Boston Marathon Bombing Was Plagued By Media Irresponsibility

Published: mic (April 20, 2013)

Now that the world knows that the Boston Marathon bombers were Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, let’s take a moment to reflect on who was NOT responsible.

It wasn’t that Saudi Arabian guy who was blamed on the first day. It wasn’t the tall skinny guy in the blue shirt whose picture was plastered all over the New York Post, nor was it his friend. Most important of all, it wasn’t every single Muslim in America.

I make the first two observations because, in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist act, media organizations irresponsibly jumped on any fragment of a hint they could find as to the perpetrator’s identity. As a result, several innocent men were pre-emptively identified as possible suspects by the media before full information had been provided. read more

Pennsylvania Desperately Needs Rick Santorum Right Now

Published: mic (April 15, 2013)

Here are eight words that I doubt have ever come from the pen of a liberal columnist:

“Where is Rick Santorum when we need him?”

This thought comes to mind as soon as one looks at PA HB683, a new bill introduced in Santorum’s home state of Pennsylvania that would outlaw whistleblowing on factory farm cruelty. Sponsored by Representative Gary Haluska (D-Cambria) as a companion to a similar measure proposed by Senator Michael Brubaker (R-Lancaster), the potential new law is careful to include every conceivable scenario in which a concerned citizen, journalist, or employee could record and publicize animal abuse on agricultural operations — and then criminalizes such actions, placing them under the same title of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes that covers “arson, criminal mischief, and other property destruction.” read more

Justin Bieber’s Anne Frank House Controversy: In Defense of Stupidity

Published: mic (April 15, 2013)

Let me get three things off my chest before I start this article:

1. I have absolutely no opinion whatsoever on Justin Bieber.

2. I find it a tad creepy that so many people above the age of sixteen actually DO have an opinion on Justin Bieber.

3. I think society needs to find better ways of using its time than tormenting celebrities over their personal foibles.

That last point is particularly important because, whenever I scroll through the news, I constantly encounter various genres of celebrity news. Note that I didn’t write “celebrity news” — I wrote various GENRES of celebrity news. After all, what is our national gossip circuit if not a series of ongoing narratives which, like all stories, can be “characterized by a particular style, form, or content.” In this case, they include: read more

Right-Wing Terrorism Was Enabled and Ignored By Conservative Pundits, GOP

Published: The Morning Call (April 15, 2013)mic (April 16, 2013)

Editor’s note: This article was written before the Boston Marathon bombings, and is not intended to be a response to that incident. All commentary in this article is on pre-Boston incidents alone and is not intended to indicate anything concerning the ongoing Boston Marathon investigation.

How much longer is America willing to suffer at the hands of violent fools?

The mind wanders back to 2009. It was roughly four years ago that the Obama administration was blasted by many conservatives for issuing a report that identified right-wing extremism as a potential national security threat. read more