saying this just because I just got chewed out--I see a lot of that on this website and it undermines debate and communication when people get nasty with each other when they disagree. And that certainly isn't going to get us anywhere in terms of movement-building.