Checking your sources is all you can do to make an attempt trying to get "the" picture.
Besides the mainstream news, I check the alternative media quite often, there are lots of great websites. But in the case of Michael Hastings' death, lots of them seem to have overlooked the consequences of repeating or quoting unchecked alternative sources.
"Whole body, completely intact, not burned in any way"
For example, Infowars had an interview with eyewitnesses. They can be seen in the Loudlabs video, the man hosing the fire when the Loudlabs reporter arrives at the scene. The woman can be seen as she declines to answer any questions. "Tells all" is what the title says. Sounds great!
Please check the interview for yourself.:
This is what the woman said:"What I saw was the full body,” she told Infowars Nightly News, “with a completely burned face, up to say the shoulders. From the shoulders down I saw the whole body, completely intact, not burned in any way.” She identified the body as a “white guy about 25 to 30… a white young guy… I saw full, white arms.”
This is Michael Hastings' car in flames after the crash!
So I listened to the interview again, and it has lots of little remarkable things in it, but perhaps its me, and it's all true...
Gladly I stumbled upon some research done by an individual, taking the responsibility to go out and check things onsite and shares results by her own alternative media outlet, "A Different Perspective". In one of the articles she gives quite a nice context of the woman's claims, dismissing them as false. Please read it yourself. There is another of her articles that states:
"she, herself, had not seen the remains but that her fourteen year old son had gone over to the wreck to take photographs. ”He saw skeletized remains. There wasn’t much left”."
Citizen Investigation pur sang, love it!
Pretty opposite statements, right?
More people in the alternative media didn't believe the story...
What did the mainstream media say?
LA Times wrote:
"The body was “unrecognizable” and badly charred, police told the Los Angeles Times. The body is identified only as "John Doe 117.”
Coroner's officials were attempting to match dental records to help make a positive identification, according to authorities. No autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday."
"whole body, completely intact, not burned in any way"
Thinking of the picture above, other sources I checked... Neah, I don't buy that womens story!And I advise every blogger, journalist and private investigator to be careful when using her words...
But what do I know?!
But what do I know?!
Where is the evidence?
Sometimes it is even more easy to spot deceit and lies...
Alleged Boston bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev:
"The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings suffered an injury to his throat and may not be able to talk, a federal official told CNN on Saturday, possibly hindering attempts by authorities to question him about a motive in the attack."
Several other claims appeared as Infowars has pointed out.
Check the picture!
Neah, I don't buy that!
When Barrack Obama claims he killed Osama bin Laden, but never turns over any evidence... Neah, I don't buy that! When they claim a 4-frame movie proves a plane hit the Pentagon on 911... Neah, I don't buy that!
I would really like to see some movies here! Until that time, I don't buy it!
"I’m not a conspiracy guy, but my reporter’s instincts told me that this demands a closer examination. So I snooped around."
"Why was Michael Hastings traveling so fast?"
Last week Michael Krikorian wrote a piece about security camera footage, from Mozza pizza, claiming to show images of the Hastings crash itself. The title: "The Michael Hastings Wreck–Video Evidence Only Deepens the Mystery". Be sure to note this part of the URL: "offers-a-few-clues/".
WOW! Bring out the evidence!
As Krikorian describes the footage:
"The car swerves and then explodes in a brilliant flash as it hits a palm tree in the median. Viewed at normal speed, it is a shocking scene—reminiscent of fireballs from “Shock and Awe” images from Baghdad in 2003."
It triggered reactions like:
“I have never seen a car explode like that”and
“I’ve never seen an explosion like that”
"This was not a bomb"
and as the man himself states:
"I showed the video to a number of people. Everyone had the same reaction: essentially, “Wow!”"
Man oh man, reading that stuff I couldn't wait to see the evidence! A funny feeling creeps up on me while reading and no video evidence was ever shown by mister Krikorian. So here we go again:
Neah, I don't buy that!
Readers, asking for the video, got no result. But his article started being copy/pasted all over the place. Over and over and over and over again. One person Krikorian claims has seen the footage, Terry “I’ve never seen an explosion like that” Hopkins, is being quoted all over the internet. Over and over and over again.
So I emailed Michael Krikorian, asking him to please make the video publicly available. In short the answer was it was going to be public "soon". The email exchange made clear several other people posses this specific video. He would not give me names, "oldschool journalism rule". Dead end here as well, hmmm...
"There's so many copies of it floating around im suprised someone hasnt leaked it.."
We shared visions here...
Anybody? Something to share?
Hard to verify "evidence"
I re-read his article and contacted all the people I could find in the piece, asking my biggest question of all:
Have you seen this video?
The article gave me some names to work on. Garry, but he is not implied to have seen this video. Terry Hopkins was not found. Co-auteur Krajicek and SFX expert Anderson did not respond up until this moment. Since the email Krikorian stated "WhoWhatWhy came to me", I contacted Russ Baker.
"We were introduced to Krikorian by another journalist. As we make clear, I think, in the introduction, we heard that he was nearby when the events took place, and asked him to write up his recollections. His writings were in journal form, and were substantially edited for clarity. Re the video--we have asked Krikorian for it. He is traveling abroad. If and when he provides it, we will publish it."
So no verification on that part as well... What could I do next? I would really love to see the video! It could clear up so much smoke surrounding this "freak accident". But without the footage, the complete article of Krikorian is utter speculation...
Re-re-reading this explosive Krikorian article again I got a funny feeling, now with other passages as well. A lot of irrelevant stuff and great mind tricks. Feeding "both camps". Feeding conspiracies claiming: "I've never seen an explosion like that", Feeding debunkers "This was not a bomb". Lots of great stuff in it! Like the "Gossip" on McChristal and much more. Did you notice any claim inconsistent with other witness reports? I did...
Shortly before 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 18, (...) a wrecked and charred car was being pulled away from a palm tree in the median.
Soon, a flatbed truck with the burned Mercedes CL 250 aboard drove slowly by (...) I snapped a couple of poor photos with my iPhone.
A different Perspective:
"I asked her how long the wreckage was left in place…when did they remove the car? She responded, “It was somewhere between 11 am and 12 noon."
And things continued... While analyzing the alarm bells kept running wild in my head. Add the big neon question mark above the missing video "evidence" and this story is way too hard to believe.
I don't buy it!
He did live up to expectations when reading the articles title, didn't he?
"The Michael Hastings Wreck–Video Evidence Only Deepens the Mystery "
Its absurd people quote this article over and over. Its absurd there is a stage offered for such nonsense and ridicule. With claims like this, having a live video about Hastings' crash, and needless to say the minutes and hours before and after the crash!:
You better putt your money where your mouth is!
It would be bloody awesome if these videos were available.
A lot of questions could possibly be answered. Perhaps things like: What was his speed? Was there any fire underneath the car before the crash, like the scared eyewitness Jose talks about? Did he hit the brakes? multiple explosions? Heaps of facts to sent loads of conspiracy arguments to the graveyard. And that is to the utmost importance!
But as long as we see no video-evidence, claims made by Krikorian are worth less then nothing, sadly. Thanks for "snooping around" though...
I did not expect to hear from Krikorian "soon", in one way or the other. Surprise caught me this morning when I noticed a brand new article on Michael Hastings!
I was honestly hoping for a decent piece of journalism, bringing light to the Hastings drama. Boy oh boy was I wrong. Krikorian uses his tricks to play my mind, again. So let me take you trough his story, by breaking it up in separate segments:
"LAPD's MIchael Hastings Crash Investigation Update"
Okay, I am ready, bring it on! "Update" me please!
"Thirty seven days after Michael Hastings died when his speeding Mercedes Benz burst into a fireball upon smashing into a tree on Highland Avenue in Los Angeles, the investigation into his death continues."
You have that utmost important video for 37 days without making it publicly available?
"Yet, despite a strong conspiracy outcry, the lead LAPD detective on the case said Wednesday that "So far, all evidence leads to an accident."
"There has not been any change to the findings of our initial investigation," said Det. Connie White, referring to the LAPD's announcement two days after the crash that there was "no foul play involved." When asked if alcohol had been involved, Det. White paused breifly and said "I cannot commnet at this time.""
Thanks for clearing this one up for the conspiracy community. But not really a status "Update", since nothing changed, has there?
"Hastings, best known as the reporter whose 2010 Rolling Stone profile of outspoken, Obama-bashing, Biden-slurring General Stanley McChrystal led to the general's ouster, was speeding southbound on Highland Avenue at Melrose Avenue at around 4:20 a.m.. Captured on a restaurant's security camera, the car swerves, jumps the median curb that divdes north and south traffic, hits a 30" tall metal water pipe causing a large spark to the undercarriage of the car, then hits a palm tree and bursts into flames. The term "burst into flames" is a cliche, but Hastings' "burst" might have set a new standard, at least for a car crash."
And again no new clues whatsoever, just a rewind of the previous propaganda piece without any evidence...
"Regarding internet gossip about cyber-hacking into the Mercedes, such a disabling the brakes and jamming the accelerator, Det. White said "There has been no evidence at all leading in that direction." "
This one is a different move, a nice mind trick of word association. Did you see it?
“gossip about cyber-hacking”
The guy claiming to have a video with live images of Michael Hastings' crash, without releasing the footage, dares calling it “gossip about cyber-hacking”?
Hahahahahahahah, nice one!
But thanks again from the Truth movement for clearing up smoke surrounding this specific car-hack "theory". Although it was already pretty clear when you wrote "So far, all evidence leads to an accident", wasn't it?
Did you really investigate the research and claims surrounding this car-hack-thingy? Some things are just not worth digging into. No alternative research next to Connie White, why would you?
"That may be technologically possible, but is it plausible?"I am not claiming the car was hacked, to make that point clear, but I have not seen anything ruling it in or out. Surely not while so many questions are unanswered. Do you think the police report will bring us the evidence? Time will tell...
Want to see another nice one?
“White did strongly knock down an internet report by the site infowars.com that the LAPD has ordered its officers and detecives not to speak about the crash. “I have never been ordered not to speak about a case.”
As I stated in a comment to his piece:
"Why the link to Infowars? The reporting was done by Kimberley Dvorak at San Diego 6 News:
Perhaps you already knew that, since Infowars uses her as a source for reporting, video included...
"San Diego 6 journalist Kimberly Dvorak says she was unable to obtain the police report concerning the crash despite the fact that the LAPD already ruled out “foul play” days after the incident.
A gag order has also been placed on cops and firefighters who both responded to and investigated the crash, which occurred in the early hours of June 18 in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.
“When you go to the LA police department and you go to the fire department….they all said they couldn’t comment and some of them said they were told not to comment on this story,” said Dvorak."
And what about this nice little word association? In short:
“White did strongly knock down infowars”
Bam! You can eat that Alex Jones!
But of course its probably all innocent and sincere reporting by Krikorian...
Of course Krikorian never answered the question why Hastings was speeding that fast... sadly, but he did get a lot of exposure and credit this week!
Believe me, I wish it is true Michael Krikorian has this golden video. It could take away a lot of smoke surrounding the crash!
I did my best tracking any lead I had. Searching for people that witnessed the footage and spent time on Streetview searching for a camera. No cameras over there in 2011. I did learn there are actual camera's near the Mozza pizza place. A witness said the Mozza footage was obtained by the police. But even when I find some answers, smoke remains.
In your first article you state:
"I told the officer that a security camera located outside the front door of the pizzeria probably captured the crash."
"The camera shows the view from near the entrance of Pizzeria Mozza"
The answer I got from "A Different Perspective" was:
"There are 3 security cameras…one at the corner of Highland/Melrose facing east, one at the main entrance also facing east, and one at the end of the building that faces south. It overlooks an alley where cars turn in for the valet. This is the one that would have caught most of the action. These remind me of the kind that you see in Las Vegas casinos…the panoramic 360 degree view (but much smaller). They have a smoky domed cover…very discreet….probably an expensive system. I would say that this technology is overkill/over spend for a pizza place, but this place is a very large, sit down restaurant, so it stands to reason that they can afford it. The pizzas look to be higher end gourmet."
She asked a legitimate question:
As for Mozza, I have many questions about their security camera. We can start with why it would be angled to see far down that street? The purpose of a security camera is to record anyone trying to enter doors and windows surreptitiously…not to keep an eye on the palm trees 250 feet away"
Please prove me wrong on this one mister Krikorian, and be my hero! Let me feel like the tiniest man on the globe for opening my big mouth. Take Loudlabs as an example releasing their footage. Prove me wrong. Please...
Until the evidence is available:
I don't buy that man!
Perhaps this is a big lesson for the "alternative media", aka the "truth" movement. Perhaps I am completely wrong. One thing is for sure, since Cass Sunsteins' "war on conspiracies", you better make sure to check things twice!
"Sunstein also recommended the government send agents to infiltrate “extremists who supply conspiracy theories” to disrupt the efforts of the “extremists” to propagate their theories."
Ask legitimate questions and make straight points.
Don't make a point out of every question.
Let me close the day with a wise lesson from Gordon Graham:
"You gotta be careful who you let be your wizards..."