I WAS UP ALL NIGHT WRITING. Up all night because I hardly sleep in my doddering old age. Again. And without the benefit of caffeine, as I cut my intake by half two weeks ago. The article I was working on concerned the rush to publish the alleged ‘facts’ about the alleged ISIS terrorist Emanuel Lutchman by major and minor ‘media.’ 1
It focused on the holy-schidt-they’re-here-to-get-us slant given the story by one rightward news organization. It’s what I call Disinformation 101 and how can any American who has lived through the Gulf of Tonkin affair,
the Vietnam War,
Weapons of Mass Destruction,
Obama is a Muslim,
there’s no global climate change,
and on and on and how can anyone read anything without one jaundiced eye open?
Woke up this morning and I got myself a brew
Finally went to bed around 6:30, then woke up around 8:00. Brewed my first mugful of coffee (half-caf, half-decaf with a dollop of cinnamon-honey) and started breakfast, which takes 20-30 minutes.
I then completed the article and arcanely titled it “We Came To The Pyramids All Embedded In Ice” after a Dylan song. Posted it around 9:10 and then got my oatmeal. 2
I finally got to my email around 9:30—and this may be the first of my 500 posts that remotely resembles a typical journal/diary-blog that bores the bejeezus out of everyone but the blogger’s current lover unless you’re Julie Powell writing about Julia Childs but enough digression—and lo and behold, there was today’s Alternet newsletter with an article titled “ISIS New Years Eve Terror Plot Story Is Totally Bogus.”
But before proceeding further with this article, click here and read my earlier “Embedded In Ice” post. It should take you about ten minutes.
Then come on back here and continue …
A mentally ill panhandler plots downfall of da Big Apple
Credited to Adam Johnson, it bore a sub-title that seemed tailor-made for the piece I had just published: “Sensational media accounts leave out or bury key details.”
Here is Johnson’s opening paragraph (edited so it won’t spoil your reading the real article):
“Another major holiday, another sensational ISIS terror plot the FBI takes credit for preventing. This time, the case splashed across the news is that of a 25-year-old panhandler who allegedly plotted to attack a restaurant on New Year’s Eve.
All major network broadcasts led with the story and it was breathlessly featured everywhere from the New York Times to CNN. There’s only one problem: the story is wildly inaccurate and in many ways factually false.”
Johnson notes that “the only thing the media has to go on is a DOJ criminal complaint that’s released to the press” and that complaint and related press releases are “framed to deliberately deceive the media.” He then takes on several issues, including the claims that:
• Lutchman was directed by ISIS,
• Lutchman bought weapons at Walmart,
• Lutchman recruited his friends, and
• Lutchman had a history of mental illness and suicide attempts.
Johnson’s final paragraph calls most of the media’s coverage of this event “copy-and-paste journalism that did nothing to challenge the [official] overarching ISIS plot framing.” He closes with an admonishment that mirrors my “Embedded In Ice” article: “Material evidence of actual terrorist involvement should be confirmed rather than smuggled in vague framing about the claims of a mentally unstable man.” 3
Amen, bother! Until we know the facts, this is not news—it’s Disinformation 101.
1 To be accurate, I did get a couple of hours of sleep between 10 PM and 1 AM—after Berni and I watched Laurel Canyon with Frances McDormand, Christian Bale, Kate Beckinsale, and Alessandro Nivola. Not a bad little movie centered in a home recording studio of a pop-rock record producer in Laurel Canyon.
2 Breakfast was a bowl of McCann’s steel-cut Irish oatmeal with brown sugar, Thompson’s seedless golden raisins, and mellow yellow bananas. Yummy!
3 There should be enough here to make any interested reader click on over to Johnson’s article on Alternet and read it in its entirety. It will take you about five minutes …