April 26, 2007

Anonymous VT Massacre Investigator(s) Caught Misleading Media

The media keeps getting the basic facts wrong about the Virginia Tech massacre, but now an anonymous police investigator or investigators can be proven to be contributing to the problem:

Investigators said that over the next few weeks, he went to the Wal-Mart in Christiansburg on March 31, April 7, April 8 and April 13. During those visits, he bought cargo pants, sunglasses and .22-caliber ammunition. He also bought a hunting knife, gloves, a phone item and a granola bar. He visited Dick's Sporting Goods for extra ammo clips. He bought chains at Home Depot that he later used to hold shut the doors of Norris Hall.

Note the "investigators" for the above Associated Press article are anonymous.

The NY Times provides us with this similar claim:

Crime scene technicians recovered 17 spent magazines of ammunition, the majority of which were for Cho's 9mm handgun, a law enforcement official said.

"He ended up buying a load of mags from Wal-Mart and Dick's Sporting Goods," said an official, who asked not to be identified. "This was a thought-out process. He thought this through."

Two stories citing anonymous officials, and both are repeating nearly identical claims.

Demonstrably false claims.

News flash: Dick's Sporting Goods doesn't carry any handgun magazines of any kind, at any location. Walmart also does not carry pistols or pistol magazines.

I called the Dick's locations in Christiansburg and Roanoke this evening and I spoke with employees in the hunting department (called "the Lodge"). They confirmed what I already knew from visiting Dick's locations in New York and North Carolina over the past five years; while the chain carries ammunition, they've never carried pistols or pistol magazines.

I spoke with the young lady in the sporting good department of the Christiansburg Walmart, which took a bit longer than the Dick's calls. I had to first explain to her that when I was asking about "pistol magazines" I was not talking about handgun-related periodicals. Once that point was clarified, I confirmed that Walmart do not sell ammunition holding devices for pistols, either.

Two of the nation's top news organizations are telling hundreds of thousands of news consumers demonstrable lies because journalists were/are too lazy to spend the minimal amount of time it takes (three calls in five minutes) to fact-check an anonymous source regarding claims made about two huge retail store chains and their role in this nation's largest mass murder shooting.

If the media is this lazy investigating the facts of the largest mass shooting in American history just a little more than one week after it occurred, I can only imagine how little effort they put into more pedestrian stories.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at April 26, 2007 12:42 AM

When the claims of an anonymous source fit the standard, biased beliefs of the MSM there is no need to fact-check. If the same anonymous source said that Cho was provided ammo and pistol magazines from a Islamic group the source would be investigated. It is just obvious to the MSM that Wal-Mart is the cause of great evil.

Posted by: Mekan at April 26, 2007 05:21 AM

There's really only one question here.

Who gave Police Captain Jamil Hussein a green card, and did he use Kathleen Carroll as an employment reference?

Posted by: Tully at April 26, 2007 08:36 AM

OK, it's really TWO questions.

Posted by: Tully at April 26, 2007 08:37 AM

When I was a kid, I used to hunt squirrels with a .22 we used to buy magnum ammo. We called the ammo Mags, is there any chance this is what the guy was talking about?

You could buy a load of Mags, which was slang for buying Magnum 22 ammo.

I understand the media no very little about guns, but when I saw that statement I immediately thought of something else. Since it mentioned buying 22 ammo at Wal-Mart.

Posted by: James Stephenson at April 26, 2007 08:53 AM

No James, no chance at all.

A .22 Magnum is a different cartridge entirely than the .22 Long Rifle that the Walther P22 is chambered for. The Walther cannot chamber or fire the much longer .22 Magnum cartridge.

They clearly state they were discussing magazines/erroneously named "clips," not ammunition.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at April 26, 2007 09:06 AM

CY, you did a great job of beating into my head the difference between a clip and a magazine so, when you say "while the chain carries ammunition, they've never carried pistols or pistol magazines", I understand that to rebut the NYT's casual story telling. As for Dick's, vis-avis the SoSD story, does that chain store also not sell ammo clips?

Posted by: Dusty at April 26, 2007 09:17 AM

"If the same anonymous source said that Cho was provided ammo and pistol magazines from a Islamic group the source would be investigated."

And if you told 'em that he got the mags and ammo from a local GOP office, they'd think they'd died and gone to Heaven (or Paradise, or Karl Marx Land, or where ever lefties go when they die).

Posted by: Tucson Tarheel at April 26, 2007 09:24 AM

Dusty, Dick's does not sell ANY pistol magazines, nor do they sell clips of any sort.

They do stock small quantities of detachable rifle magazines for rifles they sell, but those are in no way compatible with pistols.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at April 26, 2007 09:25 AM

Contrast the rush to wallow in Cho details with the reticence the MSM had/has with airing images of americans plunging to their deaths on 9/11. Why is stirring everyone up now "good" and over 9/11 "bad" ? And who is deciding this?

Posted by: Californio at April 26, 2007 10:31 AM

Incredible. I agree with the first commentor:

If it fits, it prints.

Posted by: DoorHold at April 26, 2007 11:11 AM

Okie dokie. Thanks for the clarification. Another great post, BTW.

Posted by: Dusty at April 26, 2007 12:35 PM

Per universal media ombudsman Dan Rather: the facts are false but the story is true.

And the anonymous source was, of course. . . Green Helmet Guy.

Posted by: DF at April 26, 2007 12:48 PM

Faith based "facts".

Posted by: Purple Avenger at April 26, 2007 06:28 PM

Thanks CY for clearing that up. Never owned a 22 pistol just a bolt action rifle. So I did not realize that the Magnums could not be chambered in the pistol.

I just wanted to bring up the slang I used in the South and insure we were not crossing wires.

Posted by: James Stephenson at April 27, 2007 06:03 AM