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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Jumping to conclusions

Following the Boston Marathon bombing by social media showed it at its best -- and worst.

Twitter has become the go-to source for breaking news, as long as you trust the tweep. But it remains the home to rumors, innuendo, cranks, ideologues and instigators who troll its vastness.

It's a role that television news has filled, to a small degree, when it opts to offer wall-to-wall coverage where little is known, particularly in the early hours of a major event.

The Marathon bombing is a perfect example.

The political cranks, including those among media outlets, were spewing a steady stream of rumor before cranking into high dudgeon over whether Barack Obama used the word "terror" to describe the event.

Many were the same outlets that threw out references to Middle East terrorists, ignoring the reality that politically inspired incidents this time of year usually have a domestic flavor.

April 19 has long been a keystone for right wing warriors, staring with the federal government's move against David Koresh and the Branch Davidians in 1993, followed by the Oklahoma City bombing two years later.

Of course the grand daddy of all rebellions came in 1775, when Paul Revere rode the countryside to announce the British were coming. That event is celebrated annually in Boston as Patriots Day -- with the running of the Boston Marathon.

And it's hard to ignore that April 15 is Tax Day, and all the heat generated around that event.

None of this is to say yesterday's unspeakable events are linked to the right either. But these facts serve as a sobering counterweight to the conspiracies circulating through social media today.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Islam - religion of peace.

April 19, 2013 8:49 AM  

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