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Paris

Stepha00_henry_dade_ho 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.

Turns out, I'm not the only one. Miami-Dade police lead spokeswoman Linda O'Brien was canceled by MSNBC the hour before me. She tells me:

"I am upset because MSNBC called me and asked me to go to their studio in Broward County, 30 miles away from my office. I was there for a total of 45 minutes, was already seated and had the mic ready for the interview. As I waiting to be interviewed, I was listening to the Paris Hilton coverage to include discussion to the effect if anybody had seen or knew the whereabouts of her Chihuahua.

"Then they tell me they have to cut the piece, cut my interview because they’re doing constant coverage of Paris Hilton. I’m appalled that a missing woman cannot get even 60 seconds of air time because the priorities of MSNBC was to have footage of the front gates of Paris Hilton’s house. They asked me to come to the interview and I’m going out of my way to do every interview to keep in the public eye that Stepha Henry, a bright beautiful woman, is missing and we need help in this case."

I’m through with cable TV news. It’s a joke.

For her part, O'Brien tells me she will be on NBC's Today Show at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow with reporter Kerry Sanders. Part of the story will focus on TV media coverage of this missing black woman.

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Natalie

I am extremely upset to hear this. Stepha Henry happens to be my cousin. It is upsetting to hear that MSNBC would rather cover news about a spoiled rich girl rather than my missing cousin. Stepha is in need of the publicity in order to get her case solved.

Gerald

It doesn't matter if it's cable news or local news which is often worse. TV broadcasters sell us what they call news, but it's not. They want stories, not news and there is a difference, This poor missing girl's story wasn't as important as Paris' story. And to be honest MSNBC and the others couldn't care less about this girl. It's the story they are after and on Friday her case just didn't cut it. Don't think that they feel guilty about not helping to find this woman because they don't.

I say turn off TV news period. Thanks to the Internet we can be our own reporters and gather our own info. We don't need phony journalists with breast implants to tell us anything. TV news just isn't relevent any more and hasn't been for a long time.

Bob

A sad reminder that TV news cares about ratings first, news second.

Giselle

I too am very upset at the lack of media attention this case is getting I met Stepha at a temp job 2 years ago and grow very fond of this young intelligent woman. She is very bright with great dreams and aspirations and I feel she should be on the news everyday so she can be seen and people can be on the look out for her... Instead we see this spoiled little white menace..

cliff in iraq

well......another sad love song describing the state of mind and state of affairs in the states.its getting sicker by the day.hope the lord returns soon and ends all the madnes.dont know whats worse......taliban and insurgents.....or idiots back home....to include.....criminals and reporters alike.good luck finding ole' girl.good will always prevail over evil.and im no preacher or jesus freak.thats just real talk.

sognatrice

And America reaches a new low. Disgusting.

Jamillah

This is beyond pathetic. MSNBC should be ashamed. Their lack of integrity is so obvious. They couldn't give that missing girl one minute of airtime but can devote endless hours to Paris Hilton. Do they really believe that the public is that interested in a fake celebrity like Paris Hilton. Is this what America has become. A country obsessed with the ridiculous while our young people go missing. Beyond pathetic.

JC

I was watching MSNBC on Saturday, and I saw two segments on this case with a local news report followed by commentary from Cliff Van Zandt. You give the impression there was no coverage. It may simply have been problems doing a remote from Miami.

A Mad Black Women

Wow, thats soo sad! A young women goes missing and all we can think about iss some nasty white trash!..

MSNBC you guys are bull! I cant believe you would put a someone doing jail time before something that actually matters. People to jail time ALL the time. but if its someone like "Paris" we all seem to care. !

Jill

Its so sad because the video on MSNBC didnt even get her name right. They put Stepha Henera when its simply Stepha Henry. And in the coverage from the video link they had the wrong pic up when they were talking about what she looked like the night she was in the club, she had the long brown hair and white tee on that not not the short hair pic. Even her parents looked confused by their 2 second clip for the poor young lady. I pray she is ok.

AM

Its very said because its so aperent that its a race issue. the last 2 women that where missing where Caucasians ( the missing teen and the missing mother ) Do you see how many people where searching for them and the outside help that was VOLINTEERING to help find them? i honestly do see this at all on ANY news channel for this Stepha Henry. All i see is a quick "shes missing here and was seen here...heres a photo and a number call if ya got anything kthxbye.

AM

Sorry that last comment where i said "do" see this at all... should have been "dont" see this at all.

Jill

Natalee Holloway = 24/7 media coverage.

Stepha Henry = not a word.

Do the math.

What message does it send to young black girls in America when they see the disappearance of a white blonde girl and the jail time of another one get nonstop media coverage while a girl who looks like them disappears and it's as if she never existed?

Let's keep the media's feet to the fire on this one, folks -- and please visit as many blogs as you can and post about this in the comments. The mainstream media may feel that because Stepha Henry is black she doesn't matter, but I'm confident the blogosphere won't.

T.J.

I am also extremely livid to hear this. I am so tired of the type of message mainstream media is sending to beautiful African American women. That their life is not worth the same as a Katie next door. We have to shed light on this issue and make it known that we won't stand for this anymore.

I use to intern for MSNBC, during the whole Natalie Holloway case. It made me sick to my stomach that they would do no stop coverage of this girl and at the same time, won't provide the same amount of coverage to the millions of missing African American men and women. Also, when a black girl goes missing, she deemed a runaway. But when a white girl goes missing, she was kidnapped, WHY IS THAT?

angry white woman

I get my news on the web. It is much better because you can sort through the issues that are most important, like missing college grads. Her parents must be devastated. I do see the prejudice. I live in Los Angeles and I see it all the time with my Latino friends. The fight for equality and justice for ALL human beings continues. Who the hell out there cares about what's happening with Paris Hilton anyway. I am enraged!

Harrine Freeman

I never watch the news, except maybe a few minutes here and there and even then I am not really listening. The news is depressing. To find out what is going on in my area or the world I view the headlines on msn or cnn or listen to highlights on the radio.

The news displays nothing but negativity and I am sick and tired of pouring those kinds of images or issues into my psyche. I surround myself with positive people.

They wonder why children kill people, rape, use drugs or do other vicious things, because they get it from t.v., they are feed these images on a daily basis.

GISELLE

come on we can not depend on the media we already know that... so we have to do it ourselves.. if everyone on this blog would take her story, copy it and send it to all their friends it would get around someone seen something.. they just need to know she is out there missing... fuck the media.. I know this girl and she needs to be found. she is a wonderful person and is very much loved by her friends and family..Come on people we have to do this.. if it were your kid u would want everyone to take part so lets do it... I know her and miss her I want her found so I am doing my part to help.. I cant go to florida to help in the search so I am constantely on the computer trying to find her..

William

It is so obvious the news media care nothing about the young lady missing. Stepha Henry is a black woman, that says it all. The lack of coverage is apalling when you compare it to the missing white (Kelsey) girl who was found murdered. This just shows the difference between Black and White in this country.

Charlene

From Day 1, Stepha's story should have been headline news. Miami is a big hang for Memorial Weekend, so folks were there from all over America. Someone saw something! If it's not broadcasted nationally, then no one will ever come forward. Stepha's story is running non-stop in FL, but how are we going to find her if the powers that be (the media) don't use their sources the same way they did for the white chicks. FL has a lot of immigrants and I am sure they feel like they can't step forward b/c they may get deported....thanks to Bush and his ignorant self. But if the Media played their part, they would know they could call in Anonymously with tips. And to think Natalie Halloway is still getting play and her crime happened in a different country a year ago. Paris Hilton...who cares? She deserves what she got---why is that news?? If she was a black entertainer, she would have never been released.

Let's keep the prayers going for Stepha's safe return; for those involved not to be able to rest easy until light is shed on the truth; and for continued strength for her parents.

Walter

This appalling behavior should go nationwide. I sent it to my contact at Drudge. Stay tuned...

DrazaH

This is nothing short of a piss-poor state of affairs that we are living in

Lisa

Im sick of hearing about Paris Hilton This Young black women is missing and you care about Paris and all her mess, Im crying writting this because this is very upsetting because you put so much time on Natalee Holloway a young white women and this young black women gets no respect, let you know where are world is about we still stuck on Black people are nothing unless you are in trouble. I want watch you guys ever again.

DEE

can't they trace her whereabouts by using her cellphone? That's how they find Kelsey Smith the missing teen from kansas because pings from her cell phone were picked up by cell phone towers in the area. i just hope and pray that they are doing all they can to find her. God bless the family.

HOUSTON

NO, THEY CARE ABOUT WHITE FOLKS MORE THAN THEY CARE ABOUT BLACKS, DEAD OR ALIVE. THEY AIRED THE MISSING ALABAMA GIRL FOR MONTHS, AND A BLACK GIRL IS MISSING AND THEY SAY OH WELL, SO THAT THEY CAN WATCH THE OTHER DRUNK WHITE GIRL GO TO JAIL.....C'MON.....

SharonB

Why is this surprising to anyone? by history we should not by now that a black woman even as intelligent and educated as Stepha is second to nothing when people like Paris who don't even have a high school diploma is in the spotlight. I was just saying the same thing of the young girl who went to Africa on a school trip, found dead in a pool and had little coverage if any compared to the white girl who went to Aruba, was obviously drinking died and her face was on night and day for months. When people complain and bring race in the picture the white media do what they does best denial. Good thing I don't look at that cable and now I will not look at one single thing on NBC either.

Anita

I agree, media needs to focus on real stories instead of the celebrity rat race

Sharon Gladeny

bombard msnbc with emails, calls and letters!

Sharon

do it!!!!!!!!

Arlene

Who cares about Paris Hilton and her drunkself. We need real stories like the missing college graduate from New York. I can't believe MSNBC decided to take a stupid story of a spoil rich girl that can't handle the pressure of being in jail. She will be coming home soon. We don't know when is Stepha coming home. I'll pray for her return.

Gini

That is so ridiculous. Minority, especially poor minority don't matter. It's a damn shame. I like CNN better anyway, tonight just saw that AC360 special on the 28 students killed in the urban areas of Chicago this school year, it's awful. I will pray for Stepha Henry and her family

Rose

Paris is changing her life. She heard the message from God. No Way! Her publicist read some newspapers and told her to say and do what was posted in them and duhn she did it. Then the media bought it lock, stock and barrell. The media is a gossip rag- just like the Star Magazine. Until we ignore them, they will never change. They rather force feed us a rich, white, spoiled, porn star than an intelligent college graduate trying to make her mark in life. We need to stop talking and do something about the sad state of this country! I pray that Stepha will be found safe.

Natalie

I am so sorry to hear that the news didn't find your cousin important enough to air on the news that night. I am getting so sick and tired of Paris Hilton I want to throw up. The media is just feeding us this false idea that she is important when she is not. I'm tired of people who offer the world nothing getting all of the attention. This young woman, Stepha Henry, does not deserve this. She is out here trying to make something of herself and she is tossed to the side like a piece of garbage.

I will feature this article on my blog so it can get all of the attention and awareness it needs.

Stephen McCaskill

Dee, with regards to the cell phone.

Someone checked her voice mail at 4:13 AM the morning she disppaeared. Since then they believe the phone has been turned off, which makes GPS locating nearly impossible.

I have a post up about her and will continue to update it as new information emerges. I agree with many of you, that we should bring this to the fore on the Internet if the MSM will not promote it.

disappointed black woman

It is sad that in 2007 racism is alive and kicking. I bet if it was something negative about this black young lady it would be everywhere. The black people that have the money and power need to step in and stop this. Al and Jessie Jackson instead of worrying about Imus should be really worried about the treat of black people. This is ridiculious they are basically saying a black life is worthless. That's why I refuse to watch their news. I like most of the people on here get mine news off the internet.

Cynthia S

It is just ridiculous that this young lady has been missing for four weeks, and the local news media here in Miami don't think it is news worthy. Her story continues to get down played everyday by some other stories that are more sensationalized. It is sad to think that if she were white they would continue to have her face posted all over the news everytime the news (TV) came on.

Bookratt

You need to go to courttv.com message boards and open up a new thread for her, and tons of people need to go there and post their concerns about the case, that is how JonBenet and Jessie Davis cases caused media to sit up and take notice originally.

Media monitors those boards.

Or go to America's Most Wanted online and provide them with news tips and comments if it's about a missing person.

But you have to be realistic, too.

Sometimes it's the victim and sometimes it's the circumstance that cause the nation as a kind of unit---and not just one race or another--to focus on a case. Or to have more sympathy for the victim.

OJ had his share of coverage around the world, and lots of people of one race or the other standing behind him. And had OJ not been involved as a celebrity I doubt the case would have blown up and been the media circus, as it did.

Even though the wife was white, it took OJ and the car chase on the freeway to galvanize the nation.

I've seen where people say they can't have sympathy for someone who in their opinion isn't like themselves---and the majority of people in the US are white, so that makes sense that most people in the US would identify with white victims. If you're looking at numbers here.

The fact that she was 9 months pregnant AND her lover--who was also the possible suspect-- was a police officer was probably what put her case into the spotlight originally.

Then it came out very early on that he had violence in his past and had another ex lover who had borne his child and then the crap hit the fan.

It was simply more spectacular to begin with.

I have heard some people say that they can't "feel" for someone who lives differently than they do, ie: a non christian sometimes finds it hard to grieve for a christian victim, a black straight person sometimes can't feel sorry for a black gay victim.

Most newscasters and journalists are not nontraditional types, too.

They tend to be fairly conservative, talking head types. They and their stationmanagers or editors create the news they permit us to see as often as they report it.

To change the news, we first have to change who is presenting it for us to see.

Even in Jessie's case, people at the courttv message boards were saying "Why should we care about a woman who slept with a married man, had 2 illegitimate kids with him. She's trash, why should I worry about what happens to someone who chooses to live like that?"

A lot of KKK types were on that site and they had to ban them and delete their posts; they were so mean to both Bobby Cutts and to Jessie Davis and to their innocent family memebrs.

And I agree, if you want disparity in the media stopped, you need to contact local media where you live and tell them to stop this.

You have to contact Anderson Cooper and tell him your concerns.

And you, yourself, have to get off the computer and call local news channels to get this changed.

So I think it's about a lot more than "white girl=coverage, black girl=no coverage"

We're all smarter than that, I think, aren't we?

Great American

Its all a bunch of hoo haw! The girl that is missing is bright, educated, and shouldn't be missing. I don't believe that anyone cares about her skin color (I surely don't).

She went missing in a place that has a lot of drug and violent crime and I believe that the media doesn't care about places like that any more.

LETS FACE IT, BIG CITIES ARE TERRIBLE AND DANGEROUS PLACES TO LIVE IN! And the media doesn't even care about them anymore to the point of putting a real story on the back burner because its just another loss of life in the big city. YOU DON'T REALLY THINK THE MEDIA BELIEVES THIS GIRL IS ALIVE (AND THAT IS WHAT MAKE ME SOOOOOO #*%&#(*%&#*&) Since I believe it hinders the search effort, I mean they present her fate like its a forgone conclusion.

Frankly this is someone we should be scouring Miami-Dade for until we have an answer. AND (Heaven Forbid) if she is hurt or killed we need to find the criminal and punish them as hard as the law will allow and hopefully not forget her like we do the countless others that are victimized every day in this country without a peep from the media.

Don't turn this into a racial divide, all Americans are important, the media doesn't care about you (just your money).

SUSAN

IT DOSENT MATTER WHAT COLOR A PERSON IS, SOMETHING LIKE THIS SHOULD BE REPORTED AGAIN AND AGAIN.
DO YOU, THE MEDIA THINK THAT GOD THINKS JUST
WHITE PEOPLE ARE THE CHOSEN ONE,S
THINK AGAIN, WHERE DID CIVILATION START!
BELIEVE.ME YOU ARE NOT THE CHOSEN ONES.
GO AHEAD KEEP PUTTING MONEY BEFORE GOD.

meosha

This is a pure shame we as blacks live in a white mans world. True it should not matter what color you are but society make a difference and majority of society is WHITE.

I'm white (light skinned) person and DISGUSTED with the media!! This young girl should have ALL of us looking at her photo's and keeping our eyes and ears peeled for her. I have sent out an email to circulate with her photo's on it (what I could find online)...
God Bless her and her family....
WAKE UP AMERICA!! These are our children! Our future! Our families!!

Nikki Coffee

To the family and 2 officers from Miami/Dade Police Dept. who were supposed to be interviewed. I'm a freelance writer in Pittsburgh and I'm very interested in doing a story on the racial imbalance in reporting of missing persons in the media. PLEASE PLEASE contact me via email so that we can talk.

Thank you
Nikki Coffee

ladywindemere

Hi there,

Just wanted to let everyone know that I put Stepha up on a messageboard a friend of mine started. I'm in NY and I was moved by a story I read on CNN about how her parents moved down to FL to find their daughter. I wanted to help in a small way. Please visit www.operationfindachild.org.
It really makes me sick to see the disparity in coverage. I'm white and I do not think my life is of any greater value than anyone else's. I don't begrudge the white girls and women coverage (but I do begrudge Paris coverage! And at the expense of a missing black woman?!!!!) but I want people of all races to get equal coverage. When someone goes missing, no matter that person's race, they're missing- that's a daughter, that's a sister, that's a cousin, that's a niece, that's a grand-daughter and she deserves to inundate the media until we can bring her home. Please stop by this site. Right now we're just compiling the news articles but unlike some cases, it looks like there's a lot to go on here. We can help find Stepha and bring her home.

Thanks,

Sarah

Becky

OMG! What is wrong with the media? Come on, step up. A missing person is BIG NEWS. Stepha's life IS important. And she deserves, just like anyone else who is missing, to have people step up for her and try everything possible to locate her. I am so sick and tired of the media and their dehumanizing attitudes. I am white, and I say ENOUGH OF THE RACIST MEDIA COVERAGE. My prayers are with Stepha and her family, as well as all missing persons.

 MARCIA

This is crazy, where is the calvary, let's go out there and find her, and stop complaining.

 MARCIA

I am so sick and tired of people complaining without doing anything about it. Put your money where your mouth is. I was at a vigil for Stepha on Saturday and was appalled to see that there were less than 50 people present. Shut up or do something. Watch the news; call CBS, NBC, CNN and all the media outlets. Complain about the lack of coverage to the media; demand that Stepha Henry be given the same type of coverage as the white pregnant girl who was missing. Embarrass the media in reporting this story, do something.

cassandra douglas

Natalie and Macia. I am an editor at MSN.com. I am currently working on a story and would like to talk to you about Stepha Henry and I feel your comments are important. Could you please email me at cdouglas@microsoft.com or give me a call at 425-705-7416.

Sarah, I also read your comment about how you have tried to help. Would like to talk to you also.

Chris

Wow...I'm glad to see that this is such an important issue to you also. You guys have done something wonderful here. Please keep on talking this up where ever you go. Mention this story to everyone you know. Some will care and some will not, but keep the story alive. Just to let you know your blog has not fallen on deaf ears I work for a Congressman here in the New York area and we are investigating this story also. We understand the maybe the investigation down there has stalled and we are hoping to breath some life back into this investigation. I found this blog while searching for info as we are talking to Congressional offices in Florida. We are trying to do something from here. And yes there is a serious problem with the double standard in the media. How many times are we going to allow them to smack us in the face and tell us we don't matter? They don't understand anything but money. So,what you have to do is write. I know you don't want to , but you must write. Find out who advertises on MSNBC. And write letters to them saying what MSNBC did and you don't like it. Not only will you stop watching , but you will also stop buying products advertised on that station.... Then stop watching and buying. When money and viewing numbers drop you will see a change. It's the only way to get their attention. Oh....or like said earlier embarress them by emailing other stations what they did and let them do stories on the mass mailings. Just A thought. Good luck !!!! I'm fighting from here.

Janet Forte

I know how you feel. Except that my friend, 23 year old mother from Miami, FL - Lilly Aramburo has received even worse treatment by media and POLICE! Lily vanished around the time Stepha Henry went missing 6/1/07. Although she was born and raised in Miami, because she is of Mexican descent, her case has been completely IGNORED by police and media alike. No one has reported her story. I can't express how frustrating it is to watch as high profile cases of white women get a ridiculous amount of media coverage while Lilly Aramburo is a virtual unknown. I'm begging for HELP to get her story out!! Please visit http://justiceinmiami.blogspot.com/ and contact me by commenting if you'd like to help!
Thank you so much...

Janet Forte
Spokesperson for MISSING FL mom, Lilly Aramburo
http://justiceinmiami.blogspot.com/
http://myspace.com/missinglillyaramburo

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