January 19, 2011

Missing Black Teen Story Bumped From Nancy Grace for Story about Missing White Teen

By Scotty Reid

Phylicia Barnes

Baltimore, Maryland - The mother of missing Black Teen Phylicia Barnes and a spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department are critical of the national media in its slow reaction in covering the case of the missing black teen. Janice Sallis, Phylicia’s mother who lives in Monroe, North Carolina was interviewed this past Sunday by CNN’s Don Lemon stated, “"The first 48 hours were crucial and they were ignored”. Phylicia Barnes disappeared from her half-sisters apartment in Baltimore, Maryland while visiting back in December of 2010.

Janice Sallis has been very vocal and critical of Phylicia’s paternal older sister whom was supposed to be caring for the teen when reports surfaced that the police found that many people came in out of the apartment and reported use of drugs and alcohol. Janice Sallis was not clear on whom she blames in the media for not covering the case early on.

However, Baltimore police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi was very clear in blaming the national media for not providing adequate coverage early on in the girl’s disappearance.

In a recent CNN interview, Guglielmi said, “this girl's in danger. And she needs help. And it was very frustrating for my office to see an anemic response from our national media partners”. Guglielmi singled out CNN’s Nancy Grace and said that he and the commander of the homicide unit were set to appear on Nancy Grace’s national program to discuss missing teen Phylicia Barnes but were bumped from the program for an hour long report on missing white teen Hailey Dunn who is a cheerleader at Colorado Middle School in Colorado City, Texas.

Hailey Dunn

Hailey Dunn was reported missing on December 28, 2010 and has not been found and dogs searching for the teen reportedly found evidence at a landfill in Abilene, Texas, some 70 miles from Colorado City. Investigators did not elaborate on what type of evidence was recovered from the landfill.

Nancy Grace

Black Talk Radio News & Views contacted CNN for comment on why Phylicia Barnes story was bumped for a report on Hailey Dunn that took an entire hour. At the time of this report, CNN or Nancy Grace has issued no statement on the matter. Many in the black community feel that the national media does not give adequate attention to stories of missing black children and tend to favor stories about missing blonde haired white girls.

Update: Nancy Grace has covered Hailey Dunn's case more than seven times with the most recent coverage as late as Jan 18, 2011. Producer's did not reschedule Baltimore Police to discuss Phylicia Barnes's case nor has her named appeared in any of the transcripts.

Update: According to a spokesperson for Peas in their Pods, a organization that gets the word out about missing Black children using Riyla Alerts, Nancy Grace had the mother of Phylicia Barnes on her show last week. This information was not available in the transcripts at the time of this post.

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