Saturday, April 20, 2013

CNN describes Watertown. Massachusetts during police lock down thusly: “It’s as Though a Bomb Had Dropped Somewhere” Doh!

Courtesy of Slate:

At 5:38 p.m. ET, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer threw it to his colleague Susan Candiotti to ask her to describe the scene in Watertown, Mass. Her explanation was a bit on the nose.

Seriously, WTF?

You know this bombing at the Boston Marathon was a truly horrible event, but if anything could be described as a positive, it is that it REALLY helped to identify exactly which news outlets could be trusted and which ones could not.

While CNN was running around saying "We see brown people," and Fox News was desperately trying to drive home the point that the suspects were Muslim, and not, repeat NOT, Christians, MSNBC was carrying the banner of journalistic integrity.

It was Pete Williams who put the brakes on when everybody was reporting that the suspects were already in custody, and was the first to report that suspect number two was hiding in a boat.

In fact his consistently careful and accurate reporting led to Kelly O'Donnell tweeting the following:
I think at one point EVERYTHING that NBC or MSNBC thought they knew about the situation was being run past Williams first for his seal of approval before being reported to the public.

A policy that I think might just serve them well in the future.

Especially since the Right Wing is absolutely convinced that the entire Boston police department, FBI, Homeland Security, and White House have conspired to fool the American people into believing that that these two people were the suspects.

When, according to them, the Saudi National, that was once a suspect and now cleared, was the actual perpetrator of the horrific event.

In fact Glenn Beck is so convinced that he has the goods he is threatening the United States government with an expose on Monday.

All I can say is that I am VERY glad that I am an ardent viewer of MSNBC, and will continue to be a loyal viewer going forward.

And yes I certainly DO hope that Pete Williams gets employee of the year, as well as the many other accolades that he clearly deserves.


  1. I should add that right now CNN is being used as a pinata all over the internet.

    I think the expectations for Fox News in this situation were so low that nobody paid too much attention to their xenophobia and bad reporting, but CNN's blunders were so bad and so numerous that they lost a ton of credibility.

    1. Anonymous2:49 PM

      ‘CNN Shined This Week’: Zucker Applauds Boston Coverage In Memo To Staff

      ...Beginning with the declaration, “What a week,” Zucker goes on to praise his team for their “exceptional work.” He wrote, “It was important to see CNN,, HLN and CNNI all shine this week,” and let the full staff know, “you have shown the world what makes us CNN.”

      Read the full memo below:


    2. Anonymous3:42 PM

      I hear ya, Jessie, but I know there are good journalists at CNN, pining for the days of solid reporting. Even FOX, don't believe me listen to John Batchelor for five minutes, has professionals on board.

      However, and this is where we agree, MSNBC is the station that has a shit ton of professionals on board.

  2. Anonymous2:45 PM

    And where is mAnn Coulter today??? Talk about blunders.. You know as well as I do that conservatives all week long were shaking in their Dockers over whether or not the perpetrators of this heinous act would turn out to be white, middle-class American men wearing "Kill them all...let God sort them out," or worse yet, Palin T-shirts...

  3. Anonymous2:51 PM

    I always thought MSNBC has hired some pretty pathetic people who offer nothing but immaturity, hate, and ignorant to public discussion. But that quote takes the cake as far as EPIC FAIL goes.

    1. Anonymous3:53 PM

      Poor dear. Your cable company must have switched channels on you and you're watching Fox.

    2. Anonymous4:44 PM

      If everyone would just step away from any and all of the 24 hour cable news networks, here in America, things might improve. There's this little thing called the "off button" on your TV. Use it, free yourselves. None of the networks have anything worth saying.

  4. My god, the media coverage was unbearable. I wanted to jam ice picks in my ears.

    It was the mind-numbing inanity. Repeating every sentence over and over and over again. Yammering on about things at the level of a three year old. "You can tell by all the red lights that the police are here." (Thanks, Sherlock, I thought it was Christmas.)

    "Now, he might be desperate at this point. Or he might not be." (Faceplant.)

    "I have never seen such exuberance and joy before." (Really? Really? You don't get out much, do you?)

    "Despite the tragedy here, it is amazing how people have pulled together. It is so heart-warming, something never seen before, blah, blah, blah." (Really? Really? Uh, post 9/11, you simple dolt?)

    Repeat endlessly, while laughing, that you may be a little off your game because you haven't had any sleep in 40 hours. Make yourself the story! (And buddy, it shows. You're not helping. Go take a nap.)

    If this horrid week demonstrates anything, it is that there is not, and apparently never can be, enough actual, reportable, researched, verifiable, factual ***news*** to fill the airwaves 24/7.

    So geex, cable news networks, stop trying to. Run **actual** news about six hours a day and videos of kittens oh, about eighteen hours a day and we'll all be better off.

    1. Anonymous3:56 PM

      When MSNBC went to the WH briefing room while waiting for the President to speak, Chuck Todd was in the background stretching and yawning. The MSNBC reporter there was a woman..not sure who Todd was getting ready to speak to, but it was pretty funny.

    2. Anonymous5:00 PM

      There seemed to way too much opinionated 'news' reporting during this situation. I just want the unvarnished facts and uninterrupted news conferences. Not endless speculation and babble woven into the 'news' report. Reporters who asked such stupid questions should have their credentials rescinded.

    3. Anonymous6:49 PM

      I think Chuck Todd is a jerk...has a huge ego. Don't trust his reporting at all!

  5. "...CNN's blunders were so bad and so numerous that they lost a ton of credibility."

    CNN had credibility? The CNN that hired Erick Erickson? That CNN?

  6. Anonymous3:12 PM

    Beck is an assclown.

    Monday is going to be off the chain!

  7. Anonymous3:36 PM

    No taxis. No buses. No trains. No flights. Stores shuttered. Empty streets. Doors locked. Massive police presence. Stay inside. Don't move. Watch television. Get the latest reports.

    If you need to muse on something, you might remember a few significant events that occurred on or around Patriot's Day, the anniversary of the opening battles in the American Revolution:

    Final attack on the Waco Branch Davidian compound: April 19, 1993.

    Oklahoma City bombing: April 19th, 1995.

    Columbine school shooting: April 20, 1999.

    Virginia Tech shooting: April 16, 2007.

    Boston Marathon bombing: April 15, 2013

    Don't worry your pretty little head about it, though. Things happen. They're meaningless.

    But have faith. That's right. I forgot. We're supposed to take it on trust.

    The word from on high has come down.. The two Chechen brothers planted bombs at the Boston Marathon.

    The FBI claims they have video to prove this, but of course we haven't seen it.

    What we have seen is two men, white-cap black-cap, with backpacks, walking through the Marathon scene. That's it.

    The FBI also claims at least one of the bombs was put together inside a pressure cooker. Of course, we have not seen any FBI forensic data to back up that assertion. We never do in these cases.

    But the FBI are the elite forensic professionals, aren't they? They're the best in the world. We have to trust them, don't we?

    So when the FBI says a pressure-cooker bomb killed and maimed people on Boston streets, you should accept, at face value, the veracity of that claim, in the same way you would accept the statement that the moon sets every night in a lake in New Jersey.

    The public wants a story about heroes and villains, with all separations clearly drawn. That's the media bottom line, and it takes precedence over a search for the truth every time.

    The incurious, passive, and FBI-directed media never stop to wonder why doctors at Boston hospitals are reporting so many lower-extremity injuries, some requiring amputations. This fact strongly suggests that exploding shrapnel was directed along a low height.

    To accomplish that, professionals had to design the bombs. No amateur would have a clue. Do we have evidence either one of the Tsarnaev brothers was a pro? If so, where is it?

    The younger Tsarnaev brother is now in custody. The older brother is dead.

    The case is wrapped up. Everything is good.

    The elite media of this country are schizoid, intentionally. They like it that way. A scandal here, a scandal there, about our institutions? No problem. But then when the chips are down---which is to say, a big story looms up on the horizon, an irresistible monster of a story, like the Boston bombings---these fabricators of print and image adjust their ties and do their hair and go through their time-honored paces:

    "Here are the pure and wonderful and guiltless good guys...and there are the bad guys...and we will watch the good triumph over evil...and you, the public, will follow along with rapt attention..."

    In order to achieve this emotional arc, corners will be cut. Elements of the story line that don't fit the mold will be omitted. They never happened.

    But everyone will be safe. You proved that by locking down the city where the American Revolution was born, on the anniversary of the day its opening battles were fought. Then, in 1775, the message was freedom. Now, in 2013, it's the same message, except the meaning has been turned upside down. Freedom is universal police presence and deserted streets, and people buy it like top-flight merchandise at a fire sale.

    I'm just sayin'.

    1. Anonymous4:08 PM

      Your take on yesterday's events is truly odd. No taxis, buses, trains or planes - to keep the perpetrator/s from getting away. Makes perfect sense to me. It also makes perfect sense to me to tell people to stay inside when they awoke in the wee hours of the morning to a gunfight that included hand-made grenades thrown around and ended with one desperate suspect still at large and armed. And the people who came out on the streets when it was finally all over seemed perfectly content with the way the day had played out. Justice had prevailed and the second suspect was in custody - alive. Freedom has not morphed into "universal police presence." Yesterday was an example of citizens being asked to stay safe while law enforcement organizations came together and did what they are trained to do. The people of Watertown and Boston showed themselves to be responsible citizens living in a civilized way. Sometimes we need to rely on the police. I sure hope they're around to help you should you ever need them.

    2. Anonymous4:25 PM

      Sounds like you're writing a spy thriller! But I have to say I paused for thought when I read it. Hmmmm...

    3. Anonymous4:37 PM

      Did you know that Muslims will soon force Sharia law on this country? Did you know that Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin, and, yes, even Glenn Beck are helping to pave the way by rewriting history and fostering a belief in a church-state? Once Sharia law is in place, women will be forced out of the workplace and the family will resume its necessary place in our culture. Then Jesus will return and kick the Muslims out. Amen.

    4. Anonymous4:48 PM


      Fuck Jesus and Fuck the Muslims, matter of fact, fuck everyone that is so weakminded that they have to rely on sky fairies to tell them how to live their lives! The problem in this world, since the beginning of man as we know it, has always been sky fairy superstition pitting one non-thinking group against another.

      Those who actually paid attention to the sky and how the earth and the seasons actually work didn't need the superstition of religion. You dumb fucks ruin it for everyone, and you always have and you probably always will.

    5. Anonymous5:10 PM

      Anon 4:48 - Lighten up. 4:37 is parody.

  8. Anonymous3:56 PM

    Can't wait till Monday......Will the real Glenn Beck please stand up......Please Glenn,don't hold back......put your insanity out there for all the World to see......

  9. Anonymous3:57 PM

    Tomorrow we can count on seeing John McCain and his pal Lindsay Graham on the Sunday talk shows both bellowing about "enemy combatant status" and terr'ism.

    Imagine this country if the McCain/Palin ticket had prevailed in 2008. The GOP seems only capable of generating idiots who have little regard for the country and for the American people.

    We are smart enough to recognize that the Obama Administration handled this situation with textbook precision. To go from disaster on Monday afternoon to an apprehension on Friday evening is nothing short of brilliant. Kudos to all of the law enforcement organizations involved. And contempt to those who want to belittle or politicize what they've accomplished.

    1. Anonymous5:53 PM

      Beaglemom--you always seem to hit it on the head.

  10. Anonymous4:00 PM

    So I guess you want the police to lay out their evidence and their case for YOU? That should make for a speedy trial and acquittal. Why in the world would they be releasing video evidence and other evidence? I want some evidence that fast-burning jet fuel could cause two towers to implode, and another one to implode seven hours later. Now that it's been 12 years, I think we could release the truth about that one. And I want soemone to come forward and admit that the US Air Force shot down the plane over PA, because had it come down on its own, there would have been debris.

    1. Anonymous5:52 PM

      Boy, Anon 4:00--you might want to adjust your tin hat. I won't bother pointing your toward actual facts, since it is obvious you aren't interested in anything by scary conspiracies, but you are both ignorant and silly.

    2. Anonymous4:55 AM

      Actually they are not that crazy when it comes to the plane being shot down. The eye witness interviews all spoke about an explosion in the air. You can look it upand as someone who has done search and rescue in plane crashes they don't disintegrate like that just crashing into the ground. There should have been debris and a lot of it. Look at other plane crashes and you'll see. My sister is an airline mechanic and her husband is a pilot and neither of them think that was just a crash.Why did building 7 come down with just some small fires. Just doesn't add up.

    3. Anonymous9:28 AM

      There was no plane at Shanksville. There was no plane at the Pentagon. Those building free fell into their own footprint at the speed of gravity. They were full of asbstos and could not be wired for hi-speed interrnet.

      This was urban renewal on a grand sociopathic scale.

      Thank the neocons and PNAC, which layed the whole scenario out a long time before it happened.
      False flag. patriot act. Police state. And all the gomers cheer.

      Makes me sick

    4. Anonymous10:26 AM

      To anon@5:52:

      None so blind...

  11. Anonymous4:02 PM

    The NRA and the Republican Party Made It Easier For The Boston Bombers to Get Weapons

    ...On Wednesday, Senate Republicans and four Democrats shot down a bill to expand background checks for prospective firearm purchases on orders from National Rifle Association leader Wayne La Pierre. Republicans served the NRA dutifully for decades, and their unwillingness to protect Americans now, and in the past, certainly made it easier for the alleged bombers to engage in gunfights with law enforcement and detonate improvised explosive devices at the Boston marathon. With Republican support, the NRA successfully created an environment that made access to firearms easier for the alleged bombers, and tracing the gunpowder used in “pressure cooker” bombs and homemade hand grenades impossible.

    With Republican assistance, the NRA lobbied, and defeated inclusion of a substance called a taggant in black and smokeless gunpowder used to identify the manufacturer and chain of custody that was not available to law enforcement after 3 people were killed and more than 170 were wounded. Identification taggants are microscopically color-coded particles that, if added to gun powders during their manufacture, would facilitate tracing those products after a bombing back to the manufacturer and through mandatory (but non-existent) distribution records through wholesaler and dealer to the original purchaser according to a 1999 NRA report. Not only did the NRA block inclusion of taggants, but recently they opposed a proposal of Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg requiring “sales of explosive powder be subject to a background check,” especially large amounts necessary to create pressure cooker bombs. The suspects used gunpowder in homemade grenades against law enforcement officers during the gun battle that took the life of one suspect and wounded a police officer that Republicans have assailed for the past two years with their persistent public sector cutbacks and assault on union labor.


  12. "I'm just sayin'."

    You've got that right.

  13. Anonymous4:39 PM

    I abandoned all the "news" programs to follow the chatter on the police radio scanner (via internet). Although often not getting things quite right, it was impressive how calm and professional they remained. The interaction of the many different departments seemed nearly seamless. And just before the capture of suspect 2, they were beginning to relieve the officers that had been on 18+ hours.

    The police radio traffic also made it absolutely clear that the "fog of war" is alive and well. ANY large scale operation is prone to mis-communications and the subsequent bad decision making.

    BTW, we all make verbal blunders. But, as far as I can tell, Wolf Blitzer never noticed his IDIOT remark or apologized for it. His ego is revolting.

  14. Anonymous4:41 PM

    Another reliable source was the twitter feed for the Boston Globe.

  15. Anonymous6:50 PM

    The Blaze’s Buck Sexton, who worked with the Central Intelligence Agency and the New York Police Department’s counter-terrorism intelligence unit, has extensively covered the Boston bombing story throughout the week. Listeners of The Buck Sexton Show were in for a surprise during Sexton’s radio show Saturday afternoon when a woman claiming to be suspects’ aunt, Maret Tsarnaev, called in. Tsarnaev made headlines Friday by publicly expressing doubts that her nephews’ committed the acts attributed to them and implying they are being framed.

    The call soon spiraled into an explosive exchange:

  16. Anonymous6:59 PM

    Anheuser-Busch Heir Pens Letter Resigning NRA Membership, Blasts Their ‘Distorted Values’

    Adolphus A. Busch IV, heir the Busch family brewing fortune, penned a letter indicating his “formal resignation” of his lifetime National Rifle Association membership. The letter, sent to KSDK, cites the NRA’s opposition to background checks and criticizes the organization’s “distorted values.”

  17. Anita Winecooler7:29 PM

    I was following this on the msm, and nbc and msnbc were the ONLY ones who got it right. I watched the extended coverage by Diane Sawyer, she had a neighbor of the man with the boat on the phone and the lady says her kid is nervous and she told him to stay away from the windows and on the floor. Diane first displays concern for the lady's safety and tells her to call back later and let her know what's going on. The woman says "I'm sitting on my windowsill right now while talking to you"

    Diane presses her to explain what she sees, and keeps her on the phone for a half hour, while police with bullhorns in the background are telling folks not to sit by the windows, the shelter in place order is back on.. etc.

    Susan's was the funniest I've seen, but who can blame her? Wolf has a knack for asking questions that require cerebral answers.


    Thought you'd get a kick out of this one! The maverick puts his money where his foot belongs, again.

  18. Anonymous8:10 PM

    In Thursday’s confrontation, Deveau described how the suspects allegedly shot Collier in his car then hijacked a separate vehicle, bragging to its owner about their role in Monday’s attack along the way.

    “They said ‘We did the Boston marathon bombing and killed a police officer,’” Deveau recounted.
    From there, they forced the driver to take money out of an ATM, then let him go. But his cell phone remained in the car, allowing police to track the vehicle after he called in the crime by “pinging” it to get its location.

    The vehicle was revealed to be heading towards Watertown. The brothers arrived on a quiet residential street, driving two separate cars, Deveau which were spotted by a police officer in his vehicle who notified the local station.

    The officer was ordered to wait for backup before engaging the suspects. But before they could arrive, Deveau said the two suspects each got out of their cars and began shooting at the officer, causing him to frantically reverse his patrol car to get away from the close-range fire.

    “The two brothers are shooting at my first police officer that’s responded and now within seconds I have two or three other police officers that pull up,” he said. “We had just finished shift so two off-duty officers on their way home heard the call. I have six police officers in this very tight area engaged in a gunfight. We estimate there [were] over 200 shots fired over a five to ten-minute period.”

    From there, the brothers began lighting improvised hand grenades — “very rough devices,” according to Deveau — and threw a pressure cooker bomb similar to the ones used in the marathon attack that caused a “major explosion.” None of the officers were killed and no bystanders were wounded during the fierce exchange, which Deveau attributed to their skill in handling the situation.

    “My heart is out to the M.I.T. officer and his family, but how the Watertown police aren’t attending a funeral of our own based on what happened on that street over that period of time is just talent, guts and glory that my officers did,” Deveau said.

    The fight ended when Tamerlan Tsarnaev, after leaving cover to close in on the officers while firing his weapon just “five to ten feet” away, ran out of ammunition. He was tackled by multiple officers and handcuffed.

    In the confusion, Dzokhar Tsarnaev returned to the stolen car and made his escape — apparently fatally wounding his sibling in the process.

  19. Anonymous8:20 PM

    Let's see if I have this right.

    First, 2 young punks with no military or law enforcement training pull off a daring attack on the city with somewhat sophisticated IED's.
    They somehow figured out how to build quite a few bombs and collect weapons
    After identified they go on some sort of spree
    They are able to kill a trained law enforcement person
    They jack an SUV all while carrying weapons and pressure cooker bombs
    They somehow shoot another cop and critically wound him
    One of them goes Scarface walking directly toward many armed cops - getting towithin 5-10 feet of them - shooting and they can't hit him.
    He runs out of bullets and they can't bring him down
    The other one now goes Danika Patrick and runs over his cohort - at least he can kill him
    The wounded - teenager - is able to evade police in a stolen SUV
    9,000 trained law enforcement personnel search for 24 hours after locking down the city and can't find him even though he is only within a football field of where he dumped the stolen SUV. What no dogs, no blood trail, no sense.
    A citizen spots him because of a loose tarp and tells 9,000 law enforcement personnel
    They converge on suspect shooting - and still can't hit him.

    1. Anonymous4:44 AM

      I do not think that the police wanted to kill the younger brother. The important thing was for him to be alive so that everyone, and that includes you and I, can perhaps understand 1) why they did what they did, 2) if anyone or any organization was also involved, and 3) where and how they got the information for making the bombs they used. There were too many questions that needed answers on Friday night. Law enforcement handled the situation brilliantly - from the FBI to the local police force. Those crowds out on the street in the aftermath were happy to have the ordeal over and to know that some answers to Monday's tragedy might be forthcoming.

    2. Anonymous5:02 AM

      They wanted them alive. You can't get information from dead bodies as to why , are there others, where they learned how to make bombs etc. Law enforcement did a great job and it's easy to armchair quarterback after the fact.

    3. Anonymous6:42 AM

      You don't have it right.

      You can get all kinds of information on bomb making (pressure cooker is a sophisticated IED?) on the internet.

      Both guys were shot by police - the older brother was shot from head to toe according to the doctor that worked on him.

      If they couldn't bring him down, how'd they arrest him?

      Facts, not FOX.


    4. Yes, who would have thought real life isn't just like a tv drama?

  20. Anonymous10:33 AM

    Gryphen, Not "doh" in the headline but rather duh!

  21. Anonymous9:47 AM

    - "MSNBC was carrying the banner of journalistic integrity"

    I don't know if that's THE funniest thing I've ever read...but it's certainly in the top 5. In addition to their (and their parent organization's) long history of deceptively editing video and audio to fit a narrative, Lawrence O'Donnell really put the icing on the cake with his ignorance-based rant about how the NRA is "in the business of helping terrorists", and how they made it difficult for law enforcement to find the bombers because they (the NRA) allegedly blocked legislation to require taggants in gunpowder.

    Now, let's be generous and forget for the moment that there was no information available regarding what kind of explosives were used to make the bombs - making the assumption that it was gunpowder stupid in and of itself (is that the kind of "journalistic integrity" you're referring to?) But it's also utterly and completely false that the NRA has prevented anyone from putting taggants in gunpowder. While it is true that the NRA used to actively oppose the use of taggants - for several quite good and practical reasons - it relented on that stance following the OKC bombing and the resulting push to add taggants to pretty much anything that could go *boom*. They agreed to drop their opposition if an independant scientific study of matter was conducted, and such a study concluded that adding taggants to gun powders could be done safely (they could not, for various technical reasons I won't bore you with here) and practically, and could be shown to be of sufficient benefit to warrant the cost, potential safety hazards, etc. Congress took them up on this offer and handed the matter over to the National Academy of Science, which conducted the proposed study and produced a report. The short version of their conclusion can be read here (as can the rest of the report...

    "RECOMMENDATION: Identification taggants in black and smokeless powder should not be implemented at the present time."

    Their reasoning for this recommendation can be found in the linked report. It was this recommendation that Congress followed when it opted to not pursue legislation requiring the addition of taggants to gun powders. And while the report also recommended additional research into making taggants a safer and possibly viable option, I have been unable to locate any such research, let alone any subsequent taggant legislation proposals being blocked by the NRA. Nor is there likely to be, unless the use of gun powder as a bomb-making agent by mass murderers stops being as rare as it is. (Rare largely bcause it is an exceedingly poor choice as an explosive compound for bombs when compared with the other readily-available alternatives.)

    Of course the ignorance that O'Donnell is spewing is being regurgitated by the usual left-wing agenda outlets on the web, where it was blindly swallowed whole (because who has time to check the validity of a claim when you've got confirmation bias to satisfy?) with the same level of clueless indignation.


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