Thursday, April 18, 2013

The hare and the tortoise

Last night watching the news across various channels and continents between 6:45 and 7:15 was one of the truly surreal moments of recent weeks. It all began with Sky news stating that Associated Press (AP) had announced that the FBI were on the verge of an imminent arrest for the Boston bombing, switch over to BBC and the same line was followed by the disclaimer 'the BBC cannot at this time verify that this story is true'.

Megyn Kelly - Fox and Feisty

Over on Fox, Megyn Kelly was repeating the AP news but with the same disclaimer as the BBC, ten minutes later and she was referring to the Fox News website which was apparently carrying the AP story as fact and was also quoting NBC and CBS as verifying the story. Checking CBS and they were getting themselves into a right state, a former CIA employee who had also been part of the FBI counter terrorism unit was stating that the AP story couldn't possibly be correct. We then had one of those daft situations, which is quite common on both sides of the Atlantic, where two newsreaders interviewed a third reporter simply because he was at the site of the explosion, but the best was yet to come when one of the studio bound journos said, and I kid you not, "Given your more than two decades covering terrorism and homeland security what do you make of the statement that an arrest is imminent, do you think that means one or more than one person?" "I think the fact that they have said 'an arrest' means one."

We were then treated, if that is the right word, to video footage that had apparently been supplied to the FBI of the finishing line prior to the device going off and good old CBS wheeled out some old dear who was an expert in body language who promptly identified one of the potential bombers who was wearing a black backpack and who wasn't reacting in the way somebody who was surprised by the explosion should. Things were getting weirder by the minute. There then followed an announcement that the films and photographs had produced five potential bombers, three who were brown and two who were white.

Back at Fox and poor Megyn is wishing she was covering the NHL or something less controversial, she now reads out a statement which says, "The AP are now saying that no arrests will be forthcoming," she then gives one of her famous straight down the camera 'you messing with me boy' looks that she generally saves for left-wing pinkos and says, "you see this is the type of situation I'm dealing with".

Back over on CBS they are looking increasingly stupid because they broke the AP line without checking their sources, the former CIA guy is making mincemeat of them and somebody goes and asks him the question, "Why would anybody tell AP that an arrest was imminent if it wasn't?"  I wish we could have seen him live rather than just hear him on the phone because he is brilliant as he launches  into, "Well some people know some people who may have overheard part of a story. Then what happens is the person with the least bit of information builds up that little piece of information because for some reason he wants some respect. I can assure you that having worked on the seventh floor of the FBI building for many years that nobody within the FBI would have talked to any news agency".    

As the evening progressed the initial excitement over the possible imminent arrest seemed to subside and the FBI did actually announce that "it needed more time to prepare before talking to the media". That of course led to even more internet led speculation that they had intended to make an announcement but after the early evening excitement over men wearing black backpacks they weren't really sure what their story was going to be.

Then there's the conspiracy theory that began with an e-mail that all of this is actually a plan by the current US Government as part of their anti-guns programme and that an arrest will be made on Friday of a teen or man in his mid 20's (you can never be sure with a good conspiracy) and that at his home the authorities will find an NRA manual and some firearms and that he will be declared 'unstable'. 

6 comments:

Span Ows said...

What was odd was that nearly all the media decided it was right wing home grown white redneck supremacists...after saying that we know nothing and one shouldn't jump to conclusions.

Paul said...

Indeed, Fox even had some professor of Middle Eastern studies who had looked at the youtube videos and declared the pair to be Al Qaeda followers but then added 'but they have been US citizens for some years'.

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