Sandy Hook: Will The Media Ever Explain Its Mistakes?

A few days ago, I found one of the few pieces of real reporting on what actually happened at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut. Most stories are human interest pieces on the victims or editorials about gun control. But the Connecticut Post website ran a story: “Police: No Newtown Conspiracy.”

Listeners to the recorded audio of the state police radio at the time of the shooting thought that the license plates for the car that Adam Lanza used belong to a small-time crook named Chris Rodia. However, it seems the audio recorded things happening in more than one area in Connecticut:

“On that tape, Rodia’s name can be heard shortly after a police officer calls in the license plate, 872-YEO, as the ‘possible suspect vehicle.’ But while Rodia admits to run-ins with the law, including several pending larceny, forgery and narcotics cases, he says he wasn’t anywhere near the school on the day of the shootings that left 26 dead, including 20 first-graders. ‘That was such a heinous crime, I don’t want to be connected to it in any way,’ Rodia said. He says he was miles away in Greenwich, getting a warning for illegally parking in a fire zone. ‘I was with my niece driving my mother’s sage green Nissan,’ the 43-year-old Norwalk resident said. Greenwich Detective Vincent O’Banner remembers pulling Rodia over in that city around the time of the Newtown shootings. ‘I do remember that,’ he said. ‘I gave him a verbal warning.’”

I want to thank the writer and the publisher of the story for clearing up a question. I do, however, find it odd that the tone of the piece is so condescending. It includes this quote:

“‘That’s the problem,’ said Norwalk police Lt. John. ‘Some things are posted, but not verified.’”

Excuse me? How has the media proven itself more accurate than the average blogger? First it was the wrong brother. Then there was a corpse in New Jersey. Then a girlfriend was mysteriously missing. Then Adam Lanza only used two handguns and the AR-15 stayed in the trunk. Then he used four handguns (NBC). Then he had only two but used the AR-15 and left a shotgun in the trunk. And they had a possible second shooter in custody. And he just disappeared from the story without any attempt at an explanation. And his “body armor,” was demoted to a utility vest. (I haven’t heard about the mask he wore recently, but that hasn’t been publicly changed yet.)

I realize bloggers can be paranoid and suspicious. But journalists have shown themselves to be ludicrously inaccurate, as well as complacent and credulous.

The story itself gives us an example of the kind of confusion that has infected all the reporting:

“‘We aren’t looking for anybody else — for any other person,’ Vance said Wednesday, adding he has never heard of Rodia. The car confiscated at the scene, the black Honda with that license plate, belongs to a relative of Lanza’s and not to Rodia, he said.”

A relative? I guess, technically, the mother counts as a relative, but the story has been all along that the car belonged to his mother. Is that now changing—morphing like many other claims?

It seems to me that in all these “don’t listen to blog rumors” articles, they only deal with low-hanging fruit. For example they point out the rumor about Adam’s father being a witness in “the LIBOR investigation was baseless. OK. I knew that already.

But what about the story that Adam Lanza’s mother was a kindergarten teacher at Sandy Hook? Watch the video below and tell me how this journalist can make these claims about what the Sandy Hook nurse said. In the video, the journalists claims the nurse said that Lanza’s mother was a wonderful kindergarten teacher and that she made eye-contact with the killer. Later, when interviewed in person on ABC News, she said nothing making eye-contact. So will the media ever explain how such false statements came into being without someone lying?