File this one under “If we don’t report it (or give it the prominence it’s due), then it didn’t happen, and it doesn't matter.”
Remember this when mainstream media figures claim that they cover the news in a responsible, balanced and accurate fashion, via a rational value system.
In the wee hours of Friday, August 11 - literally almost immediately after the takedown of the British Muslims who were on the cusp of attempting to blow up 10 U.S.-bound jetliners, and 11 Egyptian exchange students had gone "missing" (story) - Michigan police arrested three “middle eastern” (but not "Muslim") men from (where else?) Dearborn(istan). The suspects were in possession of 1,000 untraceable cell phones purchased in the previous few hours and days, which were being stored - and unpacked - in the back of a cargo van they'd rented. The story was first reported shortly before 6:00am that morning in the local media, here and here.
The implications of this discovery - as law enforcement, military and intelligence sources will attest - could be enormous, especially given its ominous timing.
From the first article:
From the second article:
"Around 1:00am August 11th the three men purchased cell phones from the Wal-Mart store on M-81 near the corner of M-24 in Caro. Wal-Mart places a limit on the number of cell phones that can be purchased at once, that number is three. The three men allegedly bought 80 by purchasing them three at time so that an alert wouldn't be triggered by the cash register. They also paid cash. An alert clerk grew suspicious and called Tuscola County central dispatch.
"The Caro Police Department sent a unit and stopped the rented van on M-81 just east of Caro. The suspects were headed towards Bad Axe on M-81 where there is another Super Wal-Mart. The three men are described as being of Palestinian descent but live in Texas. Police say the three, ages 19, 22, and 23 appear to be naturalized citizens.
"One man was driving while the other two were in the back opening the phone packages with box cutters throwing the phones in one box, batteries in another and the packaging and phone charger in another container. The suspects had 1000 other cell phones in the van. There was also a bag of receipts showing that someone was in Wisconsin the day before. The phones were Nokia TracFones selling for $20 at Wal-Mart. For your twenty dollars you receive a phone charger and 40 minutes of airtime. The phones do not have to be registered with a name. Also discovered was a laptop with store addresses and store logos.
"Tim Nausler with the Michigan State Police bomb squad says this has all the tell tale signs of using cell phones to detonate bombs. He says you need two phones to detonate a bomb one to be with the explosive and the other to make the call to that phone. In some instances he says you can detonate with one phone using the alarm clock function."
Of course, these men must be presumed innocent until proven guilty. But given what law enforcement already has determined, these stories would merit high attention and placement in responsible news media.
"All three men are from Dearborn, Michigan and all three gave similar reasons for buying the phones. (24-year-old Hashem) Sayed said he was buying them to ship to California to sell for a profit. But Washington County's sheriff says that may not be the whole truth. 'They are digital for detonating car bombs and they have a particular digital frequency and that's what they're using them for,' said Sheriff Larry Mincks."
"Mincks says the men also had instructions on how to obtain private flights and airplane passenger information. 'It also had some information concerning airport security and check points'."
So, did the largest-circulation newspapers and their accompanying websites feature the story prominently – or at all - as of 10:00am EST on Saturday, August 12, more than 24 hours after the story first broke?
Not a one.
Here are some screen shots (with red-box highlights that I inserted), to demonstrate what the editors of these publications thought were more important than this story to “inform” their audiences about:
So if this story wasn't important enough, what stories did the large news media decide were more important for their readers to be aware of, and which they placed in the premium "above-the-fold" space in their news summaries?
Let's take a look (viewable by clicking on the screens, above):
- Cindy Sheehan is hospitalized after her “hunger strike”
- Actor Lou Diamond Phillips is arrested
- An excessive amount of Elvis impersonators in one town
- The possible closure of a gay bar in Laguna Beach
- A woman who found "God's water" gurgling from a tree
And the mainstream media can't figure out why their customer base is shrinking, along with their trustworthiness, and that they are charged with operating according to a very different value system than that of ordinary Americans.
Nor can they figure out why they are constantly being accused of sacrificing honest, contextual reporting upon the altar of "political correctness," and of actually harming our national security.
Finally, the reader may be asking, "Well, if the story didn't show up in the MSM, where did YOU learn about it!?"
My answer is: from that most-denounced news-blog, that the MSM detests: The Drudge Report. Mere hours after this story broke, Drudge assigned this story the prominence it deserved, even amidst the wall-to-wall reporting of the British bombers.
Oh, to tell the "elite" MSM that they could take some lessons from Drudge...
© Copyright 2006 by Jon Quixote. All rights reserved. Qualified media representatives interested in publishing this item may contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information.