Big media identifies wrong man as the killer in mass shooting — again

posted at 2:03 pm on September 16, 2013 by Allahpundit

Ed mentioned it already in the Greenroom but I want to chip in a post of my own to emphasize how commonplace this is now when mass killings occur. Big media’s not always the chief culprit — the theories about Sunil Tripathi being one of the Boston bombers began online, as far as I know, not among the big boys at the networks — but given how much pride they take in having higher standards than the Internet hoi polloi, they’re the culprit more often than you’d think.

By my count, this makes three times in slightly more than a year where someone in professional media has misidentified a killer publicly. Ben Howe reminded me that Brian Ross didn’t pull his infamous theory about tea partiers after the Aurora shooting out of thin air; he googled for James Holmeses in Colorado and that led him to a tea-party site listing a “Jim Holmes” from Aurora as a member. In the hours after Newtown, CNN reported that it was Ryan Lanza, not his brother Adam, that was the gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary, a mistake that blew up so quickly that Lanza had to pause during his family’s implosion to update his Facebook page to tell the world they had the wrong man. And now, within the past few hours, a double whammy from CBS and NBC:

CBS News and NBC News retracted reports about the identification of the Washington Navy Yard shooter on Monday, just minutes after each network reported that the suspect in question was a Navy chief petty officer named Rollie Chance.

CBS’s John Miller reported that Chance was a suspect before 1 p.m. on Monday. NBC News later reported the same information and continued to do so past 1 p.m., even after Miller reported that the initial reports about Chance were wrong.

Finally, at 1:05 p.m., NBC political director Chuck Todd tweeted: “NBC News: we are now NOT reporting name of shooter; retracting that report. deleting those tweets.”

I considered omitting the guy’s name here in my own feeble attempt to limit the search-engine damage to him, but given how much attention is being paid to CBS’s and NBC’s mistake, it’s more likely that online readers will stumble across it today in reading about the screw-up, not about him being a potential suspect. At some point public shaming over these errors will cause major media outlets to be more circumspect in passing along breadcrumbs that their cop friends have scraped together for them based on what they know of the facts at that moment. Today isn’t that day, but next time could be. Although, let’s face it, with Twitter increasing the pressure on news bureaus to be fast and first, it probably won’t be.

Via Mediaite, here’s Obama making his first halting remarks about the shooting. Reportedly, the shooter was carrying a pistol, a shotgun, and an AR-15, so expect more from O about “assault rifles” sometime soon.


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More workplace violence perhaps? Only if it involves a moose limb. Now a Tea Party member, THATs terrorism. I hate this PoTUS PoS!

neyney on September 16, 2013 at 3:24 PM

I thought it was Wi Tu Lo.

DaveO on September 16, 2013 at 3:28 PM

As soon as we find out he’s a recent religious convert, it’ll be clear we’ll never know why he did it.

ROCnPhilly on September 16, 2013 at 3:31 PM

As soon as we find out he’s a recent religious convert, it’ll be clear we’ll never know why he did it.

ROCnPhilly on September 16, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Depends on the religion…

oldroy on September 16, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Depends on the religion…

oldroy on September 16, 2013 at 3:32 PM

That ambiguity was deliberate for fear of censorship, but your point is fairly made and well taken.

ROCnPhilly on September 16, 2013 at 3:36 PM

D.C. delegate Eleanor Witch Holmes blames our society that has “so many guns in it” these things are happening too frequently.

davidk on September 16, 2013 at 3:43 PM

I thought it was Wi Tu Lo.

DaveO on September 16, 2013 at 3:28 PM

He claims he wasn’t there…reports are that the first shooter mentioned something about “ow” after hearing “bang ding”.

The race to be first makes for some funny stuff though doesn’t it?

teejk on September 16, 2013 at 3:46 PM

That gunman, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis of Fort Worth, Texas, is among the twelve dead. Officials said he recently began working as a civilian contractor.

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Confirmed-Shooter-at-Navy-Yard-One-Person-Shot-223897891.html

davidk on September 16, 2013 at 3:02 PM

UGH!

workingclass artist on September 16, 2013 at 3:47 PM

We used to cringe when First Ladies showed bare arms, now camel-toe is no big deal.

slickwillie2001 on September 16, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Oh, hell, I just threw up in my mouth again. I beg you guys, please, stop.

LOL

Midas on September 16, 2013 at 3:50 PM

3:40pm – AP speculates that the the dead shooter is from Texas, has “a criminal record there and to be a holder of a concealed carry weapon permit.”

3:36pm – NBC 4 reports the dead shooter, Aaron Alexis, was arrested in 2010 for illegally discharging a firearm.

3:23pm – Breitbart editor-in-chief Joel Pollak writes: “I have spent some time at the Navy Yard, observing a military trial when I was in law school. The compound is large and well-guarded, and an important landmark in southeast Washington, DC. Navy personnel take security very seriously and consider each separate building to be a “ship”–i.e. stairwells are referred to as “ladders,” and so on. The Navy Yard has a long and storied history and it is terrible to know that it has now been marred by such a terrible event.”

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/09/16/Report-12-shot-washington-navy-yard-shooting

workingclass artist on September 16, 2013 at 3:50 PM

D.C. delegate Eleanor Witch Holmes blames our society that has “so many guns in it” these things are happening too frequently.

davidk on September 16, 2013 at 3:43 PM

You’d think with all those guns out there, someone would have taken the perp out before he killed anyone.
What? You say the base is a gun free zone?
Seems like there aren’t enough guns out there, at least not in the right places.

chewmeister on September 16, 2013 at 3:52 PM

D.C. delegate Eleanor Witch Holmes blames our society that has “so many guns in it” these things are happening too frequently.

davidk on September 16, 2013 at 3:43 PM

You’d think with all those guns out there, someone would have taken the perp out before he killed anyone.
What? You say the base is a gun free zone?
Seems like there aren’t enough guns out there, at least not in the right places.

chewmeister on September 16, 2013 at 3:52 PM

The only people armed on that base are the military police. Even the guards at the gate carry unloaded firearms. So you now have a gun free zone! Amazing how they seem to attract these mass murders but they do! In my time on active duty, I was armed for 16 hours, 4 4 hour watches, with an unloaded 45.

Boats48 on September 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM

The only people armed on that base are the military police. Even the guards at the gate carry unloaded firearms. So you now have a gun free zone! Amazing how they seem to attract these mass murders but they do! In my time on active duty, I was armed for 16 hours, 4 4 hour watches, with an unloaded 45.

Boats48 on September 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Insanity. Did you have ammo anywhere on your person?

Midas on September 16, 2013 at 4:16 PM

AR-15, RIP

WordsMatter on September 16, 2013 at 2:16 PM

The Heller decision said that ‘dangerous and unusual weapons which are not in the common usage’ can be regulated or banned by the government. It said that there was an individual right to bear arms; the Second Amendment ‘extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding,’ (p 8); the handgun bans ‘amounted to a prohibition of an ENTIRE CLASS OF ‘ARMS’ that is overwhelmingly chosen by American society for that lawful purpose.’

Thus, it ruled invalid the District’s requirement ‘that firearms in the home be rendered and kept inoperable at all times,’ noting that doing so ‘makes it impossible for citizens to use them for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.’ (The holding in Heller was applied to the states in McDonald v City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010).)

Dangerous:

The AR-15 is the #1 rifle sold in the United States. It is no more dangerous than handguns. In fact, it kills FAR less. In 2011, 72.5% of all gun-related homicides were committed using handguns. In 2011, 3.8% (323) of ALL gun-related homicides in 2011 committed with rifles of ALL KINDS, INCLUDING ‘ASSAULT RIFLES’ LIKE AR-15s.

Unusual:

There is NOTHING unusual about AR-15-style rifles…unless one is afraid of black, skeery, plastic thingies.

Don’t believe me? Then, look at the pictures of these two guns and ask yourself, ‘Does one really look that much more ‘dangerous, unusual and uncommon’ than the other?’

Both are AR-15-pattern rifles that came off the same assembly line, fire the exact same ammunition, and use the same magazines….BUT the rifle on the bottom has a small bit of metal under the front sight to which a bayonet could attach and a small vented tube on the end of the barrel that redirects unburned gases.

Uncommon:

Really? AR-15s are uncommon? Since when?

In 2009, it was estimated that there were 3,261,725 of AR-15s – alone, not just AR-15-style – in the United States.

In 2009, the homicide rate was 5.0.

In contrast, in 1994 when the original Assault Weapons Ban went into effect, there were approximately 1.5 million AR-15s in the United States.

In 1994, the homicide rate was 9.0.

Resist We Much on September 16, 2013 at 4:18 PM

If Drudge has the correct photo it appears as though the shooter might have been one of King Putt’s younger brothers.

Missilengr on September 16, 2013 at 4:25 PM

That being said and if it is true then the utility of this ‘anti-gun’ story just lost 50% of the ‘it was an angry white Tea Party guy’ impact.

Missilengr on September 16, 2013 at 4:30 PM

We used to cringe when First Ladies showed bare arms, now camel-toe is no big deal.

slickwillie2001 on September 16, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Sexist pig.

anchorchick on September 16, 2013 at 4:34 PM

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/09/16/First-lady–Obama-will-shake-his-groove-thing

First Lady: Obama Will ‘Shake His Groove Thing’ TONIGHT at the White House

Resist We Much on September 16, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Drudge is reporting 13 people dead in shooting and FLOTUS makes a crass remark.

Typical, so typical of her “let them eat cake” attitude.

She and POTUS wouldn’t recognize class and dignity if it fell on their heads like a ton of bricks.

GrannyDee on September 16, 2013 at 4:44 PM

The only people armed on that base are the military police. Even the guards at the gate carry unloaded firearms. So you now have a gun free zone! Amazing how they seem to attract these mass murders but they do! In my time on active duty, I was armed for 16 hours, 4 4 hour watches, with an unloaded 45.

Boats48 on September 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Wow. This is really scary. Do you know if that happens at all US bases? No bullets????

more guns = les crime

We have already lost if MPs are neutered into carrying w/o bullets. There is nothing more dangerous than pointing an unloaded gun at some thug except for pointing a loaded gun at yourself.

anchorchick on September 16, 2013 at 4:46 PM

expect more from O about “assault rifles” sometime soon.

The Preezy of the United Sleezy set this tone.

** Obama: “They Bring a Knife…We Bring a Gun”
** Obama to His Followers: “Get in Their Faces!”
** Obama on ACORN Mobs: “I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!”
** Obama to His Mercenary Army: “Hit Back Twice As Hard”
** Obama on the private sector: “We talk to these folks… so I know whose ass to kick.“
** Obama to voters: Republican victory would mean “hand to hand combat”
** Obama to lib supporters: “It’s time to Fight for it.”
** Obama to Latino supporters: “Punish your enemies.”
** Obama to democrats: “I’m itching for a fight.”

/Punish

Terp Mole on September 16, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Wow. This is really scary. Do you know if that happens at all US bases? No bullets????

more guns = les crime

We have already lost if MPs are neutered into carrying w/o bullets. There is nothing more dangerous than pointing an unloaded gun at some thug except for pointing a loaded gun at yourself.

anchorchick on September 16, 2013 at 4:46 PM

On all of the bases I’ve been on, the MPs/SPs who are armed are actually fully armed.
However, they are the only people allowed to be armed on the entire base.
It’s a different story for “regular” soldiers (NOT Military Police / Security Police) who may get assigned as augmentees for some type of guard duty – such as manning the entry control gates checking badges/IDs for everyone coming on base during morning rush hour. They will not be armed – but there are always armed MPs/SPs nearby.

dentarthurdent on September 16, 2013 at 5:04 PM

I KNOW YOU AREEEE BUT WHATTTT AM IIIIIII????????????

Longtime Fister/

cableguy615 on September 16, 2013 at 7:45 PM

With the bogus ID of the shooter think about the Congress considering a blanket for journalists.

mixplix on September 16, 2013 at 8:15 PM

Piers Morgan was already beating the anti-gun drums, and the bodies are barely cool yet!

claudius on September 16, 2013 at 9:55 PM

Military weapons are kept in the base armory, until checked out for a particular reason. Military personnel don’t walk around the base armed – except for the cops. People working on a military base are not allowed to enter the base with a weapon, even just in their car, even if you have a legal concealed carry permit – felony offense.
In fact, military bases darn near qualify as gun free zones – believe it or not.

dentarthurdent on September 16, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Reportedly, the shooter was carrying a pistol, a shotgun, and an AR-15

Nawww, how can that be when DC has strict gun control laws.

petefrt on September 16, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Are we perhaps seeing (further) evidence that gun control and keeping law-abiding citizens defenseless doesn’t work?

dentarthurdent on September 16, 2013 at 2:37 PM

yet, Major Nidal Hassan was able to get weapons onto the base.

Resist We Much on September 16, 2013 at 2:46 PM

It really isn’t that difficult if you already have legal access to the base – just like any other gun free zone, it really only limits us law-abiding citizens. It’s just that it’s a federal felony offense to bring a weapon on a military base – so law-abiding citizens don’t. As usual, criminals with criminal intent don’t care about the law….

That irritates me to no end because I have a County Sheriff issued concealed carry permit, and a 25 mile commute to where I work, and I can’t even have a self-defense weapon in my car for my commute – which is sometimes late at night.

dentarthurdent on September 16, 2013 at 2:54 PM

a lot of people seem to think everyone is walking around fully armed on military bases, because, well they’re military bases.

dentarthurdent on September 16, 2013 at 2:57 PM

3:23pm – Breitbart editor-in-chief Joel Pollak writes: “I have spent some time at the Navy Yard, observing a military trial when I was in law school. The compound is large and well-guarded, and an important landmark in southeast Washington, DC. Navy personnel take security very seriously

workingclass artist on September 16, 2013 at 3:50 PM

You’d think with all those guns out there, someone would have taken the perp out before he killed anyone.
What? You say the base is a gun free zone?
Seems like there aren’t enough guns out there, at least not in the right places.

chewmeister on September 16, 2013 at 3:52 PM

The only people armed on that base are the military police. Even the guards at the gate carry unloaded firearms. So you now have a gun free zone! Amazing how they seem to attract these mass murders but they do! In my time on active duty, I was armed for 16 hours, 4 4 hour watches, with an unloaded 45.

Boats48 on September 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM

We have already lost if MPs are neutered into carrying w/o bullets. There is nothing more dangerous than pointing an unloaded gun at some thug except for pointing a loaded gun at yourself.

anchorchick on September 16, 2013 at 4:46 PM

On all of the bases I’ve been on, the MPs/SPs who are armed are actually fully armed.
However, they are the only people allowed to be armed on the entire base.
It’s a different story for “regular” soldiers (NOT Military Police / Security Police) who may get assigned as augmentees for some type of guard duty – such as manning the entry control gates checking badges/IDs for everyone coming on base during morning rush hour. They will not be armed – but there are always armed MPs/SPs nearby.

dentarthurdent on September 16, 2013 at 5:04 PM

I just wanted to get this discussion all in one place, because I really want to know, if someplace has been declared a “gun free zone”, why aren’t people being frisked before they are allowed to enter???!!!???

AesopFan on September 16, 2013 at 11:39 PM

Shield the MSM they’re the mouthpiece for Dem-tards like Feinstein who believe in these hacks over people who actually dig for facts!

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) insisted on limiting the legal protection to “real reporters” and not, she said, a 17-year-old with his own website.

kregg on September 17, 2013 at 5:37 AM

I tried to talk with Rollie, but he told me his law firm , Wea,Cheatum, and Howe, has told him not to talk with anyone

BruceB on September 17, 2013 at 9:32 AM

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