Patterico's Pontifications


[Debunking] The Alleged Death Pic (Update: FDNY Celebrates in Photo)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 10:56 pm

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Aaron posted the post below to highlight an alleged picture of Osama bin Laden dead. However, the picture is a photoshop and a fake. The origin of the picture appears to be a satire site called “Unconfirmed Sources” which published the photo during the administration of George W. Bush. The caption alleged that Osama had been killed by “stress position techniques.”

This was debunked by a commenter at Jawa (h/t daleyrocks), who gave a link that is dead — but there is a cached version that I found here.

Another reminder that in fast-moving stories it is good to be cautious. I am placing Aaron’s post below the fold.

UPDATE x2 BY PATTERICO: Aaron has added some updates and moved some parts above the fold, which is fine. What follows is Aaron’s original post and updates.


[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Update (IV): What, you’re telling me this is fake?

Well, joking aside (the “real” hoax photo is below the fold), I do apologize for not seeing through it and thank Patrick for making the correction after I had gone to bed. I will move a few of the updates above the fold because they have virtually nothing to do with that hoax death pic, and I do like to see that picture of the firemen. It gives me inner zen.

Also I fully concur that it was boneheaded to dispose of the body. I mean there is no recovering it, right? (Sound off if I am wrong.) I would guess that they were concerned about keeping the body secure if they didn’t dispose of it, perhaps even a fear that any location holding it would be a terror target. But given how many people are convinced that Elvis and Tupac are still alive, they should have kept the body so they could prove he was dead. Hopefully, they got lots of pictures, videos, DNA samples and even testimony from the wives that reportedly survived the firefight. I would just stress that I am much more concerned about the bad guys claiming his death was faked to help recruitment than any non-terrorist American doubting it.

Update: Let me stress, this is far from confirmed, but fwiw, here it is.

Update (II): The AP has video from the alleged compound, which is on fire in the video.

Update (III): And this is a great shot:

Here’s the original post, as is.



Just to be Clear… oSama is Dead, not oBama… (Update: Yon says “Break the Cult”)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 9:56 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Update: Michael Yon writes on his facebook page:

Break the Cult —

High resolution photos of bin Laden with a bullet in his head should be released at once. We cannot allow bin Laden to become a permanent cult figure. The cult of Saddam in Iraq (Saddam had a strong cult) was badly damaged by the photos/videos of his death. This is not about another battle that we are now going to fight. The battle to break this cult[.]


There is lots to laugh and cheer about tonight, including this victim most likely of autocorrect gone wrong:

In an attempt to release the news of Osama bin Laden’s death quickly late Sunday night, MSNBC correspondent Norah O’Donnell accidentally reported on Twitter that “Obama” had been “killed” instead.

“Obama shot and killed,” Norah O’Donnell posted on Twitter, citing NBC Chief Pentagon Correspondent Jim Miklaszewski as her source.

I have no malice in laughing at her mistake.  No dyslexic can think less of a person for a typo.  But it is funny, especially imagining the heart attack it must have given her Twitter followers.  Still, joking aside, a hearty congratulations to everyone involved, including, yes, the President.  No mere political disagreement would have dampened my desire to see this guy get taken down, or would begrudge that it was oBama who did it.

I only have three regrets:

1) that it didn’t happen closer to 9 years ago (it was a long time coming—too long, imho);

2) we didn’t catch him alive (not that I care about his life, but I wanted us to put the screws on him to find out what he knew); and

3) it was Navy Seals who reportedly got them and not the Marines (my Dad was a Marine after all).

By the way, there are mixed reports about when it happened.  Be skeptical of any claim that it happened within the last 48 hours.  If they were smart they kept the news from getting out as long as possible to take advantage of any intelligence they did gain from his papers and effects.*

Also, they should absolutely show the body.   I’m not saying I am particularly interested in seeing it, but it should be available to be seen.  There are many terrorist sympathizers who won’t believe it until they see it.  And even then some won’t believe it.

Fox news right now is showing people gathering at the White House and cheering.  If I didn’t have to wake up early tomorrow, I would be joining them right now.

Also the State Dept. is warning in a breaking news email that there is a greater chance of anti-American violence in the wake of this.  The radicals will be angry, of course, and the good Muslims will be cheering.  Bin Laden had a lot more innocent Muslim blood on is hands than innocent non-Muslim blood.

And I was tempted to post the video of Bin Laden’s confession video to remind us what an ___hole he was (and you can watch it here if you are inclined to watch it), but I felt I would rather remember the victims.

We don’t know what your name was, but God knew it when He called you to Heaven, and we are pleased you got some justice.  The war isn’t over yet, but this was a great victory in it.


*And yes, this is one of those examples where I think secrecy is fully justified.  You cannot run the kind of operations we must run against AQ on the front page of the NY Times.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Bin Laden Dead? Obama Soon to Address Nation; UPDATE: Osama Killed, Not in Drone Attack, But in Firefight During Attack on Compound

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:55 pm

That’s what reports are saying. Updates to come.

UPDATE: Allahpundit:

Fox News says he was killed in a missile strike last week and that they’ve been waiting on an announcement until they had DNA confirmation from the remains that it was him. If there was ever a question of discontinuing drone attacks in Pakistan, there won’t be after this.

In related news, Osama Bin Laden was alive as of last week?

UPDATE: You can watch the President’s address, which has apparently not yet occurred despite being scheduled for 7:30 Eastern, here (thanks to happyfeet for the link):

[Update: by Aaron Worthing. I noticed the video has been starting on its own, which is annoying. So I am putting it below the fold.]

How the L.A. Times Slants Crime News

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 7:28 pm

Another reminder of how the L.A. Times distorts the news.

The story is simple. Woman babysits a newborn baby and physically abuses the child. She fractures the child’s skull, and breaks his ribs and legs. The broken bones have healed but the child still has damage to his optic nerve. The defendant is convicted and sentenced to six years in state prison. State law says she must serve 85% of that time, but prison officials mess up the paperwork and make her serve only 50%. The mistake is discovered after she is released. Although she is now pregnant, holding down two jobs, and has not had problems on parole, she is rearrested and sent back to prison to serve the balance of her term.

I just told the story that I read in the paper, in a fairly straightforward and balanced fashion. That’s one way to tell the story. Not very dramatic or exciting — perhaps because it’s not, really.

There is another way you could tell it, of course. Include a headline about the baby’s injuries; show a picture of the injured child with his parents, together with a caption about their anger at the woman’s early release — why, you could even stick in a snide comment, perhaps couched in a quote from the victim’s family — about the sort of discipline her own child will face.

Or, you could spin everything the other way, to make her seem like a victim.

How do you think the L.A. Times portrays the story? You already know the answer:

Editors know most people will only see the headline and the picture, and maybe read the caption. Hey, all the other stuff is in there, they would defensively insist if you called them on it. They would maintain their story is balanced and fair.

And it’s true, all the facts are seemingly there. But the way it is presented — the headline, choice of photo, and recounting of the tale from her point of view — is designed for drama and sympathy. You have to read the whole thing to get the full picture. You have to get to the seventh paragraph to learn about the fractured skull; the 20th paragraph to learn about the broken legs and ribs; and the 21st paragraph to learn about the child’s continuing problems with his optic nerve. But the fact that the woman is pregnant and a “model parolee” is helpfully crammed into the first two paragraphs.

Much more dramatic that way, you see.

Those few readers who make their way through the whole story will feel that they have been misled regarding the alleged unfairness of the system’s actions. But how many such readers actually bother?

It would be infuriating . . . if this sort of pro-defendant media slant had not occurred so many times before.

Disclaimer: I personally know Oscar Plascencia, the prosecutor quoted in the article. He and I have not spoken about the story or the case.

Let’s Play “Spot The Difference!”: Sally Kern Edition

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 12:53 pm

[Guest post by Lee Stranahan]

I’ll have more to say about the issue of Sally Kern, the Republican from Oklahoma who is being called on by NAACP and others to step down after her racist remarks…

What remarks? Here’s a quote….

We have a high percentage of blacks in prison, and that’s tragic, but are they in prison just because they are black or because they don’t want to study as hard in school? I’ve taught school, and I saw a lot of people of color who didn’t study hard because they said the government would take care of them.

Got it? That’s the quote. That same quote is repeated, word for word, by The Root and the Huffington Post and  — well, everywhere. Google it – the quote is EVERYWHERE, word for word.

So – here’s the game!

This is video of the entire debate on affirmative action. Sally Kern starts speaking at about 1:16 – her quote starts at about 1:20.

Question : how good a job did they do getting Rep. Kern’s words correct? Did they selectively edit anything out?

I’m NOT INTERESTED in debating affirmative action, pro or con, on this post. Not interested in debating Rep. Kern’s speech either – just focus on this simple question…is the quote accurate?

– Lee Stranahan

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I had problems installing the plug-in required to watch the video, so I have been unable to watch it. However, commenter melanerpes offers the following transcription, the accuracy of which was vouched for by longtime and trusted reader AMac:

We have heard tonight already that in prison there’s more black people. Yes, there are, and that’s tragic. Its tragic that our prisons here in Oklahoma, what are they, 99% occupancy? But the other side of the story perhaps we need to consider is, is this just because they’re black, that they’re in prison? Or could it be because they didn’t want to work hard in school? And white people often times don’t want to work hard in school, or Asians often times, but a lot of times that’s what happens — I taught school for twenty years and I saw a lot of people of color who didn’t want to work as hard; they wanted it given to them. As a matter of fact I had one student who said “I don’t need to study. You know why? The government’s gonna take care of me.” That’s kind of revealing there. Equal opportunity, not equal results.

That quote is quite different in many ways, as should be obvious.

However, the representative has already apologized for her remarks, as commenter happyfeet notes.

It’s hard to defend people who apologize when they have been misquoted.

WaPo’s faulty “fact-check” of RyanCare

Filed under: General — Karl @ 8:03 am

[Posted by Karl]

Washington Post “fact-checker” Glenn Kessler awards Rep. Paul Ryan two Pinocchios for statements like this:

There’s a lot of misinformation about what we are proposing and what we are not proposing. We’re saying: Save Medicare by reforming it for people who are 54 and below by working like a system just like members of Congress and federal employees have.

To claim that Ryan is misleading people about his plan, Kessler takes a page from the Politifact playbook, converting differences of opinion into factual disputes.

What’s Kessler’s beef? (more…)

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