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    At Boston Marathon as in Newtown, initial media reports almost entirely wrong

    At Boston Marathon as in Newtown, initial media reports almost entirely wrong

    Almost every initial media account of the Newtown shooting ended up being wrong, except for the fact that there was a shooting.

    The type of weapon used was wrong, as were reports that Mrs. Lanza worked at the school, that she had a dispute with the principal, and that handguns were used. Even the wrong Lanza son was identified as the shooter.

    This NY Times correction essentially rewrote the story:

    This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

    Correction: December 18, 2012

    An article on Saturday about the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 children and 8 adults dead, using information from the authorities, misstated the way in which the gunman managed to enter the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The gunman, Adam Lanza, shot his way in, defeating the security system that required visitors to be buzzed in; the school’s principal did not allow him to go through the security system after recognizing him. The article also referred incorrectly to the gunman’s mother, Nancy, whom he killed in the house they shared not far from the school. She was never a teacher at the school.

    This tweet (via Twitchy) pretty much summed it up:

    So too with the Boston Marathon bombing, so many of the supposedly confirmed facts turned out not to be true:

    Expect the list of inaccuracies to grow.

    A good lesson as to why we cannot jump to conclusions based on initial reports.


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    It is best to approach the media (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NY Times, Washington Post, etc) in the same way Kremlinologists studied Soviet leaders. The media is a corrupt, ideology-driven institution that needs secrecy and deceit to thrive. Nothing – absolutely nothing – these extremists say or do should be taken at face value.

    My distrust of the media did not grow slowly over time. Rather, it erupted full-force because of an incident in my early adult life. In the early 1980s I was pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering. The media reports of the time – this was right after the Three Mile Island nuclear plant incident – were full of bizarre, sensation-laden stories about nuclear energy. The majority of these reports were scientifically and technically inaccurate to an alarming degree, and in my opinion designed to terrify people into opposing nuclear energy. Since then there has been no soul-searching by journalists, or even a tacit acknowledgement that they may have gotten the story wrong. There is only self-congratulations.

    The incident changed this apolitical 20-something into a full-blown media skeptic. Since those days, I have done a bit of research on my own about the media lords like Walter Cronkite that we are supposed to worship. These men and women were not selfless warriors pursuing the truth for the public good, but ideological partisans determined to make all of society’s institution (church, school, government, business, etc.) bow the knee to their false god of collectivism and the twisted morality that justifies it.

    Do not trust the so-called mainstream media. Ever.

    Whenever something like this happens, it is important to remeber that first reports are ALWAYS WRONG.

    Anyone who knows anything is not talking. Anyone who is talking doesn’t know anything.

    The reason for this is simple: Those who know anything are involved in the investigation. They will keep quiet so as not to harm/impede the investigation.

    And the investigation has not yet had enough time to produce solid information.

    The ‘officials’ making statements are generally also not involved in the inestigation. They are politicians/beauracrats who are out making staements because of their position (job), not because of any expertise. (IE – Mayor of Boston, Governor of MA, Chief of Police, etc.)

    Those who are talking are not involved in the investigation and all they can possibly know is what they, personally, saw or experienced. Even then, research has demonstrated that eyewitness reports are often wrong.


    J. Locke | April 17, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Look, as a veteran (29 years so far) having worked my way up from the bottom through companies, battalions, and now brigade staff, I can tell you one thing, and every First Sergeant and Sergeant Major will back me up on this: The first report is always wrong. It doesn’t matter how simple the detail or engagement. That is a fact of life, especially in chaotic situations. I think folks who have no experience with high tempo reactions and situations have absolutely no idea the amount of rumor and speculation swirling around the actual response. I can explain more if you like.

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