mentally ill panhandler plots downfall of da big apple (embedded in ice, part 2)

Es­ti­mated reading time is 3 min­utes.

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,
agent orange,
wel­fare queens,
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.”

What timing!

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 . . .


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