While covering the murder trial of Julio Miguel Blanco Garcia -- a day laborer who is charged in the brutal stabbing death of a 19-year-old woman -- Washington Post reporter Justin Jouvenal tweeted on Tuesday: “Vanessa Pham likely tried to fight off her killer, examiner says.”
Soon after, conservative syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin modified that message by adding two important words to the text: “Vanessa Pham likely tried to fight off her illegal alien killer, examiner says.”
“Wow,” Jouvenal responded, stating that her post was “way more than modified as in 'I said nothing like what you wrote.'”
Malkin replied by charging that the rules of the mainstream media include:
Reporting criminal's citizen status=political agenda. Downplaying/ignoring illegal alien status=real journalism.
@daniel_thecuban joined the fray when he asked: “You mean @michellemalkin added fact that @jjouvenal omitted? Aren't journalists supposed to report facts?”
“Those darn facts are always getting in the way,” @CN_AaronF noted before @Docjp declared: “Illegal alien status of criminals NEEDS to be emphasized so as to point to reality we face.”
As NewsBusters previously reported, this isn't the first time that Post reporter has failed to include the suspect's status as an illegal immigrant.
In a front-page story on Thursday, August 8, Jouvenal described the murder in considerable detail:
The man accused of taking Vanessa Pham's life appeared to be anything but a killer as he approached her at a Falls Church shopping center. He carried his infant daughter and made a request: Could they have a ride to the hospital?
Along the way, Blanco Garcia “became agitated when the college freshman drove the wrong way down a road, he later told authorities.” The illegal immigrant had a history of arrests and drug problems, and he admitted he had smoked PCP earlier in the day.
Because he feared Pham would turn him in to the police, he grabbed a butcher knife out of his backpack and plunged it into the Good Samaritan's body 13 times.
The car lurched out of control and landed on its side in a ditch off Arlington Boulevard, according to a police report. Blanco Garcia said he clambered out of the sunroof, snatched his daughter and ran. Pham was left to die.
Matt Hadro later posted on NewsBusters that the Post article was “missing a critical detail,” the fact that “the young woman's alleged murderer is an illegal immigrant.”
The police investigation into the crime got off to a good start when police found the blade of the knife used to kill Pham was found under the driver's seat, and a fingerprint on it was collected.
However, the case dragged on for more than two years before the fingerprint was matched in a police database to that of a man who had stolen three bottles of Moet & Chandon champagne from a Giant Food store in McLean, Virginia.
Even though Blanco Garcia's fingerprint and DNA matched those found at the scene of the murder, he has pleaded not guilty, and his lawyer claims that he was planning to steal TVs from a nearby store instead.
Defense attorney David Bernhard said in court papers that his client sought a ride to the hospital because he was suffering from “severe PCP intoxication.” Blanco Garcia was hallucinating and thought Pham was going to harm his daughter when she made the wrong turn, he added.
On her website, Malkin stated:
The horrific murder of Vanessa Pham was 100 percent preventable. Blanco Garcia never should have been here in the first place. After each encounter with law enforcement, he should have been detained, deported and kept out. For good.
In addition, the staff at the Twitchy.com website described Blanco Garcia as “the sort of violent, drug-addled illegal immigrant who should have been a priority to deport from the country.”
They also criticized both Jouvenal and the Post for their behavior when dealing with the Blanco Garcia case: “Failing to note his immigration status helps to shield readers from crucial information that goes to an ongoing political debate: stricter immigration enforcement and immigration reform.”
The murder of Vanessa Pham puts a very human face on the issue of immigration control. Let's hope we can solve this problem before others become innocent victims of people who enter the country illegally and don't respect our laws.