This morning I awoke to a breaking news story that an American soldier had been kidnapped and would be beheaded if Iraqi prisoners were not released. I was nauseated at the thought. It was reported as breaking news for a short while on all the cable networks, but the story mysteriously disappeared by late morning. Even though we knew it was not our son, my husband and I commented a few times throughout the day that we wondered what was going on and how odd it was that the story was just "gone."
By evening, it was revealed that some sick bastard (from apparently within the United States!) had staged an elaborate (although apparently amateurish) ruse -- a hoax! posing toy dolls dressed in military garb. A Mesa, AZ toy dealer had searched the web, found the picture, and immediately contacted the Associated Press and a number of news organizations to alert them to the hoax.
What kind of sick bastard causes that kind of message -- the imminent death of someone's son, father, husband, uncle, nephew, cousin, friend -- to be broadcast around the world??!! What kind of deranged pervert goes to that much trouble to cause such worry and pain for the families of US soldiers?
And what is wrong with the mainstream media that they would be so intent on beating the competition that would put out such a story before it even had a second source? All they had was some grainy picture on a web site -- no confirmation of a firefight, of American soldiers' deaths and capture as claimed on the site. Shame -- SHAME -- on the networks who "ran with this" before it was confirmed! As if the networks' spinning everything to suit their own political agendas weren't enough...
I sure wish the American public would get serious about accountability of the media... but then again, the real shame is that most Americans don't realize there is anything wrong.
In closing, I sure hope they get that bastard(s) and throw the book at him/her/them for this despicable stunt! I'm trying to figure out what the crime would be, but if it's not a crime -- it should be!