Thursday, April 18, 2013

Last Call

If there's any news outlet that deserves to get sued out of business right now in the wake of wild, ridiculous speculation over the identity of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect(s), it's the New York Post, as Deadspin's Barry Petchesky reports.

On Monday, the New York Post doggedly stuck to its claim that 12 were killed in the Boston Marathon bombings. On Tuesday, CNN (among others) reported that a suspect had been arrested, before walking that all the way back. Today, the Post wrests back the "what the fuck are you doing?" crown by putting two "potential suspects" on the cover of the newspaper. They are most assuredly innocent.

The pair show up in multiple photos of the finish line. They carry large bags. They are dark-skinned. This was enough for internet sleuths to peg them as suspicious. (They show up here, in Gawker's rundown of "suspects" identified by crowdsourcing on Reddit and 4chan.) And that was apparently enough for the Post to run with its front-page story today, claiming investigators are circulating photos of the two. (The photo on the paper's cover is a cropped and zoomed-in version of the one taken by Ben Levine, which appeared on Deadspin on Tuesday.)
But maybe there was a reason for them to be at the marathon, wearing track jackets and carrying bags: they're runners.
The kid in the blue jacket is a middle-distance runner at Revere High School.

The kid's name also happens to be Salah Barhoum, which should tell you everything you need to know about why the kid was pegged by the Post (which is now 0-3 in its idiocy and now almost certainly faces a big fat lawsuit.  CNN isn't innocent in this either, it ran with the Saudi suspect story on Monday and Tuesday as well.)  Of course, the FBI got around to releasing the pictures of the actual suspects:  two not-so-dusky looking guys:

And this guy:

Funny how that works, huh.

Texas-Sized Hyprocrisy: Disaster Edition

Suddenly, Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry isn't so interested in secession and denying people federal aid after yesterday's deadly fertilizer plant explosion.

Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday declared McLennan County - home to West, the small community rocked by the deadly fertilizer plant explosion - a disaster area and announced that he's asking President Barack Obama for a federal emergency declaration as well.

The declarations will help free up funding to help those in the community impacted by the explosion with the massive recovery and rebuilding effort they face.

Huh.  As Kos points out, West's congressman, Republican Bill Flores, voted against Sandy aid.

"It was too large," Flores said about the latest bill Wednesday. “It does more than meet the immediate needs of Sandy victims."

Flores, whose district includes Waco, said he could have supported an earlier version of the bill with $17 billion in aid if it had been offset by federal spending reductions.

Flores isn't asking for spending reductions now, is he.  Neither are both Texas Senators who voted against Sandy aid, Ted Cruz and John Cornyn.

Now that Texas needs aid, all these Republicans are demanding it as soon as possible for the victims.


Read more here:

Ricins Of The Father

The suspect in the recent ricin letters sent to the Senate and President Obama?  White guy.

The Corinth man and Elvis impersonator arrested and accused of sending poison-laced envelopes to President Barack Obama, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and a local justice court judge seems to have had different personas.

Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, was arrested by the FBI and Lee County authorities Wednesday at his home after an investigation by multiple local, state and federal officials. With Curtis in police custody, different versions of his life continue to unfold, some wacky and entertaining and others conspiratorial, threatening and violent.

Several Tupelo residents who did not want to be identified told the Daily Journal of experiences of erratic and even threatening behavior with Curtis through the years.

Locally he has been known for his passion for Elvis and hatred for North Mississippi Medical Center expressed in online message boards.

Some people know Curtis through his passion as an Elvis impersonator, including a snarl and long sideburns.

In a 1999 interview with the Daily Journal, Curtis said “I used to say, ‘I’m going to grow up and be just like Elvis and buy my mom a mansion. That was my goal from age 6.”

Again, dude looks like this:

Paul Kevin Curtis (Facebook photo)

And because dude looks like this, this story will go away and he will be dismissed as a crazy lone wolf who needs professional mental health assistance from a system that failed him, and most likely we'll see within a few days op-eds on how this means Obamacare has failed, should be repealed, and that the President should resign or something.

If this dude was not white, the outcome of this story would be very, very different.


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