Amy Davidson, The New Yorker:
A twenty-year-old man who had been watching the Boston Marathon had his
body torn into by the force of a bomb. He wasn’t alone; a hundred and
seventy-six people were injured and three were killed. But he was the
only one who, while in the hospital being treated for his wounds, had
his apartment searched in “a startling show of force,” as his
fellow-tenants described it to the Boston Herald,
with a “phalanx” of officers and agents and two K9 units. He was the
one whose belongings were carried out in paper bags as his neighbors
watched; whose roommate, also a student, was questioned for five hours
(“I was scared”)
before coming out to say that he didn’t think his friend was someone
who’d plant a bomb—that he was a nice guy who liked sports. “Let me go
to school, dude,” the roommate said later in the day, covering his face
with his hands and almost crying, as a Fox News producer followed him
and asked him, again and again, if he was sure he hadn’t been living
with a killer.
Why the search, the interrogation, the dogs, the bomb squad, and the
injured man’s name tweeted out, attached to the word “suspect”? After
the bombs went off, people were running in every direction—so was the
young man. Many, like him, were hurt badly; many of them were saved by
the unflinching kindness of strangers, who carried them or stopped the
bleeding with their own hands and improvised tourniquets. “Exhausted
runners who kept running to the nearest hospital to give blood,”
President Obama said. “They helped one another, consoled one another,”
Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, said. In the midst of
that, according to a CBS News report,
a bystander saw the young man running, badly hurt, rushed to him, and
then “tackled” him, bringing him down. People thought he looked
What made them suspect him? He was running—so was everyone. The
police reportedly thought he smelled like explosives; his wounds might
have suggested why. He said something about thinking there would be a
second bomb—as there was, and often is, to target responders. If that
was the reason he gave for running, it was a sensible one. He asked if
anyone was dead—a question people were screaming. And he was from Saudi
Arabia, which is around where the logic stops. Was it just the way he
looked, or did he, in the chaos, maybe call for God with a name that
someone found strange?
A can’t quote the entire thing here, but you can go and check it out.
It’s definitely worth your time. Most of the media failed miserably to
rise to the occasion, but it was the rightwing media who dropped a giant
turd on an already horrible day by tormenting a witness, rumor
mongering, and fear mongering. The New York Post ran with
wildly inaccurate reports, which the rightwing media immediately fell
for. As wee see here, Fox harassed an innocent person. Then useless
wingnut blogger Jim Hoft posted photos of the Saudi witness, taken from
his Facebook page, in a way that served no rational purpose. The stupid,
cowardly, panic-stricken rightwing media stampeded between ridiculously
obvious false stories, stupid speculation, and baseless assumptions all day.
And the worst part is that, if you take a trip through these blogs
and news sites, you get no sense of shame at all. In fact, you get the
feeling that they have no idea that they should be ashamed. They’re all just plugging along in blissful ignorance, still guessing stupidly (and often pointlessly) as to what the truth might be, rather than waiting patiently until we know.
Hey GOP, here’s your biggest problem winning over voters: your base is
so exhausting, no one wants anything to do with them. Between the panic
and the fake outrage and the real (but misplaced) outrage and the other
panic and the outrage with that and on and on and on and on, no one can
keep up. The relentless stupidity just wears you down.
For fuck’s sake give it a break. Don’t you guys ever get tired of being outraged, panicked, and wrong?