The Sky is Falling: The Media & The Boston Bombings

Boston Marathon bombings 2013 (CBS News via

In the wake of another tragedy in America with the Boston Marathon bombings, I am disgusted by the media yet again. I use the term “media” here to describe national broadcasting networks like Fox, ABC, CNN, etc., internet news sources and social media like Facebook and Twitter.

Less than a few hours after the bombing, radio nutjob and supreme asshat, Alex Jones, was already railing about a false flag conspiracy hypothesis:

I don’t use the term conspiracy theory. Theories have proof. Unproven theories are hypotheses.


If you’re not familiar with the term “false flag,” it is a covert military or paramilitary operation designed to make it look as if it was carried out by someone else. So, basically, the belief that this callous whack-a-doo made public was that the American government bombed its own people at the Boston Marathon.

Yes, that’s right. This crank thinks that the American government bombed American citizens on American soil, injuring 170+ and killing three people including an eight year old American boy. Not only does he think that, but he is getting lots of press for it. A search for Alex Jones false flag gets a ton of results:

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I saved you the trouble.

The government bombed itself to prove what exactly? While I agree that this hypothesis is possible, it is also possible that it was The Easter Bunny or a likeness thereof. Possible and probable are not the same thing. Yes, events like this certainly distract the media for a while, but to what end?

The only momentous legislation going through Congress this week were gun control bills and they all failed anyway. If this was a bid to increase Homeland Security in the wake of sequestration, well, you don’t need a bomb to do that. A nice failed assassination attempt would have served nicely without hurting anyone, especially civilians. I can’t believe I’m giving counter-arguments to Jones’ lunatic views; I am now officially part of the problem. Suffice it to say, I don’t see a motive.

Jones’ blaming the government for bombing its own citizens, makes about as much sense as blaming Bigfoot, J. Edgar Hoover and Pauly Shore… together… in the BigHoovShore Conspiracy… to ruin Christmas. It’s just as much of a stretch. Does Pauly Shore have an airtight alibi? I think not.

Pauly, why do you hate America?
Pauly, why do you hate America?

Why is the American media giving any publicity to this wacko conspiracy hypothesis? Well, with the advent of 24 hour news networks, they have to talk about something… all the time… forever. By publicizing Jones’ nutjob views and others like it, the media has something to discuss for hours on end, sans facts, because we have none. Plus, we, the public and the media, can vilify someone. The FBI has not the first clue who is responsible for the bombings yet, so by publishing articles and giving the talking heads the fodder of conspiracy nonsense, we can at least hate on Alex Jones while we wait for the real culprit to emerge.

But the Alex Jones nutjobbery is not the only conjecture out there, not by a long shot. Some of these postulations are a little crazier than others, but they all contain hypothetical, irrelevant or just plain wrong information.

I used to live in Boston. Last night, I logged on to Facebook for the first time in months just to make sure that all of the people I know in Boston are safe (they are) and I saw crap like this floating around:


No, actually, that’s a lie. There was a moment of silence for the victims of the Sandy Hook School shootings in Newtown, Connecticut before the race even began, but the last mile was not dedicated to anyone, because that’s a ridiculous thing to do. A moment of silence and dedicating the last mile to the Newtown victims are clearly not at all the same thing.

A photograph of a page titled “Thoughts Go out To All Involved In The Boston Explosions” is circulating Facebook with the implication that, because it was started two days before the bombings, it shows that either the page was set up by someone involved in the attack or that it proves that the bombing was a false flag event.


Conspiracy theorists used this same reasoning after the Newtown shootings when another Facebook page showed up supposedly before the incident, proving that it was staged. It was bunk then and it’s bunk now. The fact is, Facebook pages can change their name. It is far more likely that the page was created under a different name and promptly changed after the bombings took place. Name changes do not affect the creation date of the page.

This image was circulated as one of the victims of the bombing saying that she attended Sandy Hook Elementary school. In reality, the Boston victim was a boy and this picture was taken from the Joe Cassella 5K in May 2012, which is actually clearly legible along the top of her number tag. This is not a picture of a victim. It was not even taken this year. The Boston victim was a spectator, not a runner. Children are not allowed to run in the Boston marathon.


Another false victim image. The image in the upper left from the Boston bombings is actually a picture of Jeff Bauman. This entire collage is insulting to both the bombing victims and our veterans. It’s just wrong.

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This picture circulated with the caption: “The man in the red shirt planned to propose to his girlfriend as she crossed the finish line, but she passed away.” The picture was circulated before any of the victims were named and the victims who died were observers, not participants. Not to mention that the same story circulated about a victim at Sandy Hook.

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The roof walker. The picture seems to show someone walking on the rooftop of a nearby building as one of the explosions is happening. The image, taken by Dan Lampariello, appears to be genuine. However, what the image shows could be just about anything, from a person to a building fixture. Even if it was a person, it could have been someone trying to get a good view of the finish line or someone doing maintenance or any of another million reasons for being there. The bombs were low to the ground, not on the rooftops. Someone walking on a roof is not news. It proves nothing.


There were news reports based on the accounts of Ali Stevenson who was at the event and claims he saw bomb sniffing dogs at both the start and finish lines, and reported hearing announcements that it was “just a training exercise.” Stevenson also speculated that this could have meant a threat was called in.


There’s no reason to necessarily doubt Stevenson’s account, but it has not been corroborated by other witnesses nor verified. It is entirely possible that sniffer dogs were present. They could have been there as a preventative measure. They could have been present for an exercise or as the result of someone calling in a threat, or Stevenson could just be lying for whatever reason. However, at this point, it’s all just speculation and it doesn’t prove a thing.

This Boston Globe tweet was circulated as more supposed “false flag” proof, which is bunk. This tweet circulated as proof that authorities knew about the bombings before they happened. However, this tweet came after the first two explosions. It refers to the third explosion when the authorities detonated what they thought was a third bomb. It was not.


And then you can file these under “crazy” and “racist:”



RushBostonTweet tumblr_inline_mlbt9lR1fe1qawfnh

More horrible Twitter trolling

There’s even a conspiracy hypothesis that the bombings were done by North Korea.


If North Korea were to bomb us, they would certainly use two improvised explosive devices instead of the nuclear missiles they’ve been testing. Right.

Still, reporting on the wacko conspiracies is just one aspect of the media’s failure in this instance. Most of the television news networks displayed “Terror in Boston!” or something of the kind. This is not news reporting; this is fear-mongering. Terror everywhere! RUN!!!!

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While I do not doubt that bombing the Boston marathon inspired terror in those present and lots of it, the word itself doesn’t mean what it used to. In a post-September 11th world, terror seems to imply a Muslim extremist threat. We do not know if that is the case here, but the media reported the crackpot stories anyway:



The major media outlets’ reporting of the tragedy is all fire and brimstone, but nothing at all has been proven. We do not know anything about any “terrorists,” domestic or foreign, having any involvement in the bombings. It could just as easily have been one individual whack-a-doo like Alex Jones.

All of this reactionary nonsense makes me appreciate even more that the President Of The United States figuratively shrugged his shoulders in his statement on the bombings this morning:

Obviously our first thoughts this morning are with the victims, their families, and the city of Boston. We know that two explosions gravely wounded dozens of Americans, and took the lives of others, including an 8-year-old boy.

This was a heinous and cowardly act. And given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism. Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror. What we don’t yet know, however, is who carried out this attack, or why; whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was the act of a malevolent individual. That’s what we don’t yet know. And clearly, we’re at the beginning of our investigation.

It will take time to follow every lead and determine what happened. But we will find out. We will find whoever harmed our citizens and we will bring them to justice. more

Please, people of the world, don’t believe everything you hear, read and see. Can we please, for once, wait for some facts before we go pointing fingers? The last thing we need is more hatred of innocent Muslims and more ridiculous conspiracies. Even if we did know for certain that the bomber was a Muslim, which we don’t, you cannot blame an entire population of people for the acts of a few. Most Muslims are innocent victims themselves.

My thoughts and well wishes go out to the victims and families of the Boston marathon bombing.