African American, Humor, Media, Satire

Media Apologizes for Coverage of Missing Bi-Racial Girl

By Shawna Collier



Media Moguls mistakenly thought missing girl, J’hamee Myerson (No. 34), was white

(NEW YORK)–Editors at the nation’s largest media outlets are red-faced today, apologizing for spending the last two weeks chronicling the disappearance of blond-haired, hazel-eyed high school student J’hamee Myerson.

The cause of their embarrassment? It turns out the 16-year-old junior from rural Ashtabula, Ohio is not white. She’s actually half Puerto Rican and half African American. But her fair skin, light-colored eyes, and blond hair–which turned out to be a dye job–fooled the media elite, who treated her disappearance as if she were a white girl.

“I saw her photo, saw that she was missing and immediately sent out three crews to Ashtabula,” explained Rex Malpern, assignment director for Fox News. He said part of the confusion was that in initial reports, J’hamee’s name was spelled ‘J-A-M-I-E,’ like it sounds.

“Had we known the real spelling, we probably would have gathered more background information before dedicating so much time to her case,” Malpern said. “But we were blinded by the blond.”

Following J’hamee’s disappearance, Fox, CNN and MSNBC devoted dozens of segments to the girl and Larry King hosted a special called ‘A Nation Waits for Jamie.’ The girl, a top student who created a program that gives puppies to orphans, also graced the covers of Star, US Weekly and InTouch.

The truth was uncovered after the media found J’hamee’s grandparents. While J’hamee’s parents are very fair-skinned, well-spoken and, the clincher, married to each other, her grandparents appear much more ethnic.

“It was like ‘wait a minute,’ said June Krieg, assistant managing director for US. “We then asked the parents point-blank, ‘Are you white?’”

Kevin Myerson, J’hamee’s father, said he was stunned by the question.“Of course I’m not white. I’m black,” said Myerson, a truck driver. “If anyone had asked me, I would have told them I was black, but it never came up. And why would that matter?”

It was that type of innocence that endeared Kevin and his wife, Dora, whose first language is Spanish, to journalists. But times have changed. The couple initially hired a friend to handle media requests that came from around the world. Yet after admitting their ethnic makeup, they haven’t had a single inquiry about their daughter.

J’hamee, last seen after leaving a school party with a boy none of her friends knew, is still missing. But the media have moved on, with promises to be more careful in the future.

“We’ve already taken steps to ensure the missing white girls we cover don’t merely look white, but actually are white,” said Krieg. “We have to hold ourselves to the highest standard.”

Note: This article is satire, brought to you by the creative minds at The Peoples News. It’s not real, but we hope it made you think.

© 2008 The Peoples News



23 thoughts on “Media Apologizes for Coverage of Missing Bi-Racial Girl


    Posted by Gabriella Stewart | March 11, 2008, 11:14 am
  2. LOL What the hell its false but soooooo true……

    Posted by Regina (black-hispanic) | March 12, 2008, 11:31 am
  3. Gabriella: Not real big on satire huh?

    That some would believe them true is a testament to the mastery of the writer. Congrats!

    Posted by Tony | March 13, 2008, 3:45 pm
  4. lol! It’s a shame and funny at the same time! Especially the stand alone quotes.

    Posted by Joseph | March 13, 2008, 4:24 pm
  5. Ha! This looks like something I would write… It’s the journalist’s way of exposing the media’s ignorance and prejudice. I completely understand! Sometimes, humor, satire, and/or parody is the only way one can get others to see what’s really going on in this world today; an editorial-style news article does not always inspire thought or change in people. Kudos to the author!

    Posted by Catherine | March 14, 2008, 1:32 pm
  6. That is disturbingly close to reality.

    Posted by aleks | March 15, 2008, 2:53 am
  7. Great stuff. Keep it coming! You should post a writing contest for more in Howard University’s student paper. In addition to getting additional writers, it may help spread circulation. Good Luck.

    Posted by sam phipps | March 18, 2008, 12:16 pm
  8. Am I the only one who has read this and understands that the media only cares when a white girl goes missing? We of color are people also and when one of our young woman is missing doesn’t the media understand our pain and anguish. We want just as much media coverage as any white girl/woman would receive. Shame on the media for showing how racist they are.

    Posted by SJ | March 18, 2008, 4:42 pm
  9. HAHAHA! This is hilarious! I think satire is one of the best forms of commentary. Keep this stuff coming man.

    Posted by Jay Smith | March 18, 2008, 5:18 pm
  10. The reason these articles keep getting so much attention from our Black readers is because we live in a country where these things are more than possible, but likely. It’s time for Black people to take back the respect and appreciation that is rightfully ours and stop letting so many little things stand in our way.

    Posted by proud | March 18, 2008, 7:44 pm
  11. I must admit that I was taken in by this coverage until I learned that the young women was half-black. Now I just regret having invested as much time as I did for a news story that clearly lacks any importance.

    Posted by William Tuston, III | March 24, 2008, 6:04 pm
  12. Its so true in NC in the North Raleigh area they had a woman killed on the side of the highway of 540 that was black . Yep, no coverage or any more information but that white girl gets killed at UNC and the nation mourns and the police effort was huge and found her killers in about a week or less.
    Or what happened in West Virgina with Meagan Williams no coverage unless you went on the net and searched hard. But Jena 6 still talking about it and the white boy they beat was at a house party 3 hours after the incident.

    Posted by Shepherd | March 25, 2008, 3:52 am
  13. All well-done satire has a grain of truth in it – and this is very well-done satire. I recently came across the website Black and Missing: But not Forgotten.

    If you read the “About” entry, you’ll find that the site founder was inspired by the following quote from the Miami Herald Crime Blog:

    “I’m livid. I agreed to conduct a last-minute interview with MSNBC about the case of missing Stepha Henry, the 22-year-old college grad who went missing May 29 from Miami-Dade. I rushed to MSNBC’s studio but a few minutes before the interview, I was told that it was off – Paris Hilton coverage was more important.”

    The time and effort that’s put into this blog is impressive – as I was very moved by it, the least I can do is spread the word.

    Posted by Noelle | March 25, 2008, 10:40 am
  14. Attention was drawn to this in the second-season CSI: Miami episode “Death Grip”; Lt Horatio Caine hands a list of missing persons to a Miami newspaper reporter, and suggests that his story should be why the abduction and death of a Hispanic girl went under-reported when, at the same time, the media was wall-to-wall on the story of a missing blonde-haired, blue-eyed white girl (who turned out to be a runaway).

    Posted by Tom1969ca | March 25, 2008, 12:36 pm
  15. Hey! Lay off Paris Hilton. She is the single most important human being who has ever lived with the possible exception of The Messiah. I can only hope that some day you can experience the horrors of being white, spoiled, filthy rich heiress.

    Really, cuz that’d be kinda cool.

    Hopefully this whole election-thingy will end soon, too, so that we can get back to more important news, whatever the media decides to tell us that it is.

    That would be kind cool, too.

    Posted by Quincy Ryan | March 26, 2008, 2:07 am
  16. This is such a wise way to get the real issues out there. You’re geniuses!

    Posted by Rose | March 26, 2008, 1:25 pm
  17. I could not believe my eyes when I read this article. Anyone that has gone missing deserves as much attention from the media and police, no matter of race and/or color. The media is stupid, and we as a whole are even more ridiculous as we fuel the media to write dumb things like this. Racism is at large, ladies and gentleman. We should post more of the idiocycies of the media and actually reduce their sales when they print things like this.

    Posted by E | March 27, 2008, 1:15 am
  18. I just found this site, through Snopes. I think it is wonderful satire, and I plan to use it as part of my work with youth in rural Western NY, to point out the absurdity of racism. Great reading!

    Posted by White Sherry | March 27, 2008, 12:28 pm
  19. It was bad enough she was 1/2 black but the other 1/2 was puerto rican?!!

    Somebody got fired over covering this story!!!

    Posted by MilanFromCA | March 29, 2008, 7:26 pm
  20. Dora… first language is Spanish.
    Keep the satire coming guys, I love intelligent writing!

    Posted by Catiana | April 2, 2008, 2:45 pm
  21. LMBO!!! I’ve read every article. I too, found this through Snopes — was reading about the Stupid Names (which I completely agree with), and just had to read the rest. This is some of the funniest writing I’ve read in a long time. Keep up the great work.

    Posted by Debbie Rodgers | April 5, 2008, 8:02 pm
  22. So sad but so true.

    Posted by Angelia | April 9, 2008, 12:47 pm
  23. Funny but true.

    Posted by Rebecca | January 9, 2009, 5:40 pm

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