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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Mayhem At MIA!

(Welcome Michelle Malkin readers! And Lonestartimes readers! Albeit I am wearing my black Calvin Klein workout t-shirt and shorts, not PJs! ...belated welcome to Reader_Iam readers!)

N.B.: Since, apparently, I was the only person live-blogging this event here in South Florida, I have had a cornucopia of trackbacks. Just now I saw that Pajamas Media have joined the party. There is a new section on Blogger which details all who link to a particular blogpost, below the comments section, so to all who have linked to this post, past present future, thank you so much! I may well commit to doing all the SoFla breaking news stories, at that.



News broke about 10 minutes ago here in South Florida, after a 911 call was placed at 2:13 PM EST, that a person on an American Airlines flight 924, which originated from Medellin, Colombia, going to Orlando, but stopping as usual at Miami, had a shooting INSIDE AN AIRPLANE.

All 4 local news networks were showing the event live, but now ABC Channel 10 has lamely gone to their soap (no wonder they are bleeding viewers).

The thought here, and I haven't seen any newswires yet -- as you can imagine, I rushed over to blog about it -- is that there are 2 Air Marshalls on board who were involved.

Channel 7 Fox News affiliate WSVN confirmed that a government agency has said that a gunshot went off inside the plane.

Apparently, there was a person on board who claimed he had a bomb, which would not really make sense, as Gate D-42 is not evacuated -- you can see people, even airport staff milling about.

The federal investigators have requested that news cameras back off whilst they conduct their search.

Two things which immediately caught my eye.

First, that a reporter, Ted Scouten IIRC, calling into WFOR, Channel 4 CBS affiliate, claimed that the calm demeanour of the Ambulance paramedics, hauling a gurney around, meant that someone was surely dead.

Elliot Rodriguez, the long-time Miami anchor, asked for a confirmation, but he didn't get it.

I personally think it's just speculation, as he was thinking on his feet, a very dangerous thing.

Another Channel 7 reporter, said that he had no idea how this flight could have boarded with a person having a gun, somehow inferring that OUR US security system was at fault...but this flight originated from Colombia, so that is very bad logic.

I don't think this is terrorist-related. Hopefully. Remember, City of Miami just recently launched their onfield anti-terrorist task force last week.



We have to trust our country partners to patrol their own flights, in the countries' of origin.

ALLEGATION AT 2:45 PM EST: One person is dead. Channel 4 News' Mike Hirsch reporting his source, an investigator, confirmed it.

MORE SPECULATION: Channel 4 News speculating that the person who boarded with a gun, possibly the same person who claimed he or she had a bomb, was somehow allowed on the flight with a special clearance. Is this a government official of some kind??

MORE INFO: Mary Walters, Miami-Dade police spokeswoman, said that the special SWAT team stationed at MIA responded promptly. However, the flight arrived at MIA shortly after noon. I turned on the news at 2:30 PM EST. This situation must've have been percolating on the ground. Have the passengers been cleared?

BREAKING NEWS AT 3:00 PM EST: Concourse D was closed a full-hour, but is now open! There can't have been a bomb, which alas, will be problematic, as this is apparently what happened, via Channel 4 CBS.

As the plane was stationed on the ground, with passengers allowed a short layover at MIA, before going on to Orlando, an Air Marshall confronted a passenger who was moving "menacingly" and "aggressively". When he asked him for information, he reached into his bag, consequently being shot and killed by said Air Marshall.

BREAKING NEWS AT 3:30 PM EST: Mary Gardner, a passenger in the same AA plane, described vividly what happened, to local news Channel 6 NBC, via cellphone.

She was seated in coach about 3 rows back from the action, next to a retired AA pilot, as this apparently happened in the First Class section. The ex-pilot knew the Air Marshalls in question, as he pointed them out to her, just as the incident began.

Suddenly, when the plane was stationary, everyone awaiting take-off again, she sees a woman hysterically coming from the jetway (the connecting ramp to board the plane from the terminal). About late 30s, early 40s, and "English-speaking" without accent, which suggests she might be American.

She was shouting, "My husband is bi-polar!", as this man started flailing about, running erratically, up and down the aisles, which is when the Air Marshall in question engaged the suspect. The latter reached into a carry-on handbag, this after being chased by the Air Marshall throughout the plane, without firing at him, and appaerntly, this caused the Marshall to conclude he was an immediate danger not only to himself, but to others. He was shot down on the spot.

The body of the suspect is still on the plane, albeit the passengers have long since been put on busses (update: they are being detained for questioning by Homeland Security, though. There were 133 other people on board).



CONFIRMED AT 4:00 PM EST: Suspect shot dead by Air Marshalls is a 44-year old male US citizen.

He was on the flight FROM Colombia, and didn't board at MIA with his wife. CBS Channel 4 are interviewing David Adams, Federal Air Marshalls Spokesman, who cannot confirm if the US government has upped the holiday Air Marshall platoons. He can confirm that this Air Marshall team was ASSIGNED to this flight, as there were rumours they got involved on the ground.

PHOTO UPDATE AT 4:30 PM EST:



Bomb sniffing Metro-Dade Police dogs. This is a joint STATE-FEDERAL investigation, as well as M-DPD having jurisdiction around the Miami Springs area, where MIA is located.

CONFIRMED NAME: Maitland, Florida resident (near Orlando), RIGOBERTO ALPIZAR, is the dead suspect. Just mentioned by Lynn Martinez of WSVN Fox Channel 7. They got the name and info from CNN, apparently.

MSM REACTIONS AT 4:45 PM EST: Already the spin has begun. Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room has already mentioned that the Air Marshall programme might have to be investigated, and possibly, overhauled. They are concentrating on the young girl who was translating for her grandmother, whose reaction, whilst restrained, was very anti-the-Air Marshalls. When Blitzer questioned on-scene reporter, John Zarella (who obviously rushed to the scene unprepared, as he was wearing a red Oxford shirt, open at the neck with chest hair peeping out, looking circa John Travolta 1978), about the Mary Gardner interview, where she mentioned the man's wife was shouting about him being bi-polar, he intimated that the Air Marshalls were hasty in killing an obviously not dangerous man. Talk about Monday morning quarterbacking...Oh no, now Blitzer is suggesting that in his homeland, seeing a man draw a gun doesn't necessarily mean that it would be a federal official -- that it could be a thief...and that on top of that, he may not speak English, confusing him as to what to do.

Not that that's not true, but you see the spin already occuring, similar to post-Katrina spin.

No matter what happens, the US government, its methods, its reactions, its non-reactions, is always at fault.

LATEST PHOTO UPDATE AT 5:00 PM EST:



PHOTO UPDATE AT 5:30 PM EST: A photo of the deceased suspect was just released. Now, I'm not much for stereotyping physically, but he doesn't strike me as being Cuban-American.

Might he be Puerto-Rican or most likely, Colombian-American? (update: he flew in from Quito, Ecuador, checked into Customs, was cleared, and re-boarded the flight to Orlando. He might be of Ecuadorian heritage)

WEDNESDAY UPDATE 10:30 AM EST: Mr. Alpizar was Costa Rican-born, and lived in Maitland on a ranch with his wife. He was apparently coming back from a Christian Church mission to Ecuador.



RIP RIGOBERTO ALPIZAR

UPDATE AT 6:00 PM EST: Rip-off artists! Local Channel 7 Fox station has used my blogpost title, "Mayhem at MIA" as their headline shot!

Either I'm starting to think like a journalist, or Fox are starting to think like bloggers.



(Of course, so did Michelle, but that's another story -- she's a Libra)

We are listening to the Live News Conference. The Head of Homeland Security in Miami, James Bauer, as well as Robert Parker, our African-American Miami-Dade Police Chief, Robert Parker. No other pertinent information was given, other than my update about his flight origin above.

I am going to stop live-blogging the story, just to catch my breath, eat, and take care of my home. See you in a while!

Thoughts:

It is beginning to look for all the world as an awful case of a person being mentally imbalanced, not taking his medication, and after a family altercation provoking a sudden surge of emotion, he semi-awarely shouted that he had a bomb, which he would explode to kill all on board. He would not heed warnings to lay down on the floor, and kept acting erratically. The Air Marshalls could not know whether this man was serious or bluffing, or temporarily out of his wits. They did what they were trained to do, surely the first time Air Marshalls have been called to shoot on board a plane EVER, to the best of my knowledge.

Corrections or info, sought.

I will update this story as needed.

FINAL UPDATE PAST MIDNIGHT WED-THURS: Trying to get facts right, is hard work during a "developing situation". I have no quarrels with the local journalists who were thinking on their feet -- some of whom were better predictors of events than I was, at the time, like the speculation surrounding the leisurely-paced paramedics.

The reporter was spot on to suggest it meant a death had already occured.

What I have trouble with, is the immediate (and it was breathtaking when witnessed first-hand) second-guessing by Wolf Blitzer on CNN and Chris Matthews on MSNBC, both of whom reserved only doubts, thinly veiled antipathic speculation about the conduct of the Air Marshalls, as well as giving the victim a pass on his erratic behaviour, which few wish to criticise after the poor man is dead, but it must be noted -- without an imminent threat, there would be no shooting.

What I find intolerable about MSM, via CNN and MSNBC's aftermath behaviour, is the pointing of fingers which masquerades as news analysis.

It's obvious they have to fill time on their shows, and after the moment of concern has passed (and the incident was over fairly quickly, although we were not to know that in real-time), there is nothing more that can be said, without official confirmation, perhaps via a press conference.

Anything which reflects badly on authority figures, who are always suspect first, rather than the perpetrators themselves, reflects a world view that frankly, repels.

I used to think that MSM thought themselves as watchdogs of government on behalf of the public (especially during Conservative administrations).

I was wrong.

They see themselves as the true, and more honest, alternative.

A word about Rigoberto Alpizar:

To me, he is a fellow Floridian, and a fellow American, who because of his actions, paid dearly with his life today. Very sad.

It is difficult to blog about someone's passing, as assuredly as it must be difficult at first when you are a journalist, reporting on the most heinous events, some of which involve the deaths of human beings.

It is easy to dehumanise their lives into a "story", which must be freshly updated, without regard as to the pain their loss causes some, perhaps watching on television (or reading on blogs).

I felt that keenly today.

What it must be, to be a real journalist.

Perhaps, like medical doctors, they are not even aware of the flesh-and-blood before them, and just concentrate on the incidentals...however important they seem at the time.

They, who always deride the government or the military for their off-hand "body count" information, as if to suggest that to these entities, actual human beings mean very little -- are themselves guilty of the same heartless statistical attitudes.

Few people point that out. But I will today. Sadly.

TANGENTIAL THOUGHT, WEDNESDAY 10:30 AM EST: Do Air Marshalls use Tazer stun guns as well? My parents brought up that point, as this story is just gaining legs in the Monday morning quarterbacking department.

33 Comments:

  • Thanks, Victoria. Interesting stuff. Might be the first fatality inflicted by an Air Marshal in line of duty.

    By Blogger Paul, at Wed Dec 07, 03:38:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I'm hearing that a man on the jetway walking away (?) from the plane said he had a bomb and was shot when reaching for his bag by Air Marshals.

    Multiple sources are confirming that he is dead.

    By Blogger Renato, at Wed Dec 07, 03:43:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Time for an update:

    "A federal air marshal fired his weapon at an American Airlines passenger who claimed to have a bomb in his or her bag and running off of the plane, a Department of Homeland Security official confirmed"

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,177996,00.html

    By Blogger DOD Fire Fighter, at Wed Dec 07, 03:46:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Outstanding job!

    Tom

    By Anonymous Tom, at Wed Dec 07, 04:20:00 pm GMT-5  

  • By Blogger Nikki, at Wed Dec 07, 04:28:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Excellent coverage, man. Nice work.

    By Blogger Alex Nunez, at Wed Dec 07, 04:35:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I feel terrible for the Air Marshall. He did the only thing he could with the knowledge he had at the moment, but no cop ever wants to kill a mentally impaired person. How tragic.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Dec 07, 04:46:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Thanks for commenting, Paul, Renato, Dod Fire Fighter, Tom, Nikki, Alex, & Anonymous (so far)!

    Usually, I reply to each and every comment, but I see that many of them are informational, or contribute their gracious thanks for my efforts.

    I am happy, and indeed, somewhat energised by this "task" of mine today -- the first important live-blogging I've had, since Hurricanes Rita and Katrina.

    I do it, like all bloggers, for those in Blogosphere who cannot get local news without the MSM "filler", so everyone outside can get the freshest, perhaps truest perspective possible.

    More later! :)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Dec 07, 05:19:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Excellent coverage, man. Nice work.

    Alex thanks, erm, man! ;)

    Cheers,
    Victoria <--- get it?

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Dec 07, 05:21:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I feel terrible for the Air Marshall. He did the only thing he could with the knowledge he had at the moment, but no cop ever wants to kill a mentally impaired person. How tragic.

    And I don't think there's a person reading this that doesn't agree wholeheartedly with what you say.

    I feel awful for that guy. But I also feel awful for the Air Marshalls.

    Very tragic.

    If there is any silver lining, and forgive my over-optimistic nature if I do see some, is that the Air Marshalls were on board, and were not AWOL from this incident.

    Because as sure as I am sitting here, I can tell you that if this incident had taken place without the Air Marshalls presence -- the media would've immediately started questioning the programme AS MUCH if not MORE.

    "Where is all the Homeland Security when you need it?? Where are the Federal billions going to??", they would've wailed

    Etc. *sigh*

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Dec 07, 05:25:00 pm GMT-5  

  • The second-guessing on this one is going to be brutal.

    By Blogger the wolf, at Wed Dec 07, 05:52:00 pm GMT-5  

  • OOPS!!!

    Victoria, so sorry!

    By Blogger Alex Nunez, at Wed Dec 07, 05:55:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Let's not roll over and play dead like typical conservatives when police/federal marshalls/military are involved - i.e. believe whatever a government official tells us. Remember Pat Tillmon. Remember the guy in London who was supposedly jumping gates, carrying explosives of some sort and ready to take out subway passengers. We'll see about this one.

    By Anonymous Lex, at Wed Dec 07, 06:16:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I remember when Malkin fell for the London story hook, line and sinker. Funny you mention the Tillman cover-up. I don't think young Malkin ever said a word about it on her blog. I guess she was torn between her love of the military and Tillman. Any rational person would've concluded that it was actually a nice thing for the military to "lie" and make Tillman a hero. So what's wrong with that? Come on, Michelle, it wasn't a tough one. Also, notice how Michelle hasn't said a damn word about the Belgian Muslim converted responsible for recent terror acts? Kind of hard to support profiling only dark Arabs when there are also white female blondes committing these acts too - and some even keep their anglo names!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Dec 07, 06:27:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I wouldn't bash Michelle. She puts up with so much crap for being an out-spoken and conservative minority. She's one brave women. On the other hand, I do agree she is a bit naive. My father is a retired officer (Major) of the Army and he tells me the first thing the military will do is lie. I'm an attorney who used to work as a public defender (I'm also a conservative who generally supports the police). But let me tell you, the prosecutors blatantly violated peoples' rights and wouldn't keep their word and the cops wrote awful police reports that were contradictory. It was a sobering experience. Of course, most of my clients were guilty, but they got taken to the cleaners on minor charges.

    By Anonymous lex, at Wed Dec 07, 06:49:00 pm GMT-5  

  • A note about comments:

    I welcome as much of them as you can throw at me, and I will try to reply if at all possible.

    But this is NOT the Malkin Commentary Insult Clearinghouse.

    If you have nothing to offer but that kind of comment, please avail yourself of the 14 million other blogs on offer.

    I will not hesitate to delete any messages that do not adhere to a civil discourse in future.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Dec 07, 06:57:00 pm GMT-5  

  • OOPS!!!

    Victoria, so sorry!


    No worries, my dear Alex!

    And hey, I love Coltrane and Reservoir Dogs too. ;)

    Not too sure about Spidey though...

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Dec 07, 07:01:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Yes, tragic, but second-guessing the shooting is very ill-advised as it opens yet another pretense for terrorist exploitation.

    In reality, this death is the latest attributable to the evil murderers who hijacked the 9-11 flights.

    Condolences to the widow. Bravo to the Air Marshall. Jeers to the lawyers and politicians who will play to base emotions.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Dec 07, 11:39:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Had that flight been one without air marshalls and you had a crazy yelling about a bomb up and down the aisle to be subdued by flight attendants, what would Chris Matthews take had been afterwords?

    (assuming a blustery, overly loud, lightly Boston accented jerk voice, also assume entire made up quote said in a single breath, and too fastly)

    "What's wrong with our security system, We got lucky this time, but why can't there be Air Marshalls on every international flight into the U.S., I mean, come on, this was from Medellin, home of the drug cartels, If we don't have Marshalls on those flights, where are they, and another thing, has all the money spent in Iraq diverted the money needed to upgrade security, up after the break we'll speak with Sen. Joe Biden about this apparent security failure"

    (ouch, my brain hurts now)

    The best way to watch MSNBC and CNN is to first assume it's Pres. Bush's fault and then follow the dots as they connect everything bad that has happened since 1947 can be blamed on him. (I can here Wolf Blitzer saying, "as an infant little Baby George had a flatulence problem due to a bout of colic, did his methane production help accelerate global warming?)

    By Blogger XWL, at Thu Dec 08, 04:41:00 am GMT-5  

  • Yes, tragic, but second-guessing the shooting is very ill-advised as it opens yet another pretense for terrorist exploitation.

    Speaking of terrorists, Anonymous, I just read that the Air Marshalls were on the plane possibly looking for an Egyptian, said to be under investigation.

    If I get further details, I'll update it here.

    I've never been on a flight from Miami to Orlando (are you kidding me? Come on that's 4 hours tops by car -- and it's fun), but I did wonder why a 20-30 min flight had Air Marshalls.

    In reality, this death is the latest attributable to the evil murderers who hijacked the 9-11 flights.

    Condolences to the widow. Bravo to the Air Marshall. Jeers to the lawyers and politicians who will play to base emotions.


    That reminds me of the TV Guide's Cheers and Jeers section. ;)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Dec 08, 10:17:00 am GMT-5  

  • Had that flight been one without air marshalls and you had a crazy yelling about a bomb up and down the aisle to be subdued by flight attendants, what would Chris Matthews take had been afterwords?

    Oh, it wouldn't have been pretty...

    (assuming a blustery, overly loud, lightly Boston accented jerk voice, also assume entire made up quote said in a single breath, and too fastly)

    Oh, is he from Boston? I still can't differentiate accents. I thought he was a Noo Yawker.

    I should really tell my "How I met and shook Chris Matthews' hand during the Presidential Debate at the Univ of Miami campus" story one day. You know how much I love name-dropping.

    "What's wrong with our security system, We got lucky this time, but why can't there be Air Marshalls on every international flight into the U.S., I mean, come on, this was from Medellin, home of the drug cartels, If we don't have Marshalls on those flights, where are they, and another thing, has all the money spent in Iraq diverted the money needed to upgrade security, up after the break we'll speak with Sen. Joe Biden about this apparent security failure"

    (ouch, my brain hurts now)


    First, LOL.

    Second, you nailed it. Nice Joe Biden touch at that.

    The best way to watch MSNBC and CNN is to first assume it's Pres. Bush's fault and then follow the dots as they connect everything bad that has happened since 1947 can be blamed on him. (I can here Wolf Blitzer saying, "as an infant little Baby George had a flatulence problem due to a bout of colic, did his methane production help accelerate global warming?)

    If ever I form a right-leaning The Onion, I'm hiring you as Editor.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Dec 08, 10:21:00 am GMT-5  

  • Wolf Blitzer asked the taser question and was told that the air marshalls only carry the special weapons that are designed to kill/injure people but not penetrate the hull and depressurize the plane.

    In defense of CNN, they had several expert commentators on (guests on Live From and the Sit Room) who said that based on the situation as it was being described, the air marshall(s) involved did the right thing.

    By Blogger Nikki, at Thu Dec 08, 10:50:00 am GMT-5  

  • Wolf Blitzer asked the taser question and was told that the air marshalls only carry the special weapons that are designed to kill/injure people but not penetrate the hull and depressurize the plane.

    Good heavens, that was a quick response, Nikki, thanks!

    I see...so that means they have specially constructed handguns, and presumably, bullets.

    We are sure not to know, since they are hardly likely to divulge specifics about Air Marshalls (1) training (2) specific methodology (3) "accoutrements", the better to arm informationally, those who would foil them.

    In defense of CNN, they had several expert commentators on (guests on Live From and the Sit Room) who said that based on the situation as it was being described, the air marshall(s) involved did the right thing.

    One of the two who were sitting next to Wolf Blitzer in The Sit Room, as you call it, did say that.

    But the other chap, neither of whom I remember their name, but who saat closest to Wolf, was much more condemning of the Air Marshalls.

    He toed the Party line of "infer and insinuate, whilst looking that you inform".

    Both of them, though, used the MSM 'trick' of covering their opinions by appearing to be neutral, but in the next breath, they qualify that by a surge of negative opinions.

    And it's not just CNN, obviously. ALL news media do that, whichever way they lean.

    I don't mind that they lean a certain way -- I mind the pretense of being neutral.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Dec 08, 11:06:00 am GMT-5  

  • Victoria, I was always under the impression that if you get tased, your muscles involuntarily contract as part of the reaction to the shock you get.

    If that's the case (and I honestly don't know...this is speculation...any law enforcement types reading this could probably add clarity and set me straight), and someone was holding, say, a detonator, I would imagine that tasing them could cause them to depress the mechanism that would set off an explosive.

    Just stream of consciousness to chew on. I hope someone with experience/training in using tasers can add clarity.

    By Blogger Alex Nunez, at Thu Dec 08, 12:11:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Victoria, I was always under the impression that if you get tased, your muscles involuntarily contract as part of the reaction to the shock you get.

    Hey Alex.

    I too am staying with the MIA shooting meme today, and indeed, am about to go hunting online for another Air Marshall shooting episode, I just found out about. I'll post a separate post on it, if I find anything, plus include Bill's comments about that SW airlines incident.

    If that's the case (and I honestly don't know...this is speculation...any law enforcement types reading this could probably add clarity and set me straight), and someone was holding, say, a detonator, I would imagine that tasing them could cause them to depress the mechanism that would set off an explosive.

    Oh absolutely.

    But in this case, and we don't know as yet, say this chap could have been tased as he was flailing about in the cabin, not holding his bag, etc.

    Or how about to restrain an unruly passenger, who doesn't make specific bomb threats, but is otherwise very threatening?

    Just stream of consciousness to chew on. I hope someone with experience/training in using tasers can add clarity.

    In fact, since I'm on sabbatical and have the leisure time to do so, I was watching MSNBC just now, with my hero's son hosting the show, "Connected Coast-to-Coast"...sigh.

    Anyway. No use crying over spilt ballerinas.

    He was interviewing an ex-FAA Chairman, Billie Vincent, who was indeed asked about the use of tasers.

    He said that question is often posed, but in these types of situations, that is to say, on board a plane, whether or not there is a bomb threat levelled, the use of tasers is deeply problematic.

    He said any Air Marshall who uses a taser, is dead, because he automatically becomes the target should there be a "sleeper" on board the plane, as an accomplice.

    Rarely do bombers or hijackers travel alone, as can be seen by the 9/11 template.

    (And I daresay this played a role in this MIA shooting, as the man had a wife with him, and therefore, a possible second suspect -- in law enforcement, you cannot take risks about people, just because they look "nice")

    It's not enough to make a bomb threat, you must also be making a sudden, calculated move, despite being told to stay absolutely still, on the ground.

    This is what happened. He reached in his bag, after running up and down the aisles.

    He could've been reaching in for his meds, for all we know, but that's not going to be accepted in the heat of the moment.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Dec 08, 12:27:00 pm GMT-5  

  • "as you can imagine, I rushed over to blog about it"

    Not sure what you mean by this. Rushed from where to where? Where were you physically located when putting together this report?

    By Anonymous Andy, at Thu Dec 08, 07:33:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Not sure what you mean by this. Rushed from where to where? Where were you physically located when putting together this report?

    Oh, Andy I didn't mean to imply I rushed over to the scene of the crime (in this case, MIA), although I will admit to you, that I did consider it.

    The way I was going to do it, is hang around outside the terminal, once I heard the Gate D-42 had reopened, which meant a general all-clear.

    Then, post audioblogger updates to the blog.

    But even I realised that would be too hokey.

    If you must know, I was downstairs by the pool, listening to the radio with my headphones.

    NBC Channel 6 simulcasts as the first radio station on the FM dial, and I heard it whilst switching channels.

    Lucky break.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Thu Dec 08, 09:26:00 pm GMT-5  

  • "If you must know, I was downstairs by the pool, listening to the radio with my headphones."

    I appreciate you providing this information in the interest of transparency, which seems to be such a big issue in the blogosphere. It's a good thing that at least one person within range of a radio tower and a TV set was live-blogging this event, to provide the necessary counterpoint to traditional journalists who, unfortunately, are forced into the inconvenient position of having to rush to the scene and discover actual facts. Clearly, they do not have the "truest perspective" that the backyard swimming pool affords. I can't speak for others, but I for one am ready to ditch all the traditional old news sources and rely solely on the new Swimsuit Media.

    By Anonymous Andy, at Fri Dec 09, 03:23:00 am GMT-5  

  • I appreciate you providing this information in the interest of transparency, which seems to be such a big issue in the blogosphere. It's a good thing that at least one person within range of a radio tower and a TV set was live-blogging this event, to provide the necessary counterpoint to traditional journalists who, unfortunately, are forced into the inconvenient position of having to rush to the scene and discover actual facts. Clearly, they do not have the "truest perspective" that the backyard swimming pool affords. I can't speak for others, but I for one am ready to ditch all the traditional old news sources and rely solely on the new Swimsuit Media.

    Do you know, I've been around elitists the whole of my life -- not only because of my own well-heeled background, but in my educational trajectory as well.

    If there is one thing I can pick out, is someone who is somehow threatened, irritated, and/or offended by an alternate entity, or group.

    And when that alternate is successful, even mildly, without the auspices of that elite body, they become almost visceral in their disdain.

    Because I have been around them all my life, I absolutely LOATHE elitists.

    That's what you are, Andy, aware or unaware of the fact that you are one.

    To you, a person with a keyboard, three television sets, and a brain that didn't go through the rigours of a School of Journalism, is unfit to have their opinion considered in the same breath, as those whose professional livelihoods it is to report on world events.

    Never could people like you, consider what I did, which was nothing more than to provide a vista into how ALL 4 local Miami media were reporting an event of national interest, put my piddly efforts into the same pedestal as that of someone of the stature of a Wolf Blitzer of CNN.

    That's okay -- neither do I.

    But just the fact that now bloggers are around, providing that other perspective, that other voice, that other world view, is enough to rile the sensibilities of some.

    It was a cosy little club until bloggers came along.

    Surely not all media trumpeted the same tune.

    But now the concert is one of millions, and beware, in the not-so-near future, it'll be a cast of BILLIONS, all spouting their unschooled opinions, all vying to be heard in the cacophony that is the truest democracy in the world -- the internet.

    And for this girl, who speaks 6 languages, with an Oxford University degree, with a future degree in medicine, who has travelled the world more than many reporters I know, that makes my nipples hard.

    MORE, I say, more people getting heard.

    I daresay this will be the last time I address myself to you, as I don't suppose you will like to come back for seconds on my blog, so here's a parting sally, Andy.

    Blogosphere is the equivalent of the 18th-century's pamphleteering, and surely, there is a Thomas Paine amongst the lot.

    In the meantime, I enjoy the millions of opinions and vistas which I have on offer to me.

    That doesn't offend ME. It enriches me.

    If this brave new world somehow impoverishes you, perhaps you were poor of spirit anyway.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Dec 09, 12:14:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Oh Victoria, you won't see this because everyone has moved on but I'm loving you more every day. ;)

    What I find so interesting is that I already understood much of what you said. I never saw it said so well but people who can think for themselves have understood the immense change that is taking place without a shot being fired.

    Six languages? And Oxford? I guess I'll love you from afar then but enjoy your company everyday through your blog but you are destined for much more. Much more. I am in awe of you.
    (Tough luck, Andy, you screwed yourself.)

    By Blogger Paul, at Fri Dec 09, 08:05:00 pm GMT-5  

  • "Because I have been around them all my life, I absolutely LOATHE elitists.

    That's what you are, Andy, aware or unaware of the fact that you are one."

    I'll make one final point before I leave:

    When you're sick and need medical attention, or heaven forbid, surgery, who do you want to go to, one with an MD from Johns Hopkins, or one who got his or her degree through an internet correspondence course?

    When you need a lawyer, do you seek out the best one you can find, or do you open the phone book, close your eyes and pick one at random?

    If demanding high standards in the services I seek makes me an elitist, you're damn right I'm an elitist. And that goes for journalism as much as for law, medicine or any other profession.

    Most people who claim they're not, especially highly educated, well-traveled persons like yourself, are hypocrites. You're an egalitarian, until your life or your family depends on the quality of service you get from a professional. Then, you can bet your bottom dollar you'll be looking for the most highly-qualified person you can find, principles be damned.

    I'll finish by saying that I'm not here to condemn anybody, trash the blog revolution, or be an apologist for the MSM, which certainly has its problems. That's why I'm out here on the web in the first place, looking for something better. So far, I'm not finding it. While the MSM serve up their share of bias and invective with their facts, at least there are some facts, and I trust myself to be able to sort one from the other. The bloggers I've seen are serving up just the bias and invective, without doing the actual journalism. They're not risking anything, or making the tough decisions (like those air marshalls had to make the other day). That I don't need.

    I think blogs serve a useful purpose. When you're looking to trade recipes, shoot the breeze about music or sports or whatever topic turns you on, or express your opinions on the issues of the day, which is certainly your right, the blogs are great forums. But when I want information on important stories and breaking news, I want to know that the sources providing it are at least trained and qualified in their profession, and not just hobbyists.

    Thanks for your time, and good luck in the pursuit of your medical degree.

    By Anonymous Andy, at Fri Dec 09, 08:14:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Most people who claim they're not, especially highly educated, well-traveled persons like yourself, are hypocrites.

    Let me rectify that immediately.

    Normally, Andy, I might've replied kindly to your most recent reply.

    I'm that way, you know.

    I'm fierce, but loving, as my readers may second me on that self-congratulatory opinion.

    But it was weak. It was pitiful. I felt embarrassed reading it, as you tried to backtrack to qualify your earlier condescending remarks about the Swimsuit Media, knowing you had stepped on it, big time, addressing yourself to me.

    So, I'm going to give you a dose of that same disrespectful, snide, elitist medicine you doled out, and say, as an ex-debater at the Oxford Union, you are not worthy of my time, let alone my rebuttal.

    Off you go, into the wild blue yonder, to underestimate another blogger, another person, another time.

    For what after all, is it to underestimate a person's abilities, diploma'ed or not, en masse, or individually, but to disrespect them with contempt.

    Suck on that, and shrivel.

    P.S.: Mwahhhhhh, Paul.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Dec 10, 05:38:00 am GMT-5  

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    By Anonymous Happy, at Sat Jan 21, 06:22:00 pm GMT-5  

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