Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Threats versus Acts: Where's the media?

posted by Rob at 8:09 AM

Yesterday I spoke to my buddy Greg, who swears he wants to post more here but never has the time. We were discussing what was going on in the world when I brought up the suicide bomber at the recent Oklahoma football game. Greg thought I was making it up. He had not heard anything about it.

Greg is somewhat of a newshound (ie. regular Newsweek reader, loves CNN, PBS), so I was surprised he was unaware of what happened less than two weeks ago:
Student Identified in Oklahoma Explosion: A University of Oklahoma student with "emotional difficulties" was identified Sunday as the person who apparently committed suicide near a packed football stadium using an explosive attached to his body.
CBSNews.com's Public Eye blog asks - Is Lack Of Big Media Coverage Of Oklahoma Explosion OK? It doesn't look too deep into finding an answer:
We asked CBS News national editor Bill Felling, who told us the network is looking into the story. Let’s hope so, it’s one worth airing, whatever the facts are.
While CBS is "looking into the story," the State Paper in Nebraska is asking some questions:
The explosion occurred about 7:30 p.m., during the second quarter of the KSU-OU game. During the fourth quarter OU President David Boren informed the media that a student had apparently committed suicide by blowing himself up near the stadium. He asked fans at the stadium to remain calm and said no one was in danger.

How could he have been so sure? The FBI was just then starting interviews with some of Hinrichs’ neighbors and acquaintances. And the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is said to be in charge, would not have had time to arrive in Norman.

It’s also a mystery why the mainstream media outside Oklahoma has pretty much ignored the incident.

Days later the news media was obsessed with the story of a possible terror threat in New York City; and cable news outlets spent far too much time on a bomb threat that briefly closed the Washington Monument. But there was almost nothing about an actual bombing – just 100 yards outside a college stadium full of people – that could have been a terrorism incident gone awry. Did newspaper editors and TV news producers – usually inquiring minds – buy into Boren’s quick dismissal of the event as just a troubled youth’s suicide and ensuing FBI statements that investigators had found no evidence to prove it was something other than a suicide?
Following up on this post, consider these two headlines -
Explosive found at Midvale: A calm and quiet Westwood was briefly disrupted Friday afternoon when the Los Angeles Police Department bomb squad inspected and detonated an explosive device found within the Midvale Plaza apartment complex on the 500 block of Midvale Avenue.

Explosives Found Near Tech Dorms: Three explosive devices found in a courtyard between two Georgia Tech dormitories on the East Campus Monday morning were part of a "terrorist act," an Atlanta police official said.
Three colleges each with bomb-related news. Could that be a trend?

Maybe there is nothing to these stories. They may just be random acts with no real cause or planned effect. But it seems odd to me that more attention is being paid to the over-reaction of possibly terrorist-related threats than actual possibly terrorist-related acts.


Blogger Marie said...

As a ramblin' wreck, my husband was blown away by the bombs at tech this weekend.

1:21 PM, October 12, 2005  

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