Watching the media cover the events in Boston yesterday was painful; at first because of the events themselves, and later due to the coverage. For the reports to be repeating themselves was understandable, since it was still during the workday and new viewers would be tuning in and seeking information. Much of the reporting was execrable, however, as most of the “reporters” are not trained journalists and were simply babbling nonsense.
NBC’s Brian Williams was particularly disgusting as he and some sidekick discussed the issue of there being two bombs, with the purpose of the second being to kill people who had come to the rescue of victims of the first one. “Those of us,” he said, “who have been exposed to this type of war zone are familiar with this tactic.” I wanted to bash his smug face in, and I am not a violent person.
First, Boston was not a “war zone,” it was the scene of a tragedy. Further, if the purpose of the second bomb was as he described, it would not have been set to go off in a matter of a few seconds after the first one, long before any rescuers could possibly have arrived, and it would not have been placed almost two blocks away, far from where any rescuers would be. The man is an egotistical idiot.
There were, we were told at first, seven or more “suspicious packages” found at the scene which were suspected to be undetonated bombs. Then there were five such objects. Then it was down to one, and there was doubt about that one. When in doubt, speculate. This morning there is no mention of any “suspicious packages” at all.
I turned the television off until the regular time for CBS Evening News and was treated to a thoroughly professional, cogent and intelligent summation of the day’s events in Boston. Impressive. They did apply the term “terrorist attack” a couple of times, which bothered me a little. That’s probably not terribly unreasonable, but I think it’s a bit premature. I think we need to know more before we start screaming “terrorist.”
The glaring lesson of yesterday, which is being entirely missed by everyone, is that taking off our shoes at airports, and all of the indignity and inconvenience that goes along with that, is an exercise in futility. Safety is an illusion.
The old saying about nations which give up liberty to achieve safety should read, “A nation which surrenders any liberty in order to achieve a little safety is peopled by idiots, for it surrenders something precious in pursuit of that which does not exist.”