Today in Not Journalism. #p2 #tcot
Fox News, Drudge, Breitbart, RedState, and a eleventy billion other right wing blogs have picked up on a "story" about US Marines not being allowed to carry live ammuniton at the embassy in Cairo, Egypt.
etc. You get the idea. It's everywhere.
All of these websites link to this Washington Free Beacon article... http://freebeacon.com/reports-marines-not-permitted-live-ammo/ ... or directly to the source of this story Nightwatch ... http://www.kforcegov.com/Services/IS/NightWatch/NightWatch_12000175.aspx
From Nightwatch we get, "(Ambassador) Patterson's operations at the US Embassy in Cairo bespeak a comparable misjudgment of the Egyptian Arab situation, its volatility and the depth of anti-American sentiment.
She did not permit US Marine guards to carry live ammunition, according to USMC blogs."
According to USMC blogs. Ok. What blogs? Got a link? No? How about the name of the blog at least? Anything? If it's a reliable source posting on a forum then what's his or her name?
Time says that this comes from John McCreary, a former veteran Defense Intelligence Agency analyst, but they also mention that they can't even find these blogs... http://nation.time.com/2012/09/13/whats-worse-no-marines-or-possibly-unarmed-marines/#ixzz26MsfFwaT
Now, it may or may not be true that the Marines weren't allowed live ammo at the Cairo embassy. If true then it's certainly worth reporting but, as it stands, we don't know. The Nightwatch "source" is a joke. It's sheer hearsay. The blog post might be from a top level military or intelligence officer but we'll never fucking know because that crappy thing doesn't give us the slightest clue who the information is coming from.
So, who cares about some unsourced post on Nightwatch? No one. But this is an example of how a story that is propagated all over the damn place was fundamentally based on air. It was seized upon by the usual suspects to keep the dog and pony show going.
It's the lock of the damn century that someone like Adam Kredo, who wrote the Free Bacon article, didn't bother to find the original source for this story. Let alone all the others like Breitbart's Dana Loesch who linked to his story. Kredo just cares about getting that Drudge hit bonus. Good for him.
However, I don't see how anyone could read the Nightwatch post and decide to use it as the basis for a story as if it was stone cold fact. As it stands at the moment it's just a pile of bullshit. It doesn't even matter if it turns out to be totally true. Right now it's just someone who may or may not have posted something on a blog. Gtfo. You can't responsibly publish that kind of thing and be taken seriously. But they went ahead anyway.
It's not journalism.
But, w/e, you can easily dismantle a dozen or so stories like this every day on these types of websites and blogs. This is especially true when there is a big story like the ongoing situation in Libya, Yemen, and Egypt where there is inevitably a lull in the amount of new information coming in. The vacuum gets filled with rubbish.