This from Salon’s Alex Seitz-Wald, in an article about so-called Sandy Hook Truthers. Seitz-Wald, whom I’ve criticized before, opens with this: “Journalists are supposed to question official accounts and probe for hidden evidence, but does questioning the media and police’s account of the Sandy Hook massacre go too far?” It would appear “yes” is how he would answer that, so in other words, it’s okay to question the official story, so long as one doesn’t question the institutions that produce the official story.
He continues, giving some background on the subject of his piece, Ben Swann of Cincinnati’s WXIX, a FOX affiliate. Swann hosts “Reality Check,” and gained notoriety during last year’s presidential race, as he was one of the few members of the media to give Ron Paul much attention. Seitz-Wald explains that: “His interview with President Obama, in which he grilled the commander in chief on the legal underpinning of the ‘kill list,’ captured national headlines, and he’s won an Edward R. Murrow award. He’s been praised alternately by RT and the Atlantic for his fierce coverage of civil liberties issues….” So he’s not some guy in a basement, as the state’s apologists so often try to paint anyone who’s not content with their version of events.
There are a number of “Sandy Hook Truthers” out there, as Seitz-Wald reported on last week. I wouldn’t consider myself one, though I would agree there is clearly more to these stories than is being reported on, and many questions that any decent journalist would raise are being ignored.
But it’s not hard to see why so many of these ideas about conspiracies get started. The way the news media reports these stories it sets the stage for it. They rush in, report information they overhear without context, rely on sources that aren’t able to give any concrete information, and go after any lead they can find to the point nothing in the first hours makes any sense. There is a race to see who can be first, not who can provide the most accurate reporting, which I suppose is ultimately because most viewers aren’t concerned enough to raise the issue.
When the news agencies do finally get accurate information, all of their previous reports are swept under the rug because, it would seem, someone has finally realized that it was all nonsense. From here some people are left wondering who the armed guy in the wood line was, who’s car had the rifle in it, and why did so many eyewitnesses claim to see multiple shooters at these scenes? It’s clear Seitz-Wald has little respect for the views Swann holds, or his curiosity, though he does give some credit, and it’s not a hit piece.