Tuesday, April 16, 2013

No, you don't know who bombed the Marathon.

It's a sad ritual going back to the days before cable when after any sort of horrific crime or tragic event the news media answers the unknown with uninformed speculation posing as fact. 24-hour news and the internet have simply put this on steroids and we've all wearily grown accustomed to it.

But in the past decade this sort of useless and even harmful speculation-as-news has spread even more as non-media people have taken to comment sections, facebook and twitter to spout their own ridiculous, totally fact-free pronouncements on who did something and why. Speculation is one thing, we're all doing it, but these people push their speculation as confirmed facts. What's worse is that they often jump to accusing whole groups by association and demand retribution. And these people are not limited to any one viewpoint or ideology, they're right, left, in-between and really out there. Apparently these folks have all the answers and they want to let you know they do.

Well I have a message for those folks.

You don't know who did it, you don't have secret information, world events are not controlled by shadowy cabals, history does not follow some set path, people you disagree with politically are not responsible for all the world's ills. You don't know what information the authorities have.

We don't know if it was one person, several or many, al Qaeda, al Qaeda inspired, right-wing nuts, anarchists, or anyone with any well known cause associated with violence. It could even be someone with a grudge against the Marathon or some ill-defined hatred of Boston and/or New England.  We don't know and that we includes you. You're not special.

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