Friday, August 26, 2005

Fox News outs a "Terrorist" (not) - Media gets the story wrong

On Aug 7, John Loftus reported on the Fox News program "Weekend Live" that a terrorist is living in a house in La Habra, CA. And he gives the address. And the report and the address get picked up, and spread around, and posted on the internet. Except the "terrorist" moved out three years ago. And the family that lives there now - definitely NOT terrorists - starts getting nasty phone calls, and drive-bys, and misspelled graffiti spray-painted on their home, etc. And Fox, and Loftus, give the weakest of apologies.

Now, all the reporting has been about what these nice people who live there have been going through. And I sympathize with them. But what if this alleged terrorist DID still live there? He hasn't been arrested yet. Should he get threatening email, and hate messages sprayed on his walls, and menacing drive-bys? Do we want a bunch of vigilantes dealing with un-indicted terrorists in our midst? Giving out the address was wrong even if the original person DID still live there!

Has there been ONE comment in the media about this aspect? I have not seen any. The media basically treat it like a human interest story, about the poor family getting the brunt of this. And there is a little bit about how Fox and Loftus are handling it ("mistakes happen" - note the passive voice - not even "I made a mistake").


John Loftus is a Fox News analyst and President of the (an "educational forum" for intelligence agencies). Here is a transcript of his report.


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