Mande: Rebuking “Juvenile Journalism” In SC

GRAND STRAND HIT PIECE “CONCOCTED TO INCITE” RANCOR || By MANDE WILKES || It’s a joke among my fellow Jewish friends: When a Jewish girl turns 18, her parents offer her either a nose job or a boob job.  It’s a big day – indeed, it might be the only job…


blonde|| By MANDE WILKES || It’s a joke among my fellow Jewish friends: When a Jewish girl turns 18, her parents offer her either a nose job or a boob job.  It’s a big day – indeed, it might be the only job she ever gets.  As for me, I chose to keep my nose. And my bleached-blonde hair, and my obnoxious jewelry.

How does anyone afford it, is what our Gentile counterparts ask me.  Especially along coastal South Carolina, people wonder: Do all those beachwear shops – exclusively the domain of Jews, as it happens – really do that well?

It’s a fair question. Up and down U.S. 17, the street is lined with retailers selling t-shirts, flip-flops and souvenirs.  With so much competition on every block, how do the stores survive, much less thrive?

Recently WMBF News, a Myrtle Beach, S.C.-based local television outlet, investigated that very question.  The reporter’s conclusion?  The only explanation for their continued success is that area beachwear stores must be engaging in unsavory business practices.

In reaching that conclusion, the reporter conducted irresponsible and ill-sourced journalism so profound that I’m compelled to address the deficiencies.

For one thing, the story had as its basis a misguided premise: That the business of wiring money (a la Western Union) is equivalent to money-laundering.

The reporter’s first mistake, then, was to conflate a wholly legal enterprise (wiring money) with a wholly illegal one (laundering money).  Indeed, the headline blared “money laundering,” while the story itself actually was about all of the (legitimate and legal) money-wiring activity that takes place in Horry County.  In trying to concoct a sexy news piece, the reporter abandoned any whit of intellectual honesty and logic.

Add to that the fact that the reporter failed to answer the most obvious and most incriminating question of all: If the story’s allegations are true and all these millions are being laundered, what is the origin of these funds?  That’s what I mean about a galling lack of intellectual honesty – the most burning question raised by the report itself is the one the reporter chose to ignore.

I believe that’s because the story is actually that there’s no story at all … and investigating the source of the money would reveal the hollowness of the whole thing.

This is particularly true considering the off-the-wall claim that ill-gotten gains are being funneled to terrorist organizations.  We can all agree, I believe, that Jews (many of them Israelis, at that) are not funding al-Qaeda.  Seriously, has the reporter never heard of the little thing called the Mideast Crisis?

And if there was evidence of terrorist involvement, I’m pretty sure the CIA would be as concerned as this reporter seems to be.

Not only that, the reporter evidently made no attempt to spotlight a balance of perspectives.  At no point was any store owner interviewed or given the opportunity to respond to the allegations.  This, even though the cameras apparently went inside at least one store to capture footage of the premises.  It’s pretty much Journalism 101 to afford airtime to each “side,” particularly when the story alleges criminal behavior.

(Oh, and while I concede it’s possible that store owners declined to comment, I feel sure that such a refusal would’ve been noted in the story).

Still, despite its glaring deficiencies, the story grew legs.  That’s not surprising, considering the fact that beachwear stores have long been a hot topic among locals. After the news report aired, I reluctantly read viewers’ feedback on social media. People responded predictably to a story that purposefully incited rancor.

Somehow locals are inclined to be suspicious about the activities of beachwear store operators. That’s why it’s a shame the WMBF News reporter failed to speak on the record to anyone directly involved in the business.  Given the chance to comment, I believe the owners would explain that they and their families work 14-hour days, every day, for much of the year – and that’s how the stores survive.

As a lifelong Grand Strand resident who has both friends and family in the beachwear business, I urge people to ignore the recent media attempts to discredit the industry.  Juvenile reporting is unfortunately a fact of life nowadays, and it’s the smart consumer who recognizes and challenges it.

Mande Wilkes is a wife, mother, businesswoman, author, etc. residing on the South Carolina coast with her family.  Email her at [email protected].


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syntwistsuglydog June 1, 2015 at 8:38 am

Nice job Mande.These people do work long hours and contribute to the culture in Myrtle Beach.Very affordable to shop these stores.

Obviously your most important observation is that Jewish people and store owners in Myrtle Beach are NOT funneling money to terrorists-al queda. Well done.

SYNTwist June 1, 2015 at 3:50 pm

I thought the point was they got a free nose or boob job? Maybe I need to read that again.

shifty henry June 2, 2015 at 1:01 am

The Jewish World Record for Cosmetic Surgery
On July 5, 1974, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the most extensive cosmetic surgery ever attempted was performed on beauty contest hopeful Selma Schwartz, age 19. In a complex surgical procedure lasting 11 hours, a team of 15 plastic surgeons working simultaneously in three connecting operating rooms remodeled Selma’s nose.

syntwistsuglydog June 1, 2015 at 8:40 am

In fact the only terrorists I have ever seen in Myrtle Beach are bikers. :)

The Buzzman June 1, 2015 at 12:10 pm

You’ve missed the Juggalos, then.

Timmy Tebow June 1, 2015 at 12:39 pm

Come on, Buzzman. Insane Clown Posse rocks the house!!! They just wanna spread the love, man. How can you call them terrorists?

9" June 1, 2015 at 8:48 am

‘Juvenile reporting is unfortunately a fact of life.’ You got that right. Did you mean to post this somewhere else ?

J Mande Wilkes June 1, 2015 at 8:51 am

This was published originally in Myrtle Beach’s newspaper of record, The Sun News.

9" June 1, 2015 at 8:52 am

Ooooh. Big Time.

Squishy123 June 1, 2015 at 11:20 am

The State must have turned it down.

The Buzzman June 1, 2015 at 12:06 pm

Mande lives on the Grand Strand. The article was about Horry County. Please try to keep up.

TroubleBaby June 1, 2015 at 12:09 pm

They probably couldn’t afford the ink.

syntwistsuglydog June 1, 2015 at 9:09 am

The one who along with it’s super sleuth investigative reporter were sued for libel by a prominent former politician and lobbyist and lost a judgement for $650,000?

That “newspaper of record”? :)

Bill Clinton June 1, 2015 at 10:12 am

Would that be the libel trial in which alleged sexual harasser and now-resigned former state legislator Nelson Hardwick was a star witness for the so-called “prominent” former politician and lobbyist?

The Buzzman June 1, 2015 at 12:04 pm

Yes. And the verdict is the same one that is currently pending appeal. No judgement is “lost” by anyone, until they have to pay up. Odds are good that TSN and Wren will never have to do that. Hell, the current Supremes hold that it’s OK to threaten people on FB through rap lyrics. Things are not trending in the direction that flippy pogo (syntwistsuglydog) would like for them to trend.

Mike at the Beach June 1, 2015 at 8:58 am

Will makes a small fortune from juvenile reporting, or at least the subornation of it…

CNSYD June 1, 2015 at 9:09 am


Uncle wants your money June 1, 2015 at 8:53 am

“We can all agree, I believe, that Jews (many of them Israelis, at that) are not funding al-Qaeda. ”

I believe the claim from our government snooping masters was that the Joos are funneling money to Hezbollah….

Equally funny/stupid none the less. Your point is well made.

“And if there was evidence of terrorist involvement, I’m pretty sure the CIA would be as concerned as this reporter seems to be.”

Yeah, not necessarily. The CIA funds terror when it’s convenient to their foreign policy.

Overall, you’ve done a nice job with this article.

The Buzzman June 1, 2015 at 11:56 am

I agree.

Mike at the Beach June 1, 2015 at 8:54 am

The other points in the piece notwithstanding (I didn’t see the WMBF coverage, either), it’s wholly reasonable to be suspicious of large, regular wire transfers in the days of easily accessible international banking (both brick-and-mortar and online). Wire transfers are the choice for illegal aliens sending money home to their families, drug dealers, terrorists, and even Nigerian lottery scammers due to the general lack of oversight and tracking.

SYNTwist June 1, 2015 at 3:48 pm

On very rare occasion have I ever needed to wire money. Only one comes to mind, when a family member broke down while on vacation and needed to get home. It is a royal pain, I can’t imagine how those companies stay in business legally.

Limbaughsaphatkhunt June 1, 2015 at 9:45 pm

Fair point. What say you Mande?

LindaSMorro June 2, 2015 at 1:04 am Reply
one_big_dude June 1, 2015 at 9:08 am

The author is not nearly as attractive as she seems to think she is.

syntwistsuglydog June 1, 2015 at 9:09 am

Article was well done.

You Know My Name June 1, 2015 at 10:38 am

She’s head, shoulders, and ankles, above the little RINO girl that will (for reasons not yet understood) lets write frequent articles.

Fecal Matters June 1, 2015 at 11:07 am

You should renew your membership to America’s Best.

Squishy123 June 1, 2015 at 11:17 am

Is this a different Mande? I don’t think the other Mande needs her boobs done.

EDIT – Holy shit it is… that blonde hair makes her look like a 14 year old boy.

Ladies of Fits June 1, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Liz?, Amy??

Some dude June 1, 2015 at 4:05 pm

Taylor Brown – aka @taylahhkane or some such nonsense.

You Know My Name June 1, 2015 at 6:24 pm

The one with the flaccid boobs who wrote an article fishing for compliments about them.


Taylor Fan June 1, 2015 at 11:12 pm

I shudder….. How could you say such things about a goddess who graces us mere mortals with her presence and wit.

syntwistsuglydog June 1, 2015 at 9:12 am

When was the last time one of these beach ware stores mysteriously burn’t down during the winter? Been a awhile I think. :)

HD June 1, 2015 at 9:16 am

I saw one reference to beachwear type stores, in a comment from a source. Otherwise, it’s pretty clear that the story is about the hundreds of millions of dollars being funneled through unregulated businesses to overseas addresses, some of which are apparently known to be connected to drug cartels or terrorist organizations. Can you refute that assertion? The stores with which you seem concerned make up a tiny fraction of the entities that are moving this money. They may all be perfectly legitimate (though they wouldn’t know any better than any other where the money is going), but what of the hundreds, or thousands, with fewer scruples?
I think your “rebuke” (won’t someone please buy Folks a thesaurus!?) is overwrought.

The Spanish Inquisition June 1, 2015 at 9:39 am

“Can you refute that assertion?”

The way this particular country is supposed to work is that assertions must be proven first, then refuted.

HD June 1, 2015 at 9:44 am

“Captain Lewis presented a year’s worth of research and tracking to our local state delegation, the state’s Solicitors, Police Chiefs, Sheriff’s Association. The numbers were staggering.

The report showed there are more than 3,000 money transfer service businesses operating in Horry and Georgetown Counties alone. Fewer than 10 percent are registered with the state. Those businesses wired nearly $700 million dollars a year just out of Horry County to a handful of known cartel addresses in Mexico and Columbia, and to locations operated by Hezbollah and other known terrorist groups in the Middle East.” Your move Skippy.

The Spanish Inquisition June 1, 2015 at 9:48 am

“Your move Skippy.”

Pardon me if I doubt the veracity(let alone the lack of documentation) surrounding the claim that Jews are funding Hezbollah.

That’s a “big red flag” to me.

Your move Cupcake.

HD June 1, 2015 at 9:57 am

You’ve stumbled your way into one of the deficiencies in her “rebuke.” Her “Jews funding Hezbollah” observation is a red herring. What percentage of these businesses (the money wiring businesses) are owned by Jews? Does it matter? Of course not. If only a relatively small number of entities, of the thousands in the business, are doing bad things, there’s still a big problem that may have nothing at all to do with a few beachwear stores owned by Jews. The story doesn’t assert anything otherwise.

The Spanish Inquisition June 1, 2015 at 10:02 am

” Her “Jews funding Hezbollah” observation is a red herring.”

I don’t see it that way.

” What percentage of these businesses (the money wiring businesses) are owned by Jews? ”

That’s a valid question.

“Does it matter? Of course not.”

OF COURSE it matters. It underpins the veracity of the whole story.

Generally speaking, both the Federal government and SC have issues with telling the truth to the American public, aside from the 4th amendment issues.

Bible Thumper June 1, 2015 at 9:30 am

Awkward Truth 3
 “SC WORKFORCE INCHES UP” According to Fitsnews;
But is INCHES UP an accurate description?
Fits has not reported on the BLS release of state employment for April. Again SC labor participation rate rose by another 0.2%. This and prior 11 months total 1.4% rise. Records began 1975, Year on year rise can be calculated from 1976 onward. This 1.4% rise is the highest in state history. The previous high was 1.2% in 1989-1990 when Reagan and Carroll Campbell were in office. Does that new record “INCHING UP” or LEAPING FOWARD.

Twirls June 1, 2015 at 9:38 am

If you’re going to act like the GrandTurd and post non-sequitur bull shit all over the site, please do us a favor and go the way of Mr. Turd. I’ll make it simpler for you. Take a long walk off a short pier, or a shot jump off a high building.

Victorious Secret June 1, 2015 at 10:49 am

Today’s winner!


Bible Thumper June 1, 2015 at 11:16 am

Will won’t report it; I will. You wouldn’t have replied if I hadn’t made my point. Your reply indicates my sucess.

TroubleBaby June 1, 2015 at 12:08 pm

You’re confusing annoyance with success.

Twirls June 1, 2015 at 12:12 pm

Most of us dislike non-relevant comments. The only point you made is you’re an asshole for posting non-relevant information. You are Tango with a slightly less foul mouth. If you want the subject covered and Will isn’t reporting it. Take him up on his numerous requests to submit content in the form of a Letter, Editorial, or as a guest writer.

fc June 1, 2015 at 11:39 am

I need to go away like GrandTango too! LMAO!!! LMAO!!!

SYNTwist June 1, 2015 at 5:24 pm

Offering you my services free of charge:

No mistakes in the Tango Darlin’ – not like life. Simple. That’s what makes the Tango so great.

If you make a mistake,

get all tangled up,

just tangle on.

– Al Pacino – Scent Of A Woman

SYNTwist June 1, 2015 at 4:06 pm

I find BTs comments far more interesting than the topic above. You know the one that leads off with Jewish girls either get a nose or boob job at 18, but probably the only job they will ever get?

Then, drones on about an irresponsible journalist that lacks intellectual honesty and….

Jack enflamed nostril June 1, 2015 at 9:37 am

The assertions were backed up in the story by law enforcement agencies that deal with the drug trade as well as counter-terrorism experts. We also saw good ole Rep Alan Clemmons supporting the assertion. We all know Rep Clemmons love him some Joos – especially of the Israeli variety. Now, we may choose to not believe them, but they did make a case.

On the other hand, your refutation was simply to say, nuh-uh, I know someone who owns a beach towel place and they’re cool – trust me.

The Buzzman June 1, 2015 at 12:10 pm

Was not.

Bowery Blues June 1, 2015 at 10:33 am

and Myrtle Beach in the sky, Gatlinburg, is funding communism. The Chinese are about to give the tee shirt shop owners

Bowery Blues June 1, 2015 at 10:33 am

a big headache

YeahRight June 1, 2015 at 11:10 am

I’ve been offered everything from drugs to prostitutes in various t-shirt shops in Myrtle Beach. Seems legit.

The Buzzman June 1, 2015 at 12:07 pm

What employees offer and whether or not the owners are complicit in it are two different matters entirely.

TroubleBaby June 1, 2015 at 12:13 pm

I find it odd that t-shirt shops in MB are fronts for drugs/prostitutes as he claims.

I’ve strolled into them now and then on vacation and can’t say I’ve ever been offered….dammit!

I keeeed……

Maybe I’m just naive. It just seems like there’s better options for dealers & prostitutes in MB than t-shirt shops…his claim doesn’t sound real to me.

the mob June 1, 2015 at 12:38 pm

A couple of years ago Boz would have agreed about the drugs/prostitutes. They got his mind right.

It was either that or a visit to the Great Dismal Swamp. :))

YeahRight June 1, 2015 at 1:30 pm

I would believe that if it had only happened once, or multiple times at the same store by the same person. I’m talking about a half dozen times at a half dozen different shops, by a half dozen different people. I’d be very surprised if the owners of those shops that I experienced that in we not complicit.

Squishy123 June 1, 2015 at 11:15 am

T-shirts and flip flops are just a front, no different than fireworks. Just look at the big fireworks buildings that have gone up, and they’re open four weeks a year and sit for the other 48 weeks.

The Buzzman June 1, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Um. That’s bullshit.

E Norma Scok June 1, 2015 at 11:13 pm

From what I’m gathering, you’re most proud of 1) your fake cans, 2) being jewish.

How…odd and interesting.


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