One good rule of thumb to bear in mind is that, in fast-moving news events, much of what the media report at the beginning is going to be erroneous, false, or fabricated outright. First, that’s how they roll: people who go into the media want to change the world, and have no overarching moral structure or ethical framework beyond Marxian utilitarianism. Second, people go in the media because they like telling stories, and stories are best with a beginning, middle and end, and a good guy in a white hat and a bad guy in a black one: so that’s how media stories come out. Third and last, their industry punishes tardiness in publication, but there are few or no consequences for falsehood, even deliberate falsehood. That’s especially true if the falsehood furthers a standard media narrative.
You can see this by examining the post-exposure careers of prominent journalistic fabricators and frauds: all of them still write or deliver news for a living. Jayson Blair, a man whose name is the word-association prizewinner for “fabricated story”, lectures on media ethics, for Christ’s sake. That’s like springing Bernard Madoff to lecture Wall Street on fiduciary duty, or entering Jeffrey Dahmer in Iron Chef, but media guys are like that.
The weapons of the Newtown school shooting are one of those things where reports have been all over the place. One problem with crummy jump-the-gun reporting is that it leaves all kinds of rubbish lying around. Journalists are never held accountable for their falsehoods and fabrications, let alone for the very predictable second-order effect of conflcting stories: long-legged conspiracy theories. We;ve been bombarded with Newtown conspiracy theories, most of which seem to suggest that somehow Eric Holder had the massacre staged to generate more demand for gun control.
If you’ve worked in government as we have, the very idea is preposterous. Government couldn’t pour piss out of a boot, even with cartoon instructions printed on the boot itself, and now people think it pulled off a conspiracy for the ages? Certainly, the history of ATF operations like Wide Receiver and Fast & Furious shows that Holder and Co. wouldn’t cavil morally at such a proposal, but if you look at what happened to those operations — they were leaked and have gotten into the public consciousness despite a wide news blackout — you have to realize that they couldn’t do it.
But among the inept and nontransparent investigation of the Newtown massacre with its concomitant confusing official releases, the inept and dishonest performance of the media, and the primate-poo-flinging emanating from the conspiracy chimpanzee citadel, it’s understandable folks are confused about what tools the creep-who-shall-go-unnamed was carrying when he set about his malevolent work. Others have handled this rather well, so we’ll excerpt and link ’em for your edification.
First, Extrano’s Alley:
Someone came by searching for “what type of guns did the newton killer use.”
Assuming the event wanted was the weapons used in the Newtown, Connecticut mass shooting, the situation is nothing short of a mess.
Highly recommend Stranger’s analysis there, although we don’t think you’ll want to suffer through the mainstream media speculative report playlist that’s the video he hosts.
Here’s an example of a blog report that starts off reading too much into early media reports, and then ends quoting the official statements.
Our take: the media reports are all over the place, but officialdom said he had a SIG and a Glock and a 5.56mm rifle on him, and at least one more gun in the car, and that all the killing but the suicide shot was done with the rifle. So we’ll go with that until we see convincing evidence from credible sources of something different. (Connecticut State Police: credible. Conspiracy emails: not credible).
Bear in mind that the many websites now saying things like “there was no rifle” have no evidence for that proposition, and can only get to that point by selectively quoting the early, unreliable media reports. It’s ironic that many of the people doing this profess very little trust in the mass media. You think the TV networks mostly sling bullshit, but you discredit the official report (Newtown, 9/11, Warren Commission) because it conflicts with something from an initial, hip-shot TV newser? Wait, what?
Remember that the media does have its incentives skewed in favor of an early, false report, while the Connecticut State Police and the Medical Examiner are tasked to take due time to produce a factual, accurate-as-possible report. Because people want information, information springs up to fill the demand in that interstitial period before officialdom publishes (which is why they should be issuing interim, factual reports) but that information springing up from dubious sources is BOGINT and should be disregarded.
Best available facts: rhe killer took a Bushmaster rifle and two pistols into the school. He did most if not all of the killing with the rifle. He then killed himself with one of the pistols. What weapon he used to murder his mother is not known.