Posted in Media

The Krim case: Media play prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner

I find the unethical media coverage of the following sensational murder case in New York highly disturbing.

Two children aged 2 and 6 were found dead on Thursday.

The 30-something mother accused their 50-year-old nanny of committing the crime.

The employer is rich and glamorous. From the pictures, the (slain) children look adorable.

The 50-something servant is a Latina and poor. The police haven’t interviewed her.

But all the media reports I’ve read sound very positive that the nanny is a monster-murderer. They’ve even gone to the extent of implying that she is cuckoo.

The media coverage have only reported the mother’s side of the story. How can the media be so confident that what they’ve reported as if it were fact is actually the truth when so little investigation has been carried out?

Even the police commissioner gave conflicting accounts in the same interview.

Below is reported by Reuters and carried by Si Gunting:

“New York police were hoping to interview the critically wounded nanny later on Friday, said an NYPD official who requested anonymity. Ortega, 50, has not been charged because police have not been able to interview her.

“We know now that the nanny began to stab herself as the woman entered the bathroom,” Kelly said. “We initially thought it was, it had already been done, but now information is coming out that she did it as the mother entered the room.”

How do the police know that the nanny began to stab herself as the woman entered the bathroom? There were no witnesses. The police is only taking the mother’s word for it.

Why did the police initially think the sequence of events was something else? If the police aren’t sure that what they initially conjectured was correct or accurate, what makes the police think that what they’re thinking presently in the second instance is more correct and more accurate?

It’s barely been three days since the tragedy. Nobody’s figured out any motive. There’s been no media report on the forensic findings, i.e. whether the wounds on the nanny are self-inflicted (since the police have claimed that she tried to commit suicide after stabbing the children).

If anything, the Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has been unprofessional in his comments to the press. After all, the latest press report available (CBS News) still says:

“Police have been unable to interview the nanny suspected of stabbing to death 6-year-old Lucia Krim, and her 2-year-old brother Leo, inside a New York City apartment building. The nanny, Yoselyn Ortega, 50, is in police custody at the hospital …”

The accused is a long way from her day in court. Yet the media have already – without any pause, without batting an eyelid – pronounced her guilty. And she’s not even charged yet.

If the nanny’s case were to be brought to court later, it would have been severely prejudiced by the current and ongoing press coverage.

The parents are Kevin and Marina Krim.

The nanny is YoSelyn Ortega. I’m not sure if it is following proper procedure for New York police to release the suspect’s name to the press hounds for them to convene a kangaroo court.

If you’re interested, please Google the names.

Read the media narratives very critically, especially how they tell the story as if they (i.e. the reporters) saw everything happening right before their own eyes.

Examine the language of the media reports and you can tell me if you feel as amazed as I do that the reporters can write with such absolute certainty – detailing how event A followed event B followed event C – as if the words they set in print are the tested and immutable laws of physics.

And I would appreciate your sharing your views with me.


The Dreyfus Affair


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19 thoughts on “The Krim case: Media play prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner

  1. Good point Helen.

    Despite all the talk about racial equality in the U.S. the fact of the matter is that prejudice and racialism still runs below the surface.

    Also, despite all the talk about media freedom, objectivity, ethics, etc, in reality media compete to sell copy based upon sensationalism, and especially now when the media is under intense financial pressure due to falling advertising revenue.

    1. The tone of the reporting is so deeply coloured by the journalists’ predisposed outlook. It’s rather frightening to see the extent of their bias and how that the white, upscale readership is oblivious to the evident lack of objectivity displayed.

      It’s a good reminder to us of the pitfalls besetting The Scissors’ own predispositions.

      1. Helen, in your constant lack of wisdom, did you stop to consider simple things such as forensic evidence? Please stick to your day job withndumno.

        1. Can you cite any forensic evidence against the nanny? Go ahead and provide the url links.

      2. remember how the star reported taman kaya incident? same color pun berat sebelah… gila readership, haw siaw kaw kaw

  2. Helen, pernah tak kaum dengar kes natrah, perempuan Belanda yang dibelai Che Aminah dari Kemaman sewaktu perang dunia sebab ibu Belandanyayg miskin dan suaminya ditangkap Jepun semasa di Bandung tidak mampu menjaganya.

    Che Aminah tinggal di Kemaman selepas perang tamat dengan anak angkat Belandanya Natrah (Maria Hertogh). Che Aminah merupakan perempuan kaya yg berdagang emas dan seorang linguis yg mampu bertutur jepun, inggeris dan hokkien, dia mampu membayar peguam terbaik membela hak penjagaan Natrah, tetapi di media Belanda Che Aminah dikatakan amah ibu kandung Natrah Adeline yg jual sayur dan buah melarikan Natrah bila die letakkan Natrah tiga empat hari di rumah Aminah.

    Begitu hina media Belanda terhadap Che Aminah yg dianggap babu dan bodoh. Che Aminah seperti dijangka kalah dan Natrah diculik dr pangkuannya dan natrah dikristiankan. Ironinya, Natrah tinggal di Belanda tidak makmur, selepas menang, nasibnya diabaikan dan die sekadar menjadi orang tukang kemas bilik chalet di Lake Tahoe yg tidak berharta selepas ikut suaminya ke Amerika walhal keluarga angkatnya di kemaman lebih senang, ada tanah, rumah. Ibu angkatnya Che Aminah mati selepas gagal buat rayuan di Privy Council dan wartawan Malaysia pada 1998 menjejak Natrah dan membawa Natrah berjumpa dengan kakak angkatnya pada 1999 dan Natrah sendiri meninggal pada 2009 tanpa berpeluang menjenguk malaya yg dirinduinya untuk kali kedua seperti yg dihasratkan.

    Apabila membaca kes natrah, media barat pafa masa 50an sememangnya berat sebelah dan mencerca pihak aminah yg dianggap dr kaum mundur, tp berdasarkan kes atas, kaum latino juga dijadikan anjing hitam di amerika syarikat walaupun dr agama yesus yg sama. Orang barat sememangnya mempunyai mentaliti berpecah belah, di kesatuan eropah kita lihat kebodohan negara negara kristian eropah yg tidak dpt bersepakat dalam isu ekonomi akibat perbezaan agama dan ego dari zaman imperialis, britain contohnya tidak sanggup gugurkan british pound dan berkongsi matawang dengan negara EU lain.

    Yes, am aware of Natrah’s sad story. Amat cantik ketika remaja dan setelah dipisahkan dari ibu angkatnya gadis malang itu tidak bahagia. Suatu kehidupan yang hancur luluh. — Helen

    1. Helen,

      I watched a documentary about Natrah. It was a sad story actually. Che aminah was tricked into going to singapore where the British planned to take away Natrah. They were unable to do that in Trengganu as the ultimate sovereignty is with the sultan.

      1. Also a clash of cultures. Natrah was underaged (according to British standards of the time) when the foster mom’s family tunangkan her as a preventive measure in the custody battle. It was a move that backfired and gave the white an excuse and opening to act.

  3. Commenters Sshsn thinks that everything can be solved by forensics. Obviously this person has been influenced by watching too much CSI.

    The criminal justice system in the US is totally fucked up. The poor are the ones who suffer while the rich generally get away with many things, including murder.

    Public defenders who are chosen to represent the poor defendants are generally too overworked or lack the skills to mount credible defence on behalf of their client. The rich, who are in most cases white anglosaxons, have access to bail money and good lawyers.
    The good lawyers could mount a stronger defence that would require much more money for the state to prosecute a successful conviction. Sometimes, the state would just give up and allow for a plea bargain, thereby reducing the punishment.

    As you can see from the mass media in the US, it’s written for their target audience. Reuters (the source used by the Star) is geared for business readers. Although it was edited by 3 people, there is no objectivity in the piece. The fact the victims are white and the alleged perpetrator a non-white makes the verdict seem like a foregone conclusion. This is how white people dominate society in the western world. Had the victims been colored there certainly would not have been such media attention. The media is complicit in many of society’s ills.

    You should realize that nearly all of journalism is now biased. Even al-jazeera is starting to show its bias. I can’t understand how most journalists can live with themselves.

    You should change your link description. You linked to CBS news, a national news network. CBN is the christian broadcasting network.

    1. It’s CBS source and a typo. I thought I’d corrected earlier but thanks anyway for pointing it out.

      The problem with Sshsn is that he simply shoots off his mouth (a symptom of DAPsterism). I’ve not come across any news articles as yet citing forensic evidence.

      Since the reporters did not quote any evidence, I’m surprised that they can at the same time write with such certainty as if they knew exactly how the events unfolded.

      On the other hand, in my posting above, I’d raised the question of, similarly, a lack of forensic evidence against the nanny. She is alleged to have tried to kill herself. The wounds on her – the CSI comes into play here – should be able to tell the experts whether they were self-inflicted or whether the nanny (like the children) was attacked as well.

      The accusation that the nanny is the murderer is tied to the theory that she tried to kill herself. If the medical evidence points to an attack on her, then the theory fails.

      1. So the evidence against her is largely circumstantial.

        Imagine if a good lawyer were to be given to her. A ‘temporary insanity defence’ could be used.

        A good lawyer could also posit a theory that another unknown assailant entered the apartment without the nanny’s knowledge and attacked the children. Upon discovering the bodies, the nanny felt so overwhelmed by emotion that she decided to attempt suicide.

        If you watched the cbs video about the story (i dont know if it is viewable where you are), you can see that the former fbi director claim that the nanny had been showing visible signs of stress. She lost a great deal of weight and was having emotional problems.

        Why didn’t the employers, the victim’s parents, enquire more about her well-being and state of mind during the time leading up to the events in question?

        Personally, I think parents nowadays use nannies without providing the care a conventional employer would. Nannies are mistreated, abused and treated like sub-humans. I have disagreed on getting a nanny for my family. I think it is practically a form of modern day slavery.

        The sensationalism surrounding this story is akin to the sensationalism surrounding sudden disappearances of young blond girls. The media makes a big deal of such events largely because the victims are white or rich or both.

        1. What’s a “former FBI director” doing making statements on the case? It can’t be in any official capacity (since you describe him as ‘former’).

          Who is to say another person is “showing visible signs of stress” and “having emotional problems”? Unless he’s a qualified psychiatrist and the person has been under his observation as a patient for a period of time. Otherwise it’s pure conjecture.

          And people making conjectures can simply take themselves around in circles, like our fortune teller who is obsessed with Najib not naming an election date. Then the opposition supporters turn around and insist that the PM is “showing visible signs of stress” in his refusal to call the election because he’s in fear (again their conjecture).

          However different from Najib, the nanny’s freedom and life is at stake.

          1. I dont think you are familiar with the US news pundits. They speculate on almost everything. And they are protected constitutionally to speak on nearly all matters.

            Also since the US has a jury system, the potential jurors can be vetted by the defence or prosecution to see who has prejudicial views.

            If you recall, there was a big case of a mother who was accused of killing her child. I think the alleged perp’s name was casey anthony. The media presumed her to be guilty but the jury, which was sequestered and not exposed to biased media, came back with an acquittal.

            Also you have to be aware that the media in the US are legally allowed to lie. If you doubt me, just google “media allowed to legally lie” and see the articles related to fox news being given the right to spread misinformation and outright lies in the name of entertainment.

            1. This type of ‘news’ punditry against the nanny sickens me.

              As to what the media is allowed to do and what they can get away with, it’s not that we don’t have our own bane visited upon Malaysia — think The Scissors snipping away.

    1. Mac Taylor real name Gary Sinise is busy with filming. he he he ! no time for other stuff.

  4. Well, the word among conspiracy theorists out there is that the murders probably is a warning for the father the GM of CNBC digital media department for breaking out a story about a lawsuit alleging Federal and banks involvement in laundering 43 trillion dollars. That news item has since been pulled.

  5. dah lama berita berat sebelah dari uncle sam…, menjual persepsi untuk readership? macam pernah dengar kan? he he he

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