Covering the Boston bombing

When the MSM does good: Boston Globe staff photo by David L. Ryan

Ever since the horrible, awful bombing at the Boston Marathon, I've been doing what every crazy newshound does and spending far too much time on the Internet trying to get the latest scrap of information. This morning, none of us could drag ourselves away from the developing story.

And I have to say: There are thousands of web sites covering this, mostly be aggregating other people's content. But the real work of finding and reporting news has been done by the old-fashioned traditional mainstream media that we all so freely dismiss as dinosaurs.  The New York Times and The Boston Globe have done an exceptional job, as has the Associated Press. That's in large part because they still employ significant numbers of staff reporters, with the experience and contacts to accurately cover this kind of story.

The MSM screws up a lot, and allows politicians to avoid accountability, and has all sorts of biases. But nobody else has the ability to cover a tragedy and disaster like this.

Of course, not all is perfect. The New York Daily News and CNN have screwed up badly. The rightwingosphere is so obsessed with Muslim Terrorists that it's seeing them everywhere, creating them out of paranoid visions if necessary.

But if there weren't newspapers and broadcast outlets with old-fashioned reporting staff, we'd be far less informed and more reliant on official law-enforcement sources. The old business model is falling apart, but there's still a need for actual news outlets.

And for my money, the absolute best source of accurate, fair, complete, and insightful coverage has been that very, very old medium -- raido -- and that old goverment-funded institution, NPR.

Something to think about when a real major news event happens.


This never would have happened if we'd just banned everything.

Posted by Chromefields on Apr. 19, 2013 @ 11:21 am

Bush and Obama doubled down on the security and police state yet this happened. I bet they double down again on same.

They say that their national security state prevented other attacks. But the national security state also antagonizes half of the planet which is the root cause of retaliatory attacks here.

My read is that the national security police state causes more harm than it prevents. But there's money to be made on mortgaging the 2d, 4th and 5th amendments, so that's where we're headed.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 19, 2013 @ 11:39 am

CNN has been an embarrassment as has all the cable "news" networks. endless speculative bullshit. this is why we should let them die like crappy alt weeklies that were doing so poorly they overthrew their publishers and sold out to the Corporations.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 19, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

"And for my money, the absolute best source of accurate, fair, complete, and insightful coverage has been that very, very old medium -- raido -- and that old goverment-funded institution, NPR."

LOL. NPR's "Counterterrorism Correspondent", Dina Temple-Raston:

"The thinking, as we’ve been reporting, is that this is a domestic or extremist attack. Again, this is not because – this has got to be this because officials can’t get away from this idea of timing. April is a big month for anti-government, right-wing folks. There’s the Columbine anniversary. There’s Hitler’s birthday. There’s the Oklahoma City bombing. There’s the assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco. And these are all rallying points for these kinds of extremist groups."

Tim, like every other left-winger, was desperately, desperately hoping that right-wingers did the Marathon bombing - it would serve as a further excuse to define right-wingers as Enemies of the State. Tim likes NPR because NPR was feeding into Tim's fantasies, as opposed to the unsurprising truth that the bombing was done by jihadist Muslims.

Tim's dreary task now, along with NPR and the rest of the media left, is to pretend that Islam had nothing to do with it, and to place the blame on evil American society. Weak tea, and noone is going to believe that outside the ranks of the True Believers, anyway.

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly, Persistent on Apr. 20, 2013 @ 4:28 am

I happened to be watching CNN breaking news coverage of the bombing and they did just about everything short of actually blaming Iran. My immediate reaction -- and that of anybody with any sense -- was that there was *NO* way to assume any such thing about the case. Yes, thoughts of Oklahoma City came to mind -- and Boston's more enlightened attitudes regarding women's choice, gun control, and gay rights.

... and considering Oklahoma City, it bears remembrance of NPR's craven jabbering about the "six arabs in blue jumpsuits" which never existed except in their sometimes imaginary world.

No, the point wasn't that progressives thought we should jump to conclude the bombing was the work of domestic terrorists; it was simply that we should not look on it as a pretext to attack Iran.

Posted by lillipublicans on Apr. 20, 2013 @ 7:22 am

LOL. Leftists were wetting their pants hoping it was another Tim McVeigh, so they could assign collective responsibility to the "right-wing". After all, as the NPR person stated above, "right-wing folks" are in the habit of celebrating Hitler's birthday. No wonder Tim loves NPR.

Of course, now that it turned out to be Muslim jihadis (and worse yet, homegrown Muslim jihadis), there are no larger lessons to be learned, and no collective responsibility to be assigned - it is just the personal failings of two individuals, and the failing of the larger racist American society to do enough for these two individuals.

Nothing to see here, move along, move along.

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly, Persistent on Apr. 20, 2013 @ 9:28 am

There has been a move towards a more heavily policed civil society since 9/11. That did not prevent this, that did not solve this. In this case, an average guy was the one who did what the cops couldn't. This shows that the way towards safety and security is probably not through a more thoroughly policed civil society.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 20, 2013 @ 10:06 am

for war with Iran.

And I do note that blathering the Chechen/jihad connection have been getting plenty of play over this, but reality seems to be ever so much more nuanced.

In fact, "jihad" is a tool using religiosity to motivate extreme actions, but the real goals both in Chechnya and middle-eastern Islamic countries -- though completely seperate and independent of each other -- is for local autonomy and control over natural resources.

Religious ideologues the world around and from all different creeds use their hokum to try to amass power for themselves.

Posted by lillipublicans on Apr. 20, 2013 @ 10:45 am

" Chechnya and middle-eastern Islamic countries -- though completely seperate and independent of each other -- is for local autonomy and control over natural resources."

And bombing the Boston marathon advances this? Come on, it's religious.

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly, Persistent on Apr. 20, 2013 @ 11:07 am

"*RIghtists* were "wetting their pants" hoping for pretext for war with Iran."

Actually, I'm not sure if any rightists thought Iran was behind this.

If Iran decided to hit the US (either themselves or through their proxy Hezbollah), I'd expect something a lot more spectacular than a bombing that killed three people. I'd also expect more of a political statement - bombing a Jewish cultural center or a government building, for example.

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly, Persistent on Apr. 20, 2013 @ 1:08 pm
Posted by marke on Apr. 20, 2013 @ 10:59 am

"FYI religious extremists and ultra nationalists are rightwing. just saying."

LOL. You wish. By the way, Dzhokhar was endorsing Obama on several of his twitter posts.

A real right-winger...

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly, Persistent on Apr. 20, 2013 @ 11:08 am

Obama is practically fascist when it comes to security and corporate welfare, what's the contradiction?

Posted by marcos on Apr. 20, 2013 @ 11:41 am

Ronald Reagan, a strong supporter of the New Deal at the time reversed positions and in the May 17, 1976 issue of Time magazine is quoted saying:

Fascism was really the basis for the New Deal. It was Mussolini's success in Italy, with his government-directed economy, that led the early New Dealers to say 'But Mussolini keeps the trains running on time.'[15]

Posted by Guest on Apr. 20, 2013 @ 1:24 pm

What does the New Deal have to do with corporate welfare and the security state? Obama's a corporate welfare queen and a serial murderer whose weapon of choice is the drone. That's pretty fascist even if he supports same sex marriage.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 20, 2013 @ 1:50 pm

Ultra Nationalists all hold the same views and thus they are out of the main stream of conventional American left and right.

Alas there are our Pol Pots, Mao's and Stalin's, none of those three are on the right, around nationalism they have more in common with Hitler than say George Bush or Obama. The internationalism of the left at these levels is just a smoke screen of ideology, something like, "we want to build a better world but first we are going to persecute our ethnic and religious minorities like are far our right enemies that we claim to be better than."

Nationalism is in part what drove the French and American revolution, and the various middle class revolutions around the world over the years.

Religious fundies have a variety of beliefs, hatred of America might be one of them.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 20, 2013 @ 12:46 pm

The very same CCTV that you do not think we should have?

How wrong could you be on this?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 20, 2013 @ 4:59 am

Tim sort of addressed this the other day. He is for cameras if they lead to the arrest of dangerous criminals. Otherwise he is against them.

Posted by Troll on Apr. 20, 2013 @ 5:33 am

perspective than Troll here; who exhibits mild pathology on a regular basis.

Personally, I find the problem with cameras is that the images they capture are usually not available to everyone on an equal basis.

In short, I should be able to access any camera to watch cops that they can use to monitor me.

Posted by lillipublicans on Apr. 20, 2013 @ 7:07 am

Then you'll see how valid your opinions are in the court of public opinion.

My guess? Not so much.

The simple fact is that these guys were only caught because of the camera's, and that is exactly why we want and need them. The fact that there might be footage of you renting some gay porn at your local corner store is of little interest, I can assure you.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 20, 2013 @ 9:49 pm

If you believe these kids did this, you probably also believe
that Oswald killed Kennedy,
that a "fertilizer bomb" destroyed the Federal building in Oklahoma City,
that modern steel-frame buildings just "collapse,"
that Bin Laden was killed recently,
and probably that Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny is watching you.

Wake the bleep up, America......

Posted by TrollKiller on Apr. 25, 2013 @ 7:26 am