|Ibrahim Ahmad sat quietly behind an array of microphones, reluctant to talk to yet another crush of reporters about how for a single day the world thought he had blown up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Ahmad, a Jordanian American, had been traveling from his Oklahoma City home to Jordan on April 19, the day the 4,800-pound bomb ripped through the building, killing more than 160 people.
Scooped up in the FBI's initial dragnet, he was questioned in Chicago, and then again in London, where British authorities grilled him for six hours. "When they said, 'You are under arrest in connection with the bombing,' I thought that was the end of the world for me," he told reporters.
But it soon became clear that domestic right-wing extremists were the prime suspects in the case. Did the media jump too quickly to speculate that the bombing was the work of Middle Eastern terrorists? Or were they simply reporting what federal law enforcement presumed for the first day-and-a-half after the explosion?
Either way, "they blew it," says Jeff Cohen, executive director of Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), a liberal watchdog group that monitored coverage of the bombing. No matter what law enforcement said behind the scenes, the press went overboard on the Middle East angle and underplayed other scenarios, he contends.
Within hours of the bombing, most network news reports featured comments from experts on Middle Eastern terrorism who said the blast was similar to the World Trade Center explosion two years earlier. Newspapers relied on many of those same experts and stressed the possibility of a Middle East connection. […]
|Pulitzer prizes were announced today. You can read the whole list here. I'd like to give a shout-out to the good folks at InsideClimateNews, which has been a consistently excellent source on the subject the site is named for since 2007. The site won its Pulitzer in the category of National Reporting for its seven-month investigation that culminated in The Dilbit Disaster: Inside the Biggest Oil Spill You've Never Heard Of by Elizabeth McGowan, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer. Congratulations.|
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2011—Paul Ryan's 'welfare state,' everything but tax cuts for the rich:
|Here's a snippet of Rep. Paul Ryan's closing remarks during the debate on his budget plan:
We don't want a welfare system that encourages people to stay on welfare. We want them to get back on their feet and lead flourishing, self-sufficient lives. So let's reform welfare for people who need it, and end it for corporate welfare for people who don't need it.And there you have it. While you thought welfare was reformed two decades ago and no longer exists for Republicans to beat up on, you were wrong. Basically, everything but tax breaks to the wealthy is welfare. Any domestic spending, welfare. Let's look at what Ryan is actually slashing, here, what he calls welfare.
On today's Kagro in the Morning show, we marked Tax Day with Liz Day's account of "How the Maker of TurboTax Fought Free, Simple Tax Filing." Armando reminded us it's not just Tax Day, it's Jackie Robinson Day. He also noted Gallup's poll asking if people thought their taxes were "fair." That is, he noted it's kind of dumb. Other items: "Hedge Fund Titans' Pay Stretching to 10 Figures," the continuing problems of Guantanamo detainees, and Missouri's move to certify & arm teachers, even as a St. Louis-area gun instructor was busted faking students' qualifications.