LatinaLista — Tucson television station KOLD News 13 had a scoop that couldn’t be ignored – but then again, maybe it should have been.
Or at the least, reported in a style more becoming of a news organization and less like paparazzi salivating over a celebrity.
The story was about a security alert in Southern Arizona issued by the FBI and outlining a possible threat directed at Fort Huachuca.
The only trouble is the news report is based on a document that was 6 months old and by the FBI’s own admission was something that was never “completely evaluated.”
So, what is a news organization doing disseminating information when they don’t have all the facts?
Obviously, they’re going after ratings.
The news report (using the word report loosely in this case) was centered on an alert document that the FBI gave to local law enforcement.
The document gives no timetable or explanation of how the threat will be carried out. But does say, “a group of Iraqis may have entered the United States through tunnels from Mexico into Arizona,” and those same “Iraqis are believed to be the ones who will perpetrate the attack on Fort Huachuca.”
The news station further reported that the document said the Iraqis could be hiding out on an “unidentified Indian reservation” in Arizona. With that little bit of confirmation, the news reporters speculated on which Indian reservation it could be, naming the Tohono O’odham Nation reservation in the news report though they never had that information to begin with.
In addition, all the officials, other than the FBI, that the reporters approached regarding the alert and/or the document, no one outrightly confirmed it.
Lt. Col. Garner says, “We operate within that knowing that we are always a target, and then we take all precautions necessary whether it’s a general threat or a specific threat like the one you’re talking about.”
One former Congressman, who asked not to be identified for this report, said the document seems “dubious” and “without merit.” Not only that, it’s dated May 14th, 2007.
Yet, the reporters continued their pursuit of â€” the truth? Hardly. Next would be the stunned and scared reactions of local townspeople to news that something like this could be happening, literally, underfoot.
“I don’t know why we haven’t heard about it sooner, according to Gresham.””It’s pretty scary, our kids are here. This is where we live.”
Bevill says, “If this is being kept confidential, something so close to here, I think this of more importance than what we’re doing in Iraq. Seems like the kind of information that would benefit everybody here.”
So why aren’t more news stations reporting on this?
Because it’s only enough news to cause anxious feelings and more resentment towards our southern neighbor â€” it’s not enough news to make it true.
In these times where vigilance is the wisest course of action for anyone to take, news organizations have the greater responsibility to be vigilant themselves and not fall willful party to publicizing news that has no merit other than to create an atmosphere of fear and mistrust.