Some reflections on the Boston Marathon bombings.
I’ve listened to a sizable amount of news media reports over the last several days. The common denominator? To attack bloggers as irresponsible, misinformed and basically reckless for posting photos from the bombings. Then the F.B.I. released the video and photos of the 2 suspects. What did the media do at that point? They began to speculate and opine wildly as to the details of the 2 suspects (non-suspects according to DHS Napolitano). Let’s review.
It was the F.B.I. that announced the “person of interest” named Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi and raided his apartment. Keep in kind that they already possessed the surveillance tape footage showing the eventual 2 suspects one of which is now dead and the other on the run. Also keep in mind that this is the same F.B.I. that destroyed Richard Jewell by mistakenly focusing on him as public enemy number one during the Atlanta Olympics tragedy.
Point is that the F.B.I. hardly has a record of accuracy so for the media to get the green light to engage in their own reckless and irresponsible speculation is hardly any more noble than bloggers who utilize publicly available information to opine on an event.
There have been a multitude of erroneous leaks and inaccurate reports from a variety of sources. Let’s remember that law enforcement is not watching news reports nor are they reading blogs as a guide to their investigation. So, media types who are so offended that an unofficial source may beat you to the story? Chill out. Just worry about doing your job properly.
Did they kill the right guy? After all, he was never even named a suspect. What’s the real story with the original person of interest? Why did Kerry and Obama get hands-on with the Saudi Foreign Minister on the spot and right afterward the guy is cleared and rumored to be deported? Why have we already seen official video releases from the F.B.I. in less than one week on 2 people not even named suspects and yet we still haven’t seen the video from Benghazi after seven months? Why haven’t we seen the drone feed from Benghazi? Why was the bomb squad conducting a drill during the marathon?
As always, many more questions than answers. I for one hope we never see the day where bloggers stop asking questions simply because they are only commenting on officially released information. Official journalism died in America some time ago. It is bloggers and the like who keep hope alive that we can still get to the bottom of things beyond what we’re told we are supposed to believe.