Tag Archives: Post-Dispatch

Journalists Jump to Conclusions Re: Tom Schweich’s Death

Unlike so many who work as journalists, I refuse to label two recent and much-publicized deaths in the Show-Me State as suicides until those in charge of investigating those deaths make such declarations public.

Thomas A. "Tom" Schweich and Robert "Spence" Jackson

During the past four days, I’ve written and published three articles related to the tragic deaths of Tom Schweich, 54, a second-term Missouri state auditor and declared Republican candidate for governor Feb. 26, and his official spokesperson, Robert “Spence” Jackson, 44, only 30 days later. In the most recent article, I revealed two facts other media outlets have, thusfar, failed to share with their audiences.

First, I shared a statement received via email Monday from Dr. Mary E. Case, St. Louis County’s chief medical examiner. Among other things, she explained that the autopsy, including complete toxicology testing, is complete. She did not, however, say that the death had been ruled a suicide.

Second, I shared a statement received from Clayton (Mo.) Police Chief Kevin Murphy. In an email message about the investigation into Schweich’s death Monday, he wrote, “Currently, the investigation is not closed.” As was the case with Dr. Case, Chief Murphy did not say that the death had been ruled a suicide.

Many in the local, state and national news media, however, have been quick to gloss over the fact no one in any official capacity to make such a statement has said definitively that Schweich committed suicide. [FYI: I have yet to look into the matter of whether any such official statement has been issued regarding Jackson’s death.]

Click on image above to link to article.

Click on image above to link to article.

The most recent in-state example appeared in the Sedalia Democrat April 3. One didn’t have to read beyond the headline of a column by Bob Satnan to see that the editors at the central Missouri newspaper were comfortable publishing a statement not backed up by anyone authorized to confirm it:  Lessons to be learned from 2 suicides.

Click on image above to link to article.

Click on image above to link to article.

Virginia Young of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch waited until the seventh paragraph of her April 1 Political Fix column, but she still used the “S” word without its use substantiated by anyone in an official capacity.

Media outlets outside of the state have done the same thing.

The “S” word appeared in the headline and first paragraph of an April Fools Day piece, Two Suicides Rock Missouri Politics, in The Daily Beast. Notably, the piece was written by Missouri’s own Eli Yokely. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, he should have known better than to use the term without official confirmation.

The “S” word also appeared in the subhead of Luke Brinker‘s March 30 piece in Salon and in the first paragraph of Stacy Hatton‘s March 24 piece in The Huffington Post.

Perhaps things have changed inside journalism school classrooms during the 30-plus years since I received my degree in the subject. I do know, however, that I would have received a failing grade had I used the word, suicide, without verifying it by way of an official report and attributing that verification to the individual or agency that provided it. Until such verification is provided by someone authorized to offer it, I will use terms such as alleged, apparent, possible and suspect in front of the the word, suicide.

Stay tuned for more updates. To see previous articles on this topic, click here.

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Bob McCarty’s Weekly Recap: Dec. 14-20

After sharing my weekly recap one week ago today, another piece of news arrived unexpected via my Facebook page. I shared it under the headline, The National Bet ‘Thoroughly Engrossing Crime Thriller’. Then I went about covering a plethora of news, ranging from the arrest of an FBI agent to agreeing with a slick-talking Democrat. Below is recap of the past seven days at BobMcCarty.com:

Click on image above to order a copy of The National Bet.

Click on image above to order a copy of The National Bet.

Sunday, Dec. 14 — While spending most of the day working on my next book, I did find time to read a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article concerning the CIA’s Enhanced Interrogation Techniques and share the following observations about it on my Facebook page: Like most in the news media, the Post-Dispatch ignores the fact that Nancy Pelosi and many others in Congress APPROVED THE USE OF THE CIA INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES that have been in the news this month. According to the documents obtained by JudicialWatch.org, the CIA briefed at least 68 members of Congress on the CIA interrogation program, including so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” between 2001 and 2007. The documents include the dates of all congressional briefings and, in some cases, the members of Congress in attendance and the specific subjects discussed. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who previously denied she was briefed by the CIA on the use of these techniques, is specifically referenced in a briefing that took place on April 24, 2002, regarding the “ongoing interrogations of Abu Zubaydah.” Details at http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-obtains-documents-regarding-congressional-cia-torture-briefings/.

Monday, Dec. 15 — After news broke about a hostage standoff in Sydney, Australia, I used my Facebook page again to remind folks of a deadly shooting which received very little news coverage beyond the local outlets after it took place Sept. 11, 2011, at a bus station in Springfield, Mo. I reported on the shooting several times, but the story, Was It “Sudden Jihad Syndrome” or Something Else, sums things up pretty well.

Tuesday, Dec. 16 — I shared news about the arrest of an FBI agent only weeks after he was accused of witness tampering. It’s the latest news from the Oklahoma City Bombing trial going on now in Salt Lake City. In addition, I gave a retired Navy admiral a Facebook pat on the back for his opinion piece that appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Wednesday, Dec. 17 — I began the day by sharing my unique angle related to the CIA’s Enhanced Interrogation Techniques. I followed that with a mid-day appearance on The Scott Horton Show, a popular libertarian radio program. Later that day, I reluctantly had to call out one of the Fox News Channel‘s most popular hosts. Find out why by reading my post, Note to Megyn Kelly: No Need For So Much Hype.

Thursday, Dec. 18 — After telling my Facebook friends how strange it felt to receive an email message from one of my U.S. senators — with whom I disagree on almost everything — about the recent passage of a $1.1 trillion cromnibus spending package, I decided to share the opening paragraphs of that message and see if they could guess who sent it before I revealed the sender’s name. Read the details at Which United States Senator Sent This Message? In a same-day updates on my Facebook page, I also shared a link to ‘That Others May Live,” an excerpt from my first crime-fiction novel, The National Bet.

Friday, Dec. 19 — I spent most of the day working on the outline for another fiction book idea that came to mind after reading an unusual news article. Still, I managed to squeeze in some snark on my Facebook page after reading a Navy Times article: I have no personal experience with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. That said, this article seems to indicate there is a problem within NCIS. Perhaps, they’re trying to catch up with the Army. More info at http://ThreeDaysInAugust.com.

Saturday, Dec. 20 — I continue working on the book idea mentioned in the Friday paragraph above.

FYI:  Perhaps, I’m biased, but I think my books make excellent Christmas gifts. Ordering info appears below!

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New Development in Deadly St Louis Hammer Attack

A new development has surfaced in the form of a report from the UK’s Daily Mail about the deadly attack by hammer-wielding teenagers Sunday that left a 32-year-old Bosnian immigrant dead in South St. Louis’ Bevo Mill neighborhood.

Click image above to link to UK Daily Mail article.

Click image above to link to UK Daily Mail article.

Arijana Mujkanovic, the fiance of the victim, Zemir Begic, is cited in the report as saying the attack was a “targeted killing” not motivated by hate.

This news comes barely 48 hours after I criticized St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Joel Currier for failing to mention early in his article about the murder that at least some of the teens were black.  Along with my criticism, I shared one minute of video recorded after the attack by an area woman who seemed to offer an opposing take:  “And, of course, it’s a white kid, right after black people running up and down the street saying, ‘Eff the white people, kill the white people.’ This is what we have.”

Hopefully, St. Louis law enforcement officials will get down to the bottom of things after they finish interviewing witnesses, including the woman who shot the aforementioned video which went viral, attracting nearly 167,000 views so far. The last thing St. Louis needs is more racial tension to fuel the Ferguson protests.

Stay tuned for updates!

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Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

EXCLUSIVE: Hammers Attack Video From South St Louis

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Joel Currier’s article about a Bosnian immigrant being murdered by hammer-wielding teenagers fails to mention the possibility that at least some of the teens were black until deep into the article. Conversely, a video shot by a resident of South St. Louis’ Bevo Mill neighborhood reveals heretofore-unpublished details about what happened near the intersection of Gravois Avenue and Itaska Street before the attack that left Zemir Begic, 32, dead.

At the 45-second mark, the woman who recorded the video — whose name I will not share for reasons of her personal safety — says, “And, of course, it’s a white kid, right after black people running up and down the street saying, ‘Eff the white people, kill the white people.’ This is what we have.”

Coming amidst the protests that followed the grand jury’s decision not to indict now-former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, this attack could unleash a powder keg.

UPDATE 12/1/2014 at 1:13 p.m. Central:  The Gateway Pundit picked up the story.

UPDATE 12/1/2014 at 1:21 p.m. Central:  On the Facebook page of the woman who shot the video above, she tells a friend that “a Bosnian man was attacked last night by 4 black teens.”

UPDATE 12/2/2014 at 6:18 a.m. Central:  The video above has been viewed more than 80,500 times during the past 20-plus hours. The general public seems more interested in the truth than in what St. Louis officials say about the crime as highlighted in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article, Mayor, police say race played no role in hammer slaying of Bosnian immigrant.

UPDATE 12/3/2014 at 5:12 p.m. Central:  A new development has surfaced in the form of a report from the UK’s Daily Mail about the deadly attack by hammer-wielding teenagers Sunday that left a 32-year-old Bosnian immigrant dead in South St. Louis’ Bevo Mill neighborhood. Read about it here!

UPDATE 12/5/2014 at 7:55 a.m. Central:  The video above has been viewed more than 211,000 times in four days. To read other posts on this topic, click here.

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Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Writer Appears to Side With Prosecution Against Army Drill Sergeant Accused of Multiple Sexual Assaults

The number of inflammatory and suggestive words in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article published today about the court-martial of an Army drill sergeant on sexual assault charges leaves me speechless. Almost.

Army SHARP

It may turn out that the accused, Staff Sgt. Angel M. Sanchez, committed these acts. Whether he did or not, however, I take issue with the way writer Jesse Bogan approached this story. Why? Because it appears Bogan might be working for the prosecution on this first day of the Soldier’s court-martial at Fort Leonard Wood, 147 miles southwest of St. Louis.

According to Bogan, several women at the sprawling base in the south-central Missouri Ozarks say Sergeant Sanchez added to a legacy of sex abuse that has plagued the military. Really?  Plagued the military?  The only people who believe sexual assault has plagued the military share the mindset of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and seem to believe every military man who’s ever noticed that a woman looks different than a man is guilty of rape — or, at a minimum, sexual assault.

Six paragraphs below, Bogan wrote another line — Jaw-dropping reports of sexual misconduct within the ranks have led to outrage and action on Capitol Hill in recent years to reform the military’s criminal justice system. — supportive of Senator McCaskill’s witch-hunting efforts but light years apart from the reality of what military life is like.

Rather than rehash so much of the source information that makes the senator and the writer look foolish, I’ll point both of them to a piece published Aug. 28 and suggest they read it.  Incredibly, it takes into account the views of people who stand opposite Senator McCaskill when it comes to her sexual assault witch hunt. Plus, it reminds me of the term that once described a true journalist:  objective.

In addition, I’ll suggest the liberally-dynamic duo read my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August, as an example of how an agenda-driven prosecution ruined a man’s career and life as an elite American warfighter and member of the Army’s Green Beret fraternity.

If the reporter reads either of the items I suggested, readers of the Post-Dispatch might see improved reporting on the topic of sexual assault in the military one day in the future. If the senator reads either of them, I suspected she will never admit to it; hence, the reason she needs to be retired at the first election-day opportunity.

To order a copy of Three Days In August, click here.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.