I do not say “rest in peace” with much sympathy. Mishelle (later her chyron-name was her nickname “Mish”) Michaels, the former meteorologist at WHDH-TV and later with WBZ-TV passed away unexpectedly aprox March 16th in her early 50s. WBZ-TV, the CBS O&O who was her last broadcast employer owned the narrative, as WHDH did not mention anything of her passing. She had brief stint at WMUR-TV before landing it big in Boston, in less than a year. She joined WHDH-TV in 1992, then left the station to join The Weather Channel, to then go to WBZ-TV in 2001 and left in 2009.
Before I continue, I must warn, the post is not remembering her in a positive light, since April is supposed to be Autism Awareness Month and I feel there is a need to remind the people in my market, that is Boston – her (lack of involvement) to said community is the subject instead.
Her last day was on July 29th of that year.
But where she made so much progress to women in broadcast meteorology all went to sh-t after her stint at WBZ-TV.
She later became a crusader against the autistic population in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, had been on some panels linking a correlation to vaccines to the autism spectrum disorder or ASD. In 2011, the standards for understanding and accepting certain challenges of ASD should’ve been expected, but sadly Michaels and other anti-vaxers in Massachusetts did not see it that way. They saw it as the end of the world. She is of the generation of the “Karens” (born between 1965-1981), the core population who felt victimized that their childs autism was the end of their world, the parents I am referring to.
While Michaels didn’t do the batshit stuff like Jim Watkins (working at then Tribune’s WPIX in New York at the time of producing Autism Every Day in 2006 remember “driving off the” GWB?); she did say some batshit stuff on public record.
Michaels felt she could get redemption at the giant public broadcaster in her backyard, that is WGBH-TV and WGBH-FM in 2016. The position was a health and science contributor to FM and Greater Boston. But the management was “surprised” that she had been doing this batshit rhetoric, and as a result the management decided to not go forward in the hiring process to bring her on board. I do think the management did know and did a CYA, and attempted to bury her recent past.
So the question to your humble minifig newsgatherer: What did Mish Michaels do to you personally?
“And everyone who speaks in that language that dismisses a community or dismisses somebody else, we are not just trashing them. We are dehumanizing them; we are delegitimizing them. And when you get that far, that you have no right to exist, that you have nothing to contribute to society, when we make that decision, that there is no recovering; there is no coming back, because you cease to exist. And that is where we are right now. And it scares the shit out of me because you can’t show me a time when democracy recovered.”
Frank Luntz, political polster, raw interview on PBS’ Frontline on the division of the US recorded in late 2019.
I never met her, or knew her personally obviously, but I was in complete disgust by her actions when she left WBZ-TV. I surrendered ALL respect to that professional from someone who has lived in this market for his entire life. Who remembers watching her as far back when David Mugar owned WHDH-TV. Yup, that autistic me watched local news that long ago. And perhaps a number of others who are interested in weather. Michael’s inactions after leaving local TV, gave EVERY autistic in the market a bitchslap, writing us off as individuals, because we were financial burden to the system and a headache to society.
The reason why I feel the way I feel, is the reason why I do ENG videography with minifigures, because it wasn’t just Mish, it was many, scores, of antivaxers who could for all fucking purposes be anti autism types. The idea people like her would write my group off (dehumanizing them), say batshit stuff to the Commonwealth (we are just trashing them) and the actions she and many lead (you have no right to exist.)
I was so enraged of her, I didn’t remember the WGBH hiring mess, because it got blackholed in my brain, the only thing I remember was the station reported on this in 2016 visavis a Beat The Press package/discussion. That’s what anger can do to you.
If her death occurred a month after her passing (into this month) and as of writing this draft, it was prior to mid April) and she happened to see this writing in a similar vein, I can bet you a billion dollars she would not had flinched, because she really believed autism is a hopeless condition, that none of us was smart to watch her.
Because there is so many people like her, who have written off the people in her own community she had served. She immediately went on this crusade as she had the privelge for people to invite her in our living rooms, our bedrooms, offices or even edit bays. To write off my group, is an insult to the unwritten job of a broadcaster, to serve all, to respect all, just as much as I had the deepest respect ever since I saw her, to see that not be returned, can never be returned, or worse forgiven.
People like Mish is the reason why I am behind this platform, inspired so many goddamned typical people to think we are in diapers and cant’ talk. And I am not even high functioning to be a coder! Thanks a lot for insulting about 60% of the average autistic population, that isn’t in extreme risk, but in a severe need of services well into adulthood. She was the quintencital example of an “ableist” that I can use in an editorial sense.
That’s why I give her the honorary title of “Boston’s Imperfect Meteorologist”
I’ve shared my peace.