Publisher's note: Alicia Colon seeks answers from the free press, the Fourth Estate, in this post, which was originally published in The Irish Examiner.
The second part of this series, Sins Of The Fourth Estate: Part II, can be found here.
The one clear
The sidewalk in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings: Above.
What we heard from all the cable news networks were rumors reported as facts, time filled by irritating eyewitnesses who had no valuable information and endless repetition of the same old speculations from so-called experts no longer employed in their field. - Alicia Colon
thing that came out of last week's chaotic activity in Boston, Massachusetts is that real reporters were missing. For that matter, they've been missing since last year's attack in Benghazi. From Benghazi, the Gosnell abortion trial, gun control debates, immigration and then the Boston Marathon bombings, television news reporting has become positively painful to watch. The First Amendment to the Constitution grants freedom of the press but this was supposed to endow it with a responsibility to be the people's watchdog. The modern Fourth Estate represented by the mainstream media has made a mockery of this privilege.
Hard news has been replaced by opinion analysis and bias. Who, what, where, when and how are questions rarely posed and answered and watching the news this past week was an exercise in frustration that made me want to scream at the screen.
What we heard from all the cable news networks were rumors reported as facts, time filled by irritating eyewitnesses who had no valuable information and endless repetition of the same old speculations from so-called experts no longer employed in their field. Unbelievably, reporters accepted updates from unauthorized officials who chose to remain anonymous and viewers were under the impression that the culprits had been captured the day after the attacks.
The media was in such competition to be the first with the news that misinformation reigned. The New York Post outrageously published a huge front page photo of two Middle Eastern men who turned out to be an innocent teen and his coach and excused this disgraceful example of yellow journalism by saying they only claimed that the FBI was looking for these men.
What we received were snippets of information that begged for further questions about the suspected bombers. We saw the same amateur video of the final gun battle in Watertown with a woman's voice saying, "Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh, my God."
The networks saturated the news on the hunt for the bombers without updating other newsworthy subjects. The deadly explosion in West, Texas of a fertilizer plant that left dozens dead and scores missing disappeared from the airwaves leaving many questions of the cause unanswered. Was it terrorism or just a freak accident caused by negligence? One has to hit the Internet for real answers to these questions.
When we first learned that a video from Lord & Taylor provided a clear picture of the bomber who left the package near the blast scene, no description was provided leaving Muslim sympathizers on CNN and MSNBC to suggest that the bomber possibly came from the right wing.
Leftist commentators even suggested that the marathon attack could have a tea party connection since it happened in Boston. The only thing that tea partiers do at their rallies is clean up after themselves unlike the anarchists at OWS and liberal gatherings.
Those of us not wearing blinders about terrorism recognized all the signs of Al Qaeda's inhuman violence. Now the mainstream press like the Washington Post is portraying the bombers as victims of the brutal Chechen conflict and laying the groundwork for the defense.
After the FBI questioned Bomber #1, Tamerlan Tsarnaev two years ago for possible connection with radical extremist groups, did they keep him under surveillance? If not why not since he traveled back to Russia for six months? I would have to seek information outside the U.S. as our media is more interested in the PC modus operandi of not offending the Muslim community. The mainstream media is overwhelmingly liberal and thus is shirking its journalistic ethics to cover this administration's unwillingness to address any threat from radical Islamists. Remember it was the Obama administration that dismissed the War on Terror and called it euphemistically the Overseas Contingency Operation. Apparently Boston is now overseas.
Why are newspapers in the U.K. and Canada, specifically the Daily Mail
and Canada Free Press
doing the heavy lifting when it comes to investigative reporting? David Martosko in the Washington Bureau of the Daily Mail wrote on 4/19: "Tamerlan left the United States in January 2012 for Russia and returned in mid-July, according to records uncovered by NBC in New York.
"But an official inside the Department of Homeland Security with knowledge of federal law enforcement activities in Massachusetts has claimed to MailOnline that Tamerlan was on the radar screen of agents in Boston between his return to the U.S. and the end of the fall.
"The source, who has been contradicted by other officials, said that in 2012 federal law enforcement received tips from inside a Boston mosque about young Muslims, including some converts, who were becoming radicalized into anti-American zealots as their knowledge of their religion grew.
"Tamerlan was allegedly one of those radicals, and attracted the attention of an informant working with an agency attached to the Boston-area Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). That informant communicated observations about the man to a government handler, the source said.
But MailOnline's source from inside that agency said the older Tsarnaev brother turned up in a tip from an 'undercover asset.'
"Ultimately Tamerlan was allegedly deemed 'a low priority' and federal law enforcement 'did not designate them [the brothers] as suspects or persons of interest in any crime.'
"They also were not flagged for deportation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement."
Before the FBI finally revealed otherwise, Christine Amanpour said at the Arab American Institute Foundation's annual dinner award presentation: "How many of us feel this burden of association and hope beyond hope that this doesn't turn out to be what it might be?"
I, on the other hand, was relieved to learn that the bombers had radical Islamist connections because this tragedy might wake up those who foolishly believe President Obama, DHS Janet Napolitano and Democrat leaders when they dismiss any threat from this source. Either their reasoning for this is sheer ignorance or something more malevolent is hard to define but I do know that the threat and hatred has never, ever gone away and predates 9/11/2001.
The Fourth Estate must heed the words of former Rep. Allen West who wrote: "Let me be very clear, the terrorist attack in Boston and evolving events indicate we have a domestic radical Islamic terror problem in America. We must no longer allow the disciples of political correctness and the acolytes of the Muslim Brotherhood (CAIR, ISNA, MPAC, MAS) to preach to us some misconceived definition of tolerance and subservience. When tolerance becomes a one way street it leads to cultural suicide. Carlos Bledsoe in Little Rock, MAJ Hasan in Ft Hood, the Ft Dix Six, Faisal Shahazad in NYC Times Square - these are just the examples I can type now. When Rep Peter King attempted to have hearings on domestic terrorism he was attacked for being racist. No more excuses. No more apologies. We are in a war of ideological wills, and we shall prevail. Congratulations to all the law enforcement agencies."
Publisher's note: Alicia Colon resides in New York City and can be reached at email@example.com and at www.aliciacolon.com. Alicia would dearly love to hear from you.