Texas Rainmaker
Here we go again. Once again the focus is on the coverage instead of the story itself. Cathy Young, writes an editorial titled “When blog hysteria does real harm(hat tip: Mike) in the Boston Globe today and tries to paint bloggers as rabid, tin-foil hat-wearing conspiracy theorists, yet still doesn’t bother to discuss the obvious undisputed facts the have led us to our questions.

Within days of Hinrichs’s death, a number of Internet websites were speculating that he had planned to blow himself up inside the stadium — and that he was a radical Muslim terrorist. Blog headlines screamed, ‘’Jihad at the University of Oklahoma?” and ‘’The Oklahoma Suicide Bomber.”

Taking issue with a title like “The Oklahoma Suicide Bomber” is a pretty thin way to make your argument, Cathy. Are you disputing that Hinrichs committed suicide, used a bomb or was in Oklahoma?

And sure, there will always be an onslaught of rumors at the outset of any major story. But like I have repeatedly said (and like I told the WSJ guys when they called to interview), even if you discount all of the disproven claims and just look at the proven ones, there’s still much more to this story than meets the eye.

1. Joe Hinrichs detonated a bomb on or near his body and killed himself.
3. Investigators found a huge cache of explosive material in Hinrichs’ apartment.
4. Hinrichs inquired about purchasing ammonium nitrate just before the event.
5. The FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force have been leading the investigation.
6. The search warrant was sealed from public view.
7. OU officials have taken an unprecedented step and distributed emergency evacuation procedures to fans now, which happens to include a focus on backpack searches.
8. The FBI initially told Hinrichs’ father there was no suicide note, then contradicting such 2 weeks later.

Even if we dismiss the other proven circumstantial information (like Hinrichs’ being a rare caucasian resident of an apartment complex popular with islamic students, his residence being in close proximity to Moussaoui’s mosque, his use of TATP, the nationality of his roommate, his appearance, his fitting the profile of terror recruits) there are still more questions than answers in the case.

Then Young laughably cites the WSJ article as “proof” of the debunking of claims. Well, heck, if WSJ says so, it must be true. Hey Cathy, perhaps you ought to check the way the WSJ “journalists” handle their research before you go citing them as the final authority on anything.

Of course, Cathy tries to manufacture her own credibility by calling this a case of “bloggers vs. MSM” then quickly dismissing such “unfounded hysteria” by citing her own “love of blogs”. (Well, golly, she has her own, so it must be true) Sounds like those liberals who like to post comments on this blog and try to establish immediate credibility by claiming to be a Republican, only to disprove such in the very content of their message.

The mainstream media can be arrogant. But the bloggers and their readers are sometimes too willing to accept trafficking in rumor and speculation as a process from which the truth will ultimately emerge through the self-correcting power of debate.

Again, Cathy, let’s all agree to ignore the rumor and speculation and focus on the undisputed issues above. There’s still a story there.

By the time it emerges, too much damage may be done. If the ‘’citizen journalists” want respect, they must hold themselves and one another to higher standards of accuracy.

Standards like this, this, or this? Sorry, Ms. Young, that’s not the kind of respect we’re seeking.

But since you have all the answers, perhaps you can explain why the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force are still investigating a simple suicide. Of course, to answer that would require an actual examination of the facts of the case instead of those who are seeking the answers.
Posted by TexasRainmaker |

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