Category Archive 'Bad Reporting'

01 May 2010

How Do We Get Bad Laws?

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Bad reporting using sensationalistic headlines incorporating gross exaggeration and downright misinformation is how.

Look at how various news sources headline a basically trivial injury to a law enforcement officer received in the course of a minor skirmish with drug smugglers near the border.

What actually happened:

Pinal County Deputy Louis Puroll patrolling alone in a wilderness area about 50 miles south of Phoenix exchanged fire with five armed smugglers carrying bales of marijuana. A shot fired from one of the narcotrafficantes’ AK-47s apparently grazed Deputy
Puroll’s back. He called for assistance and was airlifted by helicopter to a regional medical center where his injury was treated, deemed to be non-serious, and the deputy immediately released.

So the Associated Press shrieks:

Deputy shot; illegal immigrants suspected

Matt Drudge echoes AP:

AZ deputy shot in stomach by suspected illegal…

ABC15:

Deputy shot by suspected immigrant released from hospital

There isn’t really much to report here. A deputy was slightly grazed by a bullet, sustaining insignificant injury, in a minor confrontation with bad guys engaged in smuggling marijuana.

The incident really has nothing to do with illegal immigration. The marijuana smugglers were not, in reality, on their way to pick fruit, wash dishes, mow lawns, or hang sheetrock at all. They were delivering a shipment of pot and once they delivered it, doubtless they were going to illegally emigrate the same way they had illegally immigrated. Undocumented aliens are not in fact arming themselves with AK-47s and shooting it out with police in order to get their hands on American leaf blowers.

It’s unfortunate, of course, that Deputy Puroll was shot at and slightly injured. This incident causes me to marvel at the futility of it all. You’ve smoked pot. I’ve smoked pot. Pretty much everybody in America has smoked some pot. Certainly every single one of the last three presidents has smoked pot.

Why do we insist of making things illegal which most of us still do anyway? And why do we tolerate a state of affairs that rewards crime bounteously while jeopardizing the lives of law enforcement officers to no useful purpose?

And finally, why do we insist on confusing the innocent people coming here to do hard work at low pay with the armed criminals crossing the same border?

Studies show that illegal immigrants commit violent crimes at a rate between four to eight times less than native born Americans.


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