Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Apparently, things are often apparent

Apparently, someone has a lot more time on his hands, and a lot more interest in Jessica McBride, than I do.

But since the research is already done, it seems a shame to waste it. Here's what was in my inbox when I got home from my little hiatus last week:


“If you’ve got to use the word ‘apparently’ in the lead, it means you don’t have the goods. And if you don’t have the goods, it's highly unfair to write a lead like this. I know this trick; I worked at this newspaper. You don’t stick the word ‘apparently’ in a lead unless you aren’t quite sure what you are saying is true, or you know you can't quite prove it. So you want to imply it as heavily as you can, but you soften it. If you aren’t quite sure what you are saying is true, it’s highly unfair to hang a big story on it in such a dramatic fashion.” [Source: McBride Media Matters weblog, 1/26/06, http://mcbridemediamatters.blogspot.com/2006/01/if-you-have-to-use-word-apparently.html]

A Lexis-Nexis search of Jessica McBride’s reporting at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel using the word “apparently” results in 149 hits. This includes nine uses of “apparently” in the lead paragraph alone and dozens of other examples where she is reporting about people committing alleged criminal activities. This begs the question: Is the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel now in legal jeopardy for Jessica McBride’s reporting of criminal accusations about individuals in a method she herself calls “highly unfair” and a means “If you aren’t quite sure what you are saying is true…”?

Suspect’s release is defended; Man committed suicide, fatally shot his wife, authorities say.

BODY: It is not unusual for police to release a sexual abuse suspect prior to charges being filed, just as Brookfield police did hours before a man apparently murdered his wife and committed suicide, District Attorney Paul Bucher said Wednesday.

…Brookfield police have said Bonow, 74, was arrested, booked and released, on allegations that he sexually molested three children. Just hours after his release, he apparently shot his wife, Betty Bonow, 69, and himself to death at their home on Fiebrantz Drive.…Bucher said that when deciding whether to release a suspect, authorities generally consider whether the person is a flight risk or a threat to the community.Mr. Bonow apparently had no criminal record. [MJS, 1/18/96 (with Dan Parks)]

Ex-boyfriend sought in shooting; 17-year-old girl found fatally wounded on sofa in living room, authorities say.
BODY: A 17-year-old girl was shot in the head and killed, apparently by her ex-boyfriend, on Wednesday morning as she sat on her living room sofa, authorities said. [Source: MJS, 11/27/97]

Executive sought details in August.
BODY: County Executive F. Thomas Ament apparently knew details of his sweetened pension at least by August -- two months earlier than he has previously acknowledged. [MJS, 1/18/02 (with Steve Schultze)]

Handal may have stabbed himself; He reportedly wrote helter skelter' on shower wall with his own blood
BODY: Eduardo Handal wrote the words “helter skelter” and “CIA” in his own blood on a jail shower stall after apparently stabbing himself in the abdomen with a razor blade Sunday, according to the inmate who cleaned up the area. [MJS, 11/21/95]

Officer’s gun taken from unlocked police vehicle; 2 officers allegedly fired upon when pursuing man
BODY: A police wagon was moved from an assistant police chief's parking space in the Police Administration Building and left unlocked outside by a parking attendant, apparently enabling a mental patient to grab a pistol from the vehicle and fire at pursuing officers. [MJS, 1/17/979]

Speeding car kills woman, infant on south side
BODY: A car apparently drag-racing on W. Lapham St. on Monday night plowed into a woman pushing a baby stroller down a sidewalk, killing the woman and infant and critically injuring another child walking next to them, police said. [MJS, 8/20/96 (with Dan Parks)]
Parents saw shooting; Woman killed while she tended bar had served estranged husband with divorce papersBYLINE: JESSICA MCBRIDEBODY: The parents of a woman killed allegedly by her estranged husband while she tended bar at a south side tavern apparently were among witnesses to their daughter's death, according to a neighbor. [MJS, 12/7/96 (with Georgia Pabst)]

Another woman abandoned? Eschweiler's supervisor says he misled massage therapist
BODY: Waukesha County building contractor Michael Eschweiler, now back in custody in Wisconsin, apparently added another broken heart to his string while a fugitive misleading, then leaving another woman. [MJS, 1/27/96 (with Betsy Thatcher, Tom Heinen, Christine Nielsen)]

3 arrested in sexual torture; Police say doctor saw wounds, brought end to man's 3-week ordeal
…Police had not yet determined a motive in the kidnapping and assault but said “pent-up anger” and rage apparently were factors. [MJS, 11/23/96]

Vandal falls to death while spray-painting building; He steps into hole in roof of vacant Valley property
A graffiti vandal who was spray-painting an abandoned industrial building near the 35th St. viaduct in the dark stepped through a hole in the roof early Wednesday and plummeted to his death, police said.Paul Gazo, 22, of the 2700 block of N. Hackett Ave., apparently had used a ladder to scale a 10-foot fence topped with barbed wire, then climbed on the roof of an old railroad building owned by CMC Heartland Partners, a Chicago-based firm that is considering developing the Menomonee Valley property, said police and a CMC spokesman. [MJS, 10/2/97]

Visitor to city killed in car theft; Carjacker ran over Tennessee woman in getaway, police say
A Tennessee woman who decided on the spur of the moment to visit Milwaukee as part of a cross-country road trip was run over and killed by a carjacker late Tuesday night in the parking lot of a drug store on the city's far south side, police said Wednesday.The carjacker and his wife who were apparently working as a team were arrested a short time after the incident, which occurred outside a Walgreens near Mitchell International Airport, on Milwaukee's border with Oak Creek, Greenfield and Franklin. [MJS, 8/14/97]

George signatures fall short; Petitions with 231 invalid entries could knock him off ballot.
…Ge Xiong, executive director of the Hmong Educational Advancement Association in Milwaukee, said he was concerned about the apparently false signatures because "being involved in the political process is very new to the Hmong community. . . . Very few candidates have come out to meet with the Hmong like Gary George and Jim Doyle have done. They do take that as a gesture of understanding and good will." [MJS, 7/28/02]

Local teen accused of dumping newborn; Baby found in trash in St. Louis, where girl was
A newborn boy was in good condition at a St. Louis hospital Tuesday after his mother, a Milwaukee teenager, allegedly stuffed the infant into a plastic bag and left him inside a garbage container.The 17-year-old Milwaukee girl, Ewura Amonoo, was in St. Louis with her mother visiting cousins when she apparently gave birth Monday morning in the basement of the relatives' home, said Richard Wilks, spokesman for the St. Louis police. [MJS, 5/28/97]

Deputy fire chief fired after drunken driving arrest; He says dismissal was for his failure to take drug test
A deputy chief with almost 20 years on the Milwaukee Fire Department has been fired after being arrested for drunken driving and refusing a departmental order that he take a drug test.Deputy Chief Ronald T. Johnson one of the department's nine deputy chiefs confirmed Tuesday that his refusal to take the drug test triggered his dismissal, which apparently also came while he was under surveillance by police following an allegation that he was visiting drug houses. [MJS, 5/14/97]

County's automatic raises never end; Unusual plan lets supervisors avoid having to vote.
…Although state law apparently does not prohibit such never-ending increases for elected officials, two state lawmakers who are considering a bid to replace Ament questioned the practice. [MJS, 2/17/02 (with Steve Schultze)]

Student, 17, accused of threat to kill.
…Police said they were told the boy, who had just been suspended, had threatened to go home and get a gun and kill an assistant principal. It was not clear why the boy was suspended, although it was apparently for some kind of argument with a teacher. [MJS, 4/11/98]

HONORABLE MENTION I: ‘Apparently’ used in first person column
Can't they seewhat's wrong with gang life?
As a police reporter, I observe the aftermath of violent death almost daily.But few scenes have left their imprint on me as much as the disturbing memorial gathering I observed Monday while reporting on the slaying of gang member Bobby “Boogie” Moore.Friends and family members gathered the day after Moore's death at the very spot where he had been gunned down, apparently by members of a rival gang, in what amounted to a surreal pep rally for the Latin Kings, a public flaunting and glorification of gang life. It was like a twisted Packers celebration, only the colors this time were black and gold and the slogans and freshly made memorial clothes touted a criminal lifestyle. [MJS, 4/26/98]

HONORABLE MENTION: ‘Apparently’ used twice in third graph.
Police seek suspect in north side slaying; 21-year-old man was shot to death on visit to house in search of his friend

BYLINE: JESSICA MCBRIDE Police Thursday were seeking a 19-year-old suspect and were sorting through accounts from witnesses and others in the killing of Derrick A. Lipsey, 21, the city's sixth homicide victim of the year.Lipsey was shot outside a residence in the 2800 block of N. 11th St. about 12:40 p.m. Wednesday and died later that evening, said Sgt. Anna Ruzinski, public information officer.Ruzinski said Lipsey and a friend apparently had gone to a house in the neighborhood to look for a friend who was not there. She said that a witness told police several men came out of the house and a man Lipsey did not know apparently approached Lipsey. [MJS, 1/24/97]


At 8:23 AM, Blogger Marquette4290 said...

Your point is?

At 12:29 PM, Blogger Other Side said...

I think the point is that McBride is "apparently" not the journalist she claims to be. And, "apparently" she is just wee bit hypocritical. And, "apparently" she should stick to raising her kid and not masquerading as a pundit.

How's that?

At 4:12 PM, Blogger James Wigderson said...

Hey Christofferson, is that your position, that women bloggers you disagree with should stay home and raise their kids?

At 5:14 PM, Blogger Xoff said...

I would think, Wiggie, as someone who blogs, that you would not think I agree, by osmosis, with every comment someone posts on my blog.

In fact, I think McBride should stay OUT of the kitchen, since she obviously can't take the heat.

At 7:44 PM, Blogger James Wigderson said...

Just checking. I know how you progressive types get all upset when someone starts talking about the role of women and all that.

"Other Side" better not come near Mrs. Wigderson or he's liable to catch a keyboard in the teeth.

At 7:23 AM, Blogger Other Side said...

I'm happily married. You can keep your wife, James.


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