I was reading my pal Matt Alan's Facebook page, when Nathan Wilson posted an urgent link to a shocking story reported by the San Diego Examiner — not a real newspaper, mind you, but it sounds as if it might be a newspaper. I clicked the link, read the story, and every fiber of my journalistic radar went off the chart.
The story read as if some sort of debunked urban legend e-mail. 2 ranches in Laredo Texas were supposedly the site of a some sort of invasion, takeover, etc. by evil Mexican drug cartels. It only took a few mouse clicks to confirm that this story was complete BULLSHIT…in fact, recycled bullshit.
When I pointed out that this was complete nonsense, Nathan defended it as FACT NOT FICTION because the story came from someone he trusted. Guess what, Nathan. Your trust was violated.
And as for so-called "reporter" Kiberly Dvorak, she pro
mulgated one of the most transparently absurd stories I've seen in my over
40 years experience. I assure you that no real reporter would have run that story, nor would any real editor allowed it in print.
If she and the creator of the hoax thought that this would be picked up by Conservative/GOP websites and/or news outlets, they forgot one important point: spin is one thing, outright lies are another.
Facts don't have sides. Journalism is the reporting of facts. What those facts mean, or how they are interpreted, is what editorial comment is all about. No news outlet wants to report a big stupid hoax as fact. They will check out the story to see if it is real — if it is real, and newsworthy, they will then report and comment. The Laredo Ranch Takeover story was a complete lie. This is why it wasn't picked up by any real news outlet. Evan a first glance at the initial report reeked of "urban legend" BS — it smelled like crap from the get go.
It was the a Texas GOP website that first called bullshit on the story, and the only sites to continue treating the story as if real are the ones with swastikas and white power slogans. True political conservatives are getting fed up with white supremacist, neo-Nazi, and Ku Klux Klan supporters defining the conservative agenda, and can be rightfully proud of debunking this story as fast as they did.
Laredo Police spokesman Joe Baeza confirmed today the basis for the debunked Los Zetas story was a bogus 911 call that was investigated and found to be false by the Webb County Sheriffs Department.