On Wednesday night, the Daily Caller News Foundation’s indefatigable Luke Rosiak reported that the local journalist instrumental in promoting the hate crime hoax involving an African-American girl with dreadlocks has some serious ethical issues, including how she had previously promoted the hair care company run by the girl’s family.
Rosiak found that Mikea Turner, a reporter with Washington, D.C.’s CBS affiliate WUSA-9, had on September 25 “advocated for laws protecting the hairstyle hours before the supposed attack,” in which 12-year-old Amari Allen claimed white classmates at their Springfield, Virginia Christian school had forcibly cut her dreadlocks.
“The reporter also used the claims by the Virginia girl’s family — which runs a ‘natural’ cosmetics company that the reporter has previously promoted on air — as justification for the laws,” Rosiak added in reference to a proposed law (which Turner had also heavily promoted) to protect those wanting to have hair styles like dreadlocks or a “crown.”
Rosiak stated that Turner conveniently interviewed the family about the now-debunked incident “the next day,” which catapulted this story onto the national scene. As our Brad Wilmouth discovered, the Allen family’s fable received nearly ten minutes of coverage between liberal cable networks CNN and MSNBC plus CBS This Morning and NBC Nightly News.
Even after interviewing Amari Allen and her family, Turner and WUSA continued to promote this story for four days in a row despite the fact that, a year earlier, she promoted the family’s line of hair care products (click “expand”):
Turner co-authored a Sept. 26 story online with the headline: “Sixth-grade boys pin down classmate, cut her dreadlocks calling them ‘ugly’ and ‘nappy’ at Virginia private school.”
“This why we need the #CrownAct to protect little girls like Amari Allen,” Turner tweeted on Sept. 27.
The Allen family — grandparents Cynthia and Dewaune and aunt Lakeisha Allen — run a beauty company called “Still Natural”[.]
Turner promoted the Allens’ cosmetic line in a September 2018 news segment and an accompanying article headlined “Domestic violence survivor develops cosmetic line to inspire others.” The playground assault articles did not mention an existing relationship between the reporter and the subject.
Three boys cut Amari’s deadlocks on Sept. 23 but she did not tell anyone what happened until Sept. 25, according to the story. The Washington Post reported that that came after Lakeisha questioned her about why her hair was different.
Following her Sept. 26 story, Turner tweeted relentlessly about the supposed attack and even helped collect gifts for the girl. She said she was scheduled to be off work but came in anyway to pursue Amari’s case.
Turner ran two segments with Amari and her family on Sept. 29. In the first, she questioned why the school had not finished its investigation and punished the students.
But after it was found to have been a lie, WUSA callously ran and hid, showing again a total lack of journalistic professionalism by not only “delet[ing] all articles and video about the story” but in the follow-up story, the station declined to use anyone’s name because of “the girl’s age and the circumstances.”
Furthermore, Rosiak reported that “Turner deleted some of her tweets and all of her Facebook posts about it and issued only one tweet noting that it never happened.”
As for the station, “station manager Michael Valentine did not explain to the DCNF why it would heavily promote the identity of a family when they were accusing others of racism, but conceal their identities when the story became them falsely accusing others.”
So they gladly barnstormed across the media landscape about how racist her white classmates were, allowing the media to use the occasion as a faux example to warn about how deeply racist America supposedly remains. But when things went south, the family and those involved couldn’t be scrutinized?
So much for being journalists, WUSA.