Boston Marathon Bombing and its unwarranted assumptions

 After the bombing of the Boston marathon today a tidal wave of news reports poured onto the public stage. So many reports came out so quickly that it was hard to keep track of them all. Some reports threw out unverified figures of injuries and fatalities. All sorts of misinformation was being thrown at the public, many of which I’m sure were taking them without a second thought. When I first turned on the television the finger pointing had already started, news reporters on Fox11 were mentioning that police had been guarding a man of Saudi decent that was at the bombing. It’s not hard to see why a news agency would find a tidbit of news like that worth reporting when we take into account the stigma our Arab compatriots have been given ever since the world trade center attacks on nine-eleven. They seem to be the “go to” scapegoats for all things horrible. These allegations were unfounded at the time they were presented and although the news reporters did mention that the man’s connection with the bombing had not been disclosed it wasn’t very responsible on part of the agency and the reporter when we consider the consequences of stirring hatred toward an ethnic group. A talk show host named Alex Jones also threw in his two cents about the horrible attack on Boston and the JFK library. At a time when the President himself was reluctant to give out any information about who may be responsible for the bombing Mr. Jones was already talking about what he called the “tell tell signs of a government cover up” charging the government with staging this to push through arms reform. Personalities with broad influence as the ones aforementioned are assumed (by the general public) to have an obligation to provide the public with facts as unbiased as possible. The problem is that they also have an obligation to pay bills and that means becoming popular, which in turn means catering to public opinion. Readings like the one we covered this weak help us keep our eyes open so that we don’t simply accept unwarranted assumptions or oversimplifications especially in situations like the one in Boston today where because of the emotional investment people are starving for answers .  I’ve included links to the Alex Jones show The Fox11 news website and another report that i found to be the most accurate. ( by acurate i refer to the information about the matter at hand , and that it seems to be free of Unwarranted Assumptions) 

http://tunein.com/radio/Infowars-Radio-s54699/

http://www.myfoxla.com/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/15/boston-marathon-explosion_n_3086665.html

 

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2 thoughts on “Boston Marathon Bombing and its unwarranted assumptions

  1. Great post. I was actually just thinking of this exact issue earlier today. I went online and there were multiple posts linking the bombings to people in the Middle East or North Korea. There was also an article I read claiming that this Boston bombing was an inside government job. One site had a picture of the principal killed in the Sandy Hook shooting and claimed that the news released that same picture but stated that she was a woman killed in the Boston bombings. I agree that people are so eager to find out exactly what happened that they are willing to point the finger at just about anyone in order to get answers, no matter how ignorant their assumptions may be. I also saw some posts on Twitter referring to all people of Middle Eastern descent as “sand niggers” and threatening to “wipe them out” because they were supposedly behind all of this. The ignorance of some people never ceases to amaze me. Just because one person from a specific background is responsible for committing a criminal act, that does not mean that all citizens of that same background should live the rest of their lives viewed as criminals.

  2. It all comes back to a confirmation bias. People are so set on confirming what they think they already know, that they seek out any bit of relevant information to cite their claims. The disinformation perpetuated around any incident, such as the Boston Bombing or Sandy Hook shooting, merely feeds into our desire to confirm our beliefs. Gun abolitionists watch the Sandy Hook shooting and are “justified” in their hatred of guns. Anti-middle-easterners watch early reports on the Boston Bombing and “know” they were right in their suspicions. The media on the other hand is so eager to be the first to “get the scoop” that it forgets that honest journalism ever existed.

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