With purposely gleeful righteous indignation, the blame game began almost immediately yesterday. How disheartening to hear political pundits, talking heads, and media figures offer their opinions as fact. Speculative journalism is the norm these days, though. The words “vet” and “verify” appear to have been stricken from either usage or practice.
Chris Matthews made his opinion pretty clear.
Well, Michael, tax day today. That came up. You know, I was thinking of all the iconic events that are being told about today. Of course I knew it was tax day because I got them in. But of course, it’s Patriots Day. It’s also the Boston Marathon. And would you as an expert be thinking domestic at this point? I don’t think tax day means a lot to the Arab world or Islamic world or certainly not to al Qaeda in terms of their world. It doesn’t have iconic significance.
Wolf Blitzer was full of speculation.
”It is a state holiday, in addition to the Boston Marathon. It is a state holiday in Massachusetts today called Patriots Day, and who knows if that has anything at all to deal — to do with these, these twin explosions.”
Michael Moore’s tweets were deemed “cryptic.” Not really.
“Tax Day. Patriots Day”
“This is the anniversary week of the Columbine massacre, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Virginia Tech massacre, the Bay of Pigs, and Waco.”
Meanwhile, hundreds of law enforcement officers from the Boston PD, Massachusetts State Police, the FBI, and the ATF were descending on Boston. While these idiots were safely behind their computers or teleprompters, those with actual knowledge were just getting to work.
According to Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, the crime scene stands at roughly 12 blocks. Wrap your head around that. About 60 football fields. Full of potential evidence. Every bag, every piece of paper or trash, every vehicle a possible clue to be investigated. Figure in the thousands of runners, volunteers, race watchers, people in nearby businesses working or consuming. It’s no wonder Commissioner Davis called it the largest and most complex crime scene in Boston history.
Yet The Michael Moores and Chris Matthews of the world had it all sewn up in little more than a few hours. I know two guys that spent the weekend watching reruns of CSI and Law & Order!
Even if they end up right, do they “win?” 173 people have been physically injured, 17 critically so. Three have been murdered, including eight year-old Martin Richard. We’re talking about horrifically injured people whose lives have forever changed. Thousands of witnesses who, while perhaps not physically damaged, will live with the emotional scars for the rest of their lives.
So you tell me, Chris Matthews. If you’re right, what do you want? A pat on the back? And what if it’s a foreign terrorist? Does that change the outcome? Are people any more or less damaged by this incredibly cowardly act? Did your speculation help or harm? Is it even accurate? Does that matter to journalists anymore?
Did your tweets have a ring of truth, Michael Moore? Or is it merely publicity you’re after? Perhaps you wanted a mention in the evening news or a catchy Twitter hash tag? (#bumblingidiot is available. I’m just sayin’).