Tuesday, April 16, 2013

For Boston

First, the Dropkick Murphys...

Beantown will be just fine. It's America I'm worried about.

Our United States always seems to screw these things up. I'm talking about the present and future overreaction, no matter who the perpetrators turn out to be. Our wonderful social media, the driver now of all things buzzworthy, opened the bidding yesterday afternoon.

"When tragedy strikes America, Twitter remembers bad reporting." Yes it does. There was Ari Fleischer, Bush's Baghdad Bob, reminding everyone how to conduct themselves during these moments. Gratefully, there also was TBogg of firedoglake...

If you click on the Slate link above, you'll see that one of the morons continuing to Tweet out their auto-propaganda was our very own Rick Perry...

You don’t want to be tweeting about the tax benefits of the state of Texas while limbs are being amputated in Boston if you’re @GovPerry ...

Eh, he's too stupid to know and too obnoxious to give a shit anyway.

And wading through the bramble of prayers, statements of solidarity, updates from friends who had family members at or near the scene and the like, the casual observer struggled to find a kernel of wheat amidst all that chaff. One did not turn out to be the Murdoch-owned New York Post, which is still reporting the death toll as "12" and said that initially there was a "Saudi national" in custody, and then "a person of interest under guard at the hospital" after the Boston PD knocked that down.

Update: The Onion skewered the NYP over their "reporting". And Media Matters wonders if this is the end of the line for the ailing paper.

And let's ignore -- well, let's try to, anyway - the conspiracy theories blooming like 'shrooms in bullshit.

Fox News contributor Erik Rush tweeted, then deleted: “Everybody do the National Security Ankle Grab! Let’s bring more Saudis in without screening them! C’mon! #bostonmarathon,” then responded to a tweet asking if he was “already blaming Muslims”: “Yes, they’re evil. Kill them all.”

You can see screenshots of his tweets here.

It got worse than that. Hard to believe, right? Then there were the local news outlets left to trolling Twitter for news.

(I)nstead of doing the traditional leg-work that, you know, delineates the media's responsibilities and activities, a handful of local news outlets have outsourced their work to the readership that is attempting to turn to them for a fuller perspective on the story. Over a half-dozen outlets across the state have decided that now was the right time to turn over their reportage to their reader- and viewership, instead of, or at least in addition to, attempting to flesh out something carrying the dimensions of a terrorist attack.

It's one thing to crowd-source, guys. It's one thing to ask what your audience's "worst pet peeves!" or "favorite kind of ice cream!" or "all-time best Astrodome memories!" are. There's a time and place for all of that. But this -- with the dead, and the wounded, and the blood and viscera and video still redounding on each and every channel and feed across the nation -- this isn't the time. This is the time to do some damn work on your own.

"Tweet us your details because we just don't know how to do journalism any more". There, fixed it for ya, Chron.

This ought to be completely embarrassing, but it won't be. Our media's disgraceful conduct at times like these is nothing short of atrocious. I won't even go into what was talked about on the teevee, because I never turned it on. Teevee news accounts during these events are even worse, as you already know. Oh wait; yes, I will, because somebody else watched it for me.

(This is) cable news (doing) what it does best: Shift the narrative from straight news (what happened, how many were killed and injured, possible suspects, etc) to shameless, unfounded, ludicrous blame (President Obama, Congress, sequester cuts, the NRA, the Tea Party, foreign policy…you name it).

In fact, New York Times columnist Nicolas Kristof is already leader of the idiot pack, blaming the attack on Senate Republicans on blocking the appointment of an ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) Director in the tweet below.

All class… and, of course, having an ATF director in place absolutely would have prevented these attacks in Boston — right, Nicolas? (He has since walked back that Tweet, but some myopic ideologues just can’t seem to put their hatred aside even for five minutes during a time we should be unified as a nation). And winners like Kristof won’t be the last. On cue, CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen told host Jake Tapper that the attack was either the work of al Qaeda or “right-wing extremists,” while sitting in a studio 1,000 miles away just hours after the attack. And NBC’s Luke Russert took to Twitter to speculate about a “possible” connection to the ATF deadly siege on Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas…which happened 20 years ago and 2,000 miles away. FOX and CNN also wondered about that possible (flimsy) connection. 

Bombs in Boston on Tax Day, April 15, Patriots Day -- which used to be celebrated on April 19 but is now the third Monday in April -- the same day the Oklahoma City federal building was destroyed by a fertilizer bomb, because Timothy McVeigh was angered by the fed's involvement in the Waco/Branch Davidian compound invasion which ended in flames on April 19. Oh, and also Columbine, which happened the day after...

Yes, a thick juicy stew for the conspiracy theorists. My advice? Keep calm and carry on.

Update: Cong. Michael McCaul's ignorance is not helping. 

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