90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
One Marathon Suspect Dead, The Other At Large

WBUR, our home station, will broadcast its rolling coverage during our scheduled show. To listen to this show 10-11 a.m. ET, you can stream live from one of these NPR stations: RIPRCPBN, WWNO or Nashville Public Radio.

Find continuous updates on WBUR’s live blog.

Lockdown and manhunt in Boston. We’ve got a team of reporters with the latest and all the week’s news.

On Friday morning, the FBI released this photo of Suspect 2, identified as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev. (FBI)

On Friday morning, the FBI released this photo of Suspect 2, identified as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev. (FBI)

It’s been a strange and deadly week that came very close to home for us here at On Point.  Bombs at the Boston Marathon.  Terrorism.  A death toll.  Many injured.  Maimed.  A national outpouring in response.

And then a massive manhunt — dramatic life and death pursuit — today.  Other news, yes.  A massive explosion and trauma in West, Texas.  A bitter Senate fight and defeat of gun-sale background checks. But today, it is a manhunt looming large, and the whole country watching.

Up next On Point:  Our weekly news roundtable brings you all the latest developments.

–Tom Ashbrook


Kevin Cullen, Metro columnist for the Boston Globe (@GlobeCullen)

Martha Bebinger, WBUR reporter (@mbebinger)

Carey Goldberg, WBUR reporter and former Moscow correspondent for the Los Angeles Times

Meredith Shiner, staff writer for Roll Call, covering the Senate and politics (@meredithshiner)

Jack BeattyOn Point news analyst

Jon Peck, WBUR colleague whose home in Watertown, Mass. is near the location of Thursday night’s shootout between the suspects and police (@JonEfremPeck)

From Tom’s Reading List

WBUR: Live blog

FBI: Updates On Investigation Into Multiple Explosions In Boston

Boston Globe: Search For Marathon Bombing Suspect — “Heavily armed tactical police are searching a 20-block area of this community for one of the suspects in the deadly Boston Marathon terror bomb attacks, a State Police spokesman said. The search comes after a chaotic, violent night in which a second suspect died in a firefight with police, and one police officer was killed and another was seriously wounded. Local, state, and federal law enforcement officers, including the Secret Service, are searching. K-9 teams, explosives experts, and SWAT officers are involved, said State Police spokesman David Procopio.”

Mother Jones: Did Boston Bombing Suspect Post Al Qaeda Prophecy On YouTube? – “Authorities have identified the deceased suspect in the bombing of the Boston marathon, which killed three and injured more than 170, as Tamerlan Tsarnaev. A user by that name has posted a video to his YouTube playlist extolling an extremist religious prophecy associated with Al Qaeda. It is not clear yet whether the user is the same Tsarnaev as the deceased suspect.”

Associated Press: Manhunt In Boston After Bombing Suspect Is Killed – “The two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing killed an MIT police officer and hurled explosives at police in a car chase and gun battle overnight that left one of them dead and his brother on the run, authorities said Friday as thousands of officers swarmed the streets in a manhunt that all but paralyzed the Boston area. The suspects were identified by law enforcement officials and family members as Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, ethnic Chechen brothers from Dagestan, which neighbors Chechnya in southern Russia. They lived near Boston and had been in the U.S. for about a decade, an uncle said.”

Boston Regional Intelligence Center Bulletin

This image provided by the Boston Regional Intelligence Center shows Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings. Authorities say Tsarnaev is still at large after he and another suspect — both identified to The Associated Press as coming from the Russian region near Chechnya — killed an MIT police officer, injured a transit officer in a firefight and threw explosive devices at police during their getaway attempt in a long night of violence into the early hours of Friday, April 19, 2013. The second suspect, who has not yet been identified, was killed in a shootout with police. (Boston Regional Intelligence Center/AP)

This image provided by the Boston Regional Intelligence Center shows Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings. Authorities say Tsarnaev is still at large after he and another suspect — both identified to The Associated Press as coming from the Russian region near Chechnya — killed an MIT police officer, injured a transit officer in a firefight and threw explosive devices at police during their getaway attempt in a long night of violence into the early hours of Friday, April 19, 2013. The second suspect, who has not yet been identified, was killed in a shootout with police. (Boston Regional Intelligence Center/AP)

Video Of The Overnight Manhunt And Shootout

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Alexandra Grabbe

    Wanted to share a comment from my Swedish husband Sven, following this morning’s event’s:  “It is
    appalling these guys could come here and get weapons.”

    • brettearle

      The Internet–which, of course, is an international digital information venue–provides free information for making explosives.

      Don’t simply isolate gun control in the United States.

    • StilllHere

      He should have stopped at “here.”

  • JobExperience

    Terror suspects moved here from Turkey/Russia when they were about 9 or 10 in 1993. They were brothers 19 and 20. They lived in Cambridge but did not attend college. They had some sort of military training. The baddest guy wore a white hat. He ran over his brother as he escaped in a hail of gunfire.

    Will this information be confirmed? Is it reliable? Things leak out and are later ruled improbable. Is it news? Is it infotainment? Maybe it’s “pin the tail on the donkey.” Heck! It’s carry your black backpack to work day! Pressure cookers are on sale at K-Mart, got the circular in this morning’s paper. Capitalism continues unabated.

  • JobExperience

    Sven: It’s a “free” country.
    Each hermaneutically sealed-off individual is left to their own devices. He was quiet, kept to hisself, always had a big old smile right  acrosst his face.
    I watch Wallander: I know what goes on up there.

    *intended as reply to Alexandra Grabbe

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    “There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’  No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” 

    - Dalai Lama XIV

    • JobExperience

       So a Tibetan was part of the bombing conspiracy?
      Trying to beef up strength I guess.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    Words cannot express the deep sympathies we feel about the horrible events surrounding the Boston Marathon this month.  Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this cowardly act upon Boston and our fellow Americans.

    We encourage all of our members to help by donating blood, time, and money to help those in need.  Please visit the Greater Boston Tea Party website on details regarding how you can help.

    We are reminded by this terrible event that the struggle for freedom and American values is an eternal fight which can never be halted.  The hatred and evil that is bread and perpetuated in all groups, organizations, and societies that close their minds to the necessity of every person’s right to liberty and self determination create the cowardly monsters who have such disregard for life as we saw last week

    Only through our fight for every person’s self evident and natural right to live their life as they see fit, unencumbered by those who wish to impose their will upon others, will such events as this week end.  It is our opposition’s admiration of coercion and their inability to accept that people can be happy and successful living their lives as they see fit that is the root of such evil.

    Today, unfortunately, those who wish to force their will upon other people are becoming more powerful. These busybodies are winning and we cannot let that happen.

    Only when a person embraces in their heart the differences we all possess that make us unique will such evil subside in our world.

    We must continue this struggle in our interpersonal relationships, in our towns, on the state level, within our nation, as well as around the world.  This is a long and difficult struggle but there is no other choice to be made.

    The Newsletter Committee of the Worcester Tea Party

    • jefe68

      Funny, I have the same view of the Tea Party.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Glad to see that you are mature enough to admit when you are mistaken.  Hopefully we all are able to grow in the face of this adversity.

        • jefe68

          Mistaken? No I dislike the tea party, or what it has become.

    • nj_v2

      Pathetic use of tragic events to advance a political agenda, in this case, the cult of Libertarianism.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        It is regrettable that you see it that way.  But you often seem to be determined to be as argumentative as is possible.  If we can not agree on anything then what is the point of talking with each other?   

        • nj_v2

          First paragraph, fine. Second paragraph, fine. They should have just stopped there.

          But look at the way they begin to turn this in the third paragraph. With the run-on, confusing second sentence, it’s not even really clear what they mean, but they manage to introduce “liberty” and somehow imply that “minds” are being closed to “self-determination” by these kinds of terrorist acts. WTF?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Thank you for sharing your opinion. It will help us improve our writing in future.

          • nj_v2

            You accused me of being argumentative for its own sake, lamenting that we can’t “talk to each other,” then, when i try to explain my problem, that this piece tries to use these events to push an unrelated (and poorly conceived, in my opinion) political agenda, you default to talking only about the technical aspects of the writing, conveniently ignoring the larger issue.

            This could be used a a dictionary example of disingenuousness.

            It’s ironic, since you so desperately seem to want to be taken seriously, yet shrink from engaging on substantive issues.

        • StilllHere

          I wouldn’t take his bait, he’s an ignorant troll.

          • nj_v2

            Another valuable contribution from TrollHere.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

             It’s ironic, since you so desperately seem to want to be taken seriously, yet resort to bullying every change you get.

    • hennorama

      RWB – if the newsletter had stopped after the first two paragraphs, I’d have no problem with it.  But politicizing these circumstances and using them to promote a cause?  


      Waaaaayyy too soon.  There’s plenty of time for that later, after all the criminals have been dealt with, and the facts are better known.

      Not to mention that some of the victims and their families are still being treated, are in mourning, and are making funeral and burial arrangements.

      Some respect and decorum are warranted.  This is not a political event.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Thank you for your input. Can I ask what you would do if you were the in our place? An introduction that only spoke about our rally and the protest at the Statehouse would seem insensitive to the victims and those struggling in the pursuit of justice. We could have ended at the second paragraph or even added some more of the cliches that are intoned at times like this. But that seemed insincere, and too safe for a group as contentious as we are. I know that you see this as “political” but could you see anything written by our group as not political? I proudly feel that we striped out any base political language out of respect for the broader community. So what would you have written?

        • hennorama

          RWB – TY for your response. I respect and appreciate your views. Here’s an edited version of your newsletter, with deletions and additions reflected in the use of ellipses (…) and brackets ([ ]):

          Words cannot express the deep sympathies we feel about the horrible events surrounding the Boston Marathon this month. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this cowardly act upon Boston and our fellow Americans.

          We encourage all of our members to help by donating blood, time, and money to help those in need. Please visit the Greater Boston Tea Party website [for] details regarding how you can help.

          [We appreciate and support the efforts of all local, state, federal, and international law enforcement agencies and other entities involved in the identification, search for, apprehension, and prosecution of those involved in these horrible crimes, and strongly encourage all of our members to fully cooperate with the efforts of all such agencies.]

          [We recognize the value of local, state, federal and international governments, and the necessity of having governmental involvement in large efforts such as the pursuit of these criminals. These governments provide incalculable intangible intrinsic value to the safety, security, and well-being of individuals, and are worth far more than we could ever pay to support them.]

          We are reminded by this terrible event [in Boston] that … American values … [and] every person’s right to liberty and self determination … [are worth fighting for, and we support those who do so every day].

          … [E]very person’s self evident and natural right to live their life as they see fit, unencumbered by those who wish to impose their will upon others, [exists only when we organize into societies. Without organized societies, we disintegrate into anarchy and chaos, with the strong and powerful inflicting their will on the weak and powerless. We oppose all such] coercion and [we know] that people can be happy and successful living their lives as they see fit [only with the support of government and the rule of law].

          Today, unfortunately, those who wish to force their will upon other people are becoming more powerful. These [powerful and often wealthy individuals have been using their resources to subvert the will of the people, through their use of unlimited contributions of money to various political entities, and through ALEC and other organizations. It appears that these] busybodies are winning and we cannot let that happen.

          Only when [all Americans wake up and realize their will is being subverted in this manner] will such evil subside in our world.

          We must continue [to alert Americans to these issues, and ask them to join us in] this struggle [and to continue this struggle every day,] in our interpersonal relationships, in our towns, on the state level, within our nation, as well as around the world. This is a long and difficult struggle but there is no other choice to be made.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            hennorama, thank you for devoting so much effort to my request. You have a definite talent with the written word. I appreciate how difficult it must be for you write from a perspective different than your own. I take it that you were unable to write the opinions you disagree with so you wrote in your own voice. Because of that I will not remark on paragraphs 3 and 4. Where I am left puzzled is paragraph 7. You had chided me for it being “Waaaaayyy too soon” to be “politicizing these circumstances and using them to promote a cause.” Is that not exactly what you have done by writing “powerful and often wealthy individuals have been using their resources to subvert the will of the people, through their use of unlimited contributions of money to various political entities, and through ALEC and other organizations.” Such language was seen as divisive and purged from the introduction we had written. But perhaps your group requires a different standard than our members do. Again thank you for your effort. I have shared your work with the rest of the committee.

          • hennorama

            RWB – TY for your response. I respect and appreciate your views.

            My “newsletter” was written tongue-in-cheek and was not intended to be taken seriously. I’m hope you and your committee got some good laughs out of it, as that was my intent.


          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I am sorry, I misunderstood your post.  Others had realized it was a joke. Humor is lost to me currently.  Thank you again for your patience with me. 

          • hennorama

            No worries, RWB. It happens to all of us at times.

            It is not always easy to “read” seriousness, humor, sarcasm, reductio ad absurdum arguments, etc. in forums such as this. Relatively brief written posts can leave the reader without benefit of inflection, body language, etc., which makes it more difficult to “read” the intended tone, especially when compared to in-person conversation.

  • Gregg Smith

    “Most likely a homegrown right wing act – remember it’s Patriots Day in Mass and most right wing extremists think of themselves as Patriots.”
    “I’d bet on the NRA/TeaParty/AmericaHaters.”

    “The facts regarding the history of deadly incidents of domestic terrorism over the past 25 years or so is pretty clear.  A good majority of those events have been carried out by individuals or groups tied to racist, anti-government or anti-abortion movements.”  

    “We laid a lot of eggs, and the chickens are coming home to roost, as Ward Churchill might observe. The “free market” (under crony capitalism)  has a detrimental effect upon the kind of human beings reproduced.””Since you neocon propagandists and conspiracy theorist nutjobs cling to these kinds of things…”

    “With unwarranted speculation rife about the guy’s involvement, and his apartment address now public knowledge, getting him out of the country before he is killed by some vengeful rightwinger is not irrational.”

    • rich4321

      During this chaotic time, information is scarce and spotty. There are so many possibilities. What about the unofficial reliable source the other day speculating the unreleased photo showed suspect with dark skin and middle east origin? People, including the media, are just down right irresponsible to disseminate rumors.

      • Gregg Smith

        I agree. However, as events unfold and new details emerge people will speculate as to their meaning. That may be a bit unseemly but they are speculating on substance even if it turns out to be wrong. When there is no evidence and people try to assume guilt based on preconceived notions rooted in hate a line is crossed in my view.

      • brettearle

        There is noticeable anecdotal evidence to suggest, by now, that it is less likely that this tragedy was perpetrated by an an act of domestic terrorism–by, maybe, disenfranchised right wing or left wing ideologues.

        It is noticeably more likely–based on the anecdotal information that is being collected via many news sources–that this tragedy was an act of foreign terrorism

        • rich4321

          Basically people want to say what they want to believe base on their prejudice, not base on facts. The liberals want to believe it was an act of domestic terrorism, the anti-immigrant love to believe it is foreigner, which sadly it is the fact now. The racists wants to believe it is someone with dark skin… 

          • brettearle

            Fairly well said.

            Don’t forget that one of the reasons that Liberals want it to be an act of domestic terrorism is that, these days, such violence is more often attributed to the political Right Wing.

            The Right wants it to be Islamic terrorism so it can better convince the country it is better off without any sort of inculcated, foreign culture that is perceived as, potentially, the enemy, subversive, or “The Other”.

            Islamic terrorism feeds the Right’s Anger, Fear, and basic sense of Security.

    • brettearle


      Right-wing speculation was perfectly legitimate.

      When McVeigh had not yet been fingered–there was strong speculation that Islamic radicals were behind it.

      Had the suspects, in the Marathon tragedy, been Right-Wing white Americans, Democrats could have quoted as many quotes by Right-Wing Information outlets, that would have erroneously brought Islamic terrorists under suspicion. 

      • Gregg Smith

        I get that. And despite the way others are trying to interpret my comments, I have no problem with a bit of speculation. And I do think it is rational to consider domestic militant possibilities. 

        My issues are too nuanced, I guess, for many here but you seem rather nuanced so I’ll explain. First there is the matter of premise. I had to catch myself just now when I wrote. “domestic militant possibilities”. I don’t accept that McVeigh had anything at all in common with the GOP, Tea Party or Patriots. So if people speculated about that type without equating them to right wingers it would be different. No one tried to equate the Occupy movement with the Unabomber. 

        • brettearle


          I see your point.  And it’s a fair one….but only up to a point:

          Many Islamists are anti-West without being Al-Qaeda and without advocating violence.

          McVeigh’s disenfranchisement put him in the general category of anti-Government, violent protest.

          That sort of stance can be associated with extreme radical Right-Wing factions–including Aryans and Neo-Nazis, who could be violent in their actions.

          Non-Violent anti-West Islamists, who denounce Western culture, are not necessarily the equivalent of Neo-Nazis or Aryans who might be violent.

          I am being nuanced–because you provided the theatre to be so.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ayn.marx Ayn Marx

      Apologies for thinking that it was a Murkin po’bucker:  the crudeness of the execution and the spitefulness of it reminded me of their past terrorism.

      Looks like it was a _Chechen_ peasant fuelled by nationalism, religion, and a sense of grievance…or just plain meanness with those as excuses…and the brother? Well, in our kind of family, you do what Older Brother says, basically.

    • Ray in VT

      I’m glad to see that I made your list, and it still stands.  The percentages will just need to be adjusted a bit, just like after every such incident.

    • John_in_Amherst

       Chechens are not Saudis. 
      Furthermore, A tally of terror attacks in the US since the 70′s includes a preponderance of incidents by the disaffected right and/or racists.  Speculating in the absence of facts is a risky business.

      • Gregg Smith

        Back that up. Racist are not the same as the disaffected right. 

        • John_in_Amherst

          That’s why the “and/or”. 
          Want to take bets on whether there are more racists on the right or the left?
          If there were more terror attacks by the left, the pro-gun lobby would have a much tougher sell on their “second amendment” arguments.

        • jefe68

          So all those neo-nazis and skinheads who are into violence in the name of racial purity don’t count?

    • StilllHere

      Fed by the media, including this program’s host.
      The guys who you quote are complete bots.

      • Ray in VT

        That’s certainly the pot calling the kettle black.

        • StilllHere

          Really, I mean how do you show your face around here after all the vile garbage you’ve spewed has been proven to be so wrong.  It’s pathetic.

          • Ray in VT

            Wow, you managed to get out more than one sentence.  Congratulations.  That must have been tough for you.  Tell me, just what vile garbage have I spewed, and where and by whom has it been proved to be so wrong, even by the incredibly low standards of debunking that a number of commentators here have?  I will await your hilarious, and very likely fact free, reply.  Do you have some problem with the fact that much of the deadly domestic terrorism is committed by right-wing scum-bags?  It’s not a judgement against any reasonable person who is right of center, just as the Unabomber can’t be used as a more generalized condemnation of “ecowarriors” or the actions of these two alleged bombers can be against Muslims more broadly.

  • Gregg Smith

    His “World view” is listed as “Islam” and his “Personal priority” is “career and money”.He has posted links to videos of fighters in the Syrian civil war and to Islamic web pages with titles like “Salamworld, my religion is Islam” and “There is no God but Allah, let that ring out in our hearts”.


    • brettearle

       Why harp on the suspects’ cultural/ethnic background?

      We already have pretty much accepted that this was inspired by radical Islam.

      • Gregg Smith

        I’m actually still waiting to draw that conclusion with certainty but it seems likely. Would there be any focus on the background if it was a Tea Partier?

        I don’t think the country as a whole has accepted at all the reality of the threat of Radical Islam.

        • brettearle


          Anyone behind a major terrorist act would endure tremendous background focus.

          Within days, the New York Times scrutinized  McVeigh’s background–from his rejection of trying to become part of an elite special unit, in the Armed Forces, to his testing of explosives in the rural countryside.

          I will agree with you, in part, of the Public’s denial of Radical Islam’s threat.

          But after 9/11, things changed.

          And yet, many things “went back to normal”

          Part of that complacency was:

          –Denial [in order to feel more comfortable].

          –the Fact that another major terrorist act was not successful, in the US–until now.

          –The perception–via Media and Government–that Al Qaeda was being
          destroyed, especially with international cooperation

          –The Death of OBL.

          –And the refusal for the American Public to believe that they have to live, constantly under threat, like Israel.

          All of this is understandable–and it will be very hard to change things, significantly.

          There is a question of the cliche–sacrificing liberty for security.

          The Rand Pauls of the country respect Franklin’s  quote, I think.

          • Gregg Smith

            I have to be careful here, I am not accusing the administration of a cover up. I think they’ve handled it well to this point.

            In general however I would say part of the reason for the complacency is the way Obama has down played events like Benghazi (it was a video) or the Ft. Hood attack (workplace violence) or the relabeling of the war on terror as overseas contingency operations. the underwear bomber was stopped by dumb luck. The passengers stopped the shoe bomber. I’d also blame Obama for over hyping the killing of Bin Laden. People should not believe it made us one iota safer.

          • 1Brett1

            “Complacency”? This implies that the bombing on Monday was the result of this Administration’s policies toward radical Islam. 

            Such garbage you engage in, all while claiming to just be posting comments without any angle or deliberate point. 

          • Gregg Smith

            No you inferred it. The administration has been good. One commenter early on claimed DHS blue truck were there. No beefs so far. We were talking about the complacency of the public. Brettearle called it “public denial”.

            Did you read my comment? I wouldn’t even call them radical islamic terrorist yet. You have no beef with me, you make it all up. 

          • 1Brett1

            I may have missed the way you were using “complacency” (and for that I apologize), but you are still trying to weave a “Obama is not being tough with Muslim terrorism and is engaging in a cover-up” narrative; I’m not making it all up. Whatever.

          • Gregg Smith

            No I’m not, he’s killing Muslims at a good clip. Hell, one of the first things he did was order the assignation of 3 Black Muslim teenagers. I am saying he’s not leveling with the American people on the gravity of the threat.

    • nj_v2

      What’s the matter, Greggg? Nothing from the NY Post today? Or “The Blaze”?

  • JGC

    I will be making a donation to the Semper Fi Fund , semperfifund.org ,  to help them provide support to the injured Boston bombing victims.  They are volunteering their very practical support to the recovering patients and their families, who are facing  new lives as citizens with the challenges from classic IED injuries.  Semper Fi Fund has a Four Star rating from Charity Navigator. 

    Click the “like” and I will be happy to throw in an extra buck for you, too! 

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      I hope everyone likes your post and follows your example.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ayn.marx Ayn Marx

    Those high-school athletes are all alike.

  • JGC

    BREAKING NEWS (Atlanta)- A light-skinned, silver-haired male has been spotted being held in Double Secret Probation by CNN management…Approach CNN with extreme caution as events unfold…

    • brettearle

      John King’s skills, as a journalist, can easily eclipse nearly anyone at Fox News

      • JGC

        I cannot disagree with you about that, but to tell you the truth I found more pertinent information unfolding on Reddit yesterday, than I did on network news.

        • Gregg Smith

          King was duped. I don’t hold him in as high regard as you but he is a credible journalist. He did not merely speculate, he was tipped. Someone gave him the info then after he went out on the limb they backed off and left him hanging. There is all kinds on murkiness around the situation involving the Saudi.

          • Ray in VT

            There’s always the musings of Uncle Glenn regarding a/the Saudi:

            We at the Blaze know that this Saudi national is a bad, bad, bad man …
            This administration is playing an extraordinarily dangerous game. They
            have very little regard for what it takes to be a citizen. Before the
            sequester cuts happened, they opened the prison and let illegals out.
            Who does that? Remember also, the Saudi national that was — is
            about to get on a plane — involved in blowing the legs off of American
            citizens, being held in protective custody or being protected, at least,
            by our administration. He will be put in protective custody and the plans are to deport him.”

            It is about what I would expect from someone like him, though.  That is pretty irresponsible, but, of course, he’s not a journalist.  He’s just an entertainer.

          • Gregg Smith

            What do you dispute and on what grounds?

          • Ray in VT

            What’s the credible evidence or reporting linking the Saudi student from Monday or Tuesday to this attack. Maybe Alex Jones is right.  Maybe the government is behind this, just like he said the they were at Newtown and Aurora.

          • hennorama

            Gregg “April Fool” Smith – you wrote “There is all kinds on [sic]
            murkiness around the situation involving the Saudi.”

            Which “the Saudi” are you discussing? Do you know the name of the person?

            Yesterday, you wrote “Who knows what’s going on.”

            Clearly, it’s not YOU.

            Federal authorities have said the entire matter of what you previously described as “The deportation of the Saudi National” was erroneously reported.

            Per thehill.com, from 04/18/13 03:11 PM ET:

            “A Saudi student questioned in connection to the bombing of the Boston Marathon is not being deported, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a House panel Thursday.

            “I am unaware of anyone who is being deported for national security concerns at all related to Boston. I don’t know where that rumor came from,” Napolitano said.

            “The first Saudi student is not a suspect in the Boston bombings but was hospitalized after the attack and questioned. Authorities also searched his apartment in Revere, a suburb of Boston.

            “The second student, who was arrested for an administrative immigration violation, has not been charged with a crime and is not believed to have any connection with the bombing, according to an administration official.

            “These rumors are wrong,” a White House official said. “This is a totally different individual who is not the individual that was questioned in connection with Boston. And this individual is in
            custody for reasons unrelated to Boston.”

            Read more:http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/terrorism/294839-saudi-student-hurt-in-bombing-not-a-suspect-not-being-deported

            Even your precious TheDimness.com said this, from Apr. 18, 2013 4:10pm:

            “Reports have indicated that both Alharbi and another Saudi student were wounded in Monday’s blasts. While in the hospital for treatment following the attack, Alharbi was considered a “person of interest”
            and was guarded by law enforcement officials. He is now, according to law enforcement officials, no longer considered a person of interest.

            “The senior ICE official confirmed to TheBlaze that the department does currently have a different Saudi Arabian national in custody, but that that person is in “no way affiliated” with the Boston attacks, nor is the detainee one of the two Saudi nationals who were wounded on Monday.

            “The ICE official add that the man currently in ICE’s custody is from
            the Boston area and is being detained on visa violation issues only.”

            You truly are the epitome of an April Fool, sir.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        NO one has exhibited any journalistic integrity in quite some time.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I can’t tell which way “eclipse” is used here. If you’re deadpanning, good job and touche!

  • alsordi

    “The enemy of my enemy is my friend. ”   Apparently does not hold true in this case. 

    The USA has been supporting the Chechyns against the Russians and using them in Lybia and Syria as they support Al CIAda to destabilize the PNAC list of countries.

    This whole tragedy is PNAC blowback.  These Straussian elitist wiseguys think they are so smart.  They’re bringing the chickens home to roost.

    • brettearle

       How can you parse it that way, as yet?

      They may be messianic `adolescents’ who have a grudge against the West–in the name, generally of Islam.

      • alsordi

        Just adolescents???  Take another look. Thanks to a hijacked US foreign policy, most of the world has a grudge against the west.  And not just muslims.

        • brettearle

          I put adolescents in QUOTES

          My point is that the ideology of Radical Islam recruit young and impressionable minds.

          • alsordi

            …just like the US marines do.

      • 1Brett1

        This sordi(d) character (who takes his profile name from an Italian voiceover actor) just looks desperately for conspiracies everywhere he can. As you, I, and any reasonable person knows, we don’t know very much about these young men who committed these crimes yet. 

  • nj_v2

    The reporting is all over the place on a number of the events. Local Fox TV reported this morning that the MIT security officer was shot as part of a convenience store robbery, seemingly unrelated to the bombings or bombing suspects.

    • Gregg Smith

      I thought it was the suspects who robbed the convenience store. Did I get that wrong?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        No, I heard that from police sources on multiple channels also.

        • nj_v2

          They (Fox25) has since changed their reporting to indicate the link. Earlier, they were reporting the shooting simply as being related to a store robbery.

      • nj_v2

        What does “The Blaze” say, Greggg?

        • Gregg Smith

          What you did not know.

          • StilllHere

            Is there enough bandwidth for that?

    • MrNutso

      Not surprising.  Everyone scrambling to be the first to get the word out.  I’ve been listening to WBUR, since I got in the office about 7:30.  There coverage has been great and as non-speculative as possible.  Robin Young interviewing her nephew who new suspect on the run and who had him at her house for a pre-prom party was amazing.

      • nj_v2

        The first-person stuff is fine, and reporting corroborated facts is fine, but there’s been a raft of speculative nonsense, especially on part of the local teevee news people. One example…

        During the evacuation and lockdown of the court building after the bomb threat (another thing not mentioned yet on On Point), Channel 5 (ABC affiliate) was reporting that a black SUV had pulled in to an access road to the back or side of the building and backed in toward the building. They noted (repeatedly) that this was the access that was traditionally used to bring suspects into the building in an inconspicuous way. 

        The obvious implication was that this could have been a vehicle dropping off one of the apprehended suspects. They really should apologize for this kind of thing.

    • Gregg Smith
  • http://twitter.com/PurpleandBrown Nori Aquino

    there’s no such thing as “good guys” and “bad guys.” I do think the parties behind the Boston Marathon bombings should take responsibility for their actions, but I shudder to think of the huge steps backwards this country may be taking in terms of Islamophobia and racism…

    • brettearle

      Hysteria is part of the problem.

      And when you consider that Bostonians are often uptight and puritanical, suspicion is likely to increase significantly, in that city.

      Many have stories of crazy overreactions, shortly after 9/11.

      The Herald reported Boston as being in near-panic, shortly after 9/11.

      • 1Brett1

        I’m hoping that fear extending to an entire group of people because of what these two young men did will not become the immediate default mode in and around the Boston area…sometimes I shudder at the types of comments I see around the Internet along the lines of, “don’t mess with our city.” 

        I recognize that people often feel they have to express solidarity within their communities in times like these, and sometimes that expression takes the form of, “we are badasses; leave us alone,” or, “we’ll get you for this because we’re tough.” But, I feel people should be careful not to fan the flames of anti-Muslim sentiment in the process. 

        • brettearle

          Well said.

          See my comment of your own comment, 40 comments above, or so:

          the comments, of ours, that address the aftereffects of the Marathon debacle.

          • brettearle

            And by the way:

            Remind me to tell you something about Boston that could be regarded as both standard fare as well as incredibly disheartening.

    • skeptic150

      It should not be a limited Islamophobia – it should be a general ideologophobia. Imo, any ideology, whether religious or secular, that condemns others (in this life or an imagined afterlife) or devalues human life is an ideology which can be used to motivate or justify acts of terror and atrocities. I think we should start recognizing ideologies that condemn or devalue others (including the monotheistic religions) and start rejecting them for what they are – divisive and harmful.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      There are “good guys” and “bad guys.”   Sadly too many of the latter and too few of thr former.  

  • nj_v2

    It hasn’t been mentioned on the program yet that the entire MBTA (Metropolitan Boston Transit Authority) system has been shut down.

    • MrNutso

      They’ve been mentioning it as well as not taxi service or Amtrak periodically for hours.

      • brettearle

         Brookline was added as shut-down town.

    • adks12020

      It has.  I’ve also heard it from 3 other news sources this morning…national and local.

    • Gregg Smith

      It’s all over the Blaze.

      • StilllHere

        Good one!

        • nj_v2

          The Chief Troll has arrived.

          • StilllHere

            Thanks for the promotion, but alas you set the bar.  You’ve been particularly useless of late.  Hats off!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        The Blaze is a radio program with one person speaking at a time?

        I thought it was a website with a hundred articles on the front page at once.

        • Gregg Smith

          Who said that?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            On radio one voice speaks at a time. Something can’t be “all over” a radio program all the time. There is one article at a time.

            On TV with those chyrons, or a webpage with multiple links, or a newspaper with all those headlines, something can be “all over” without crowding out the main article.

            Aren’t you supposed smarter than you’re pretending to be right now?

          • Gregg Smith

            I still don’t get it, the Blaze is not a radio station. It’s a website that had the Boston shutdown front and center as well as associated stories.

  • CarolinaTraveler

    Poor reporting from Kevin at the top of the program.  “Kurdistan” is NOT a country.  The Kurds are without a country.  The two suspects have ethnically Chechyn names.

    • nj_v2

      Have to agree, what Mr Cullen is offering here is not objective reporting. Poor choice in this instance.

      • http://www.facebook.com/leonard.bast.90 Leonard Bast

        Reporters are supposed to remain objective, calm, rational, and disinterested to the greatest extent possible. This reporter seems to be on the edge of an emotional breakdown. I’m sympathetic to him in this situation, but he needs to excuse himself if he cannot uphold his professional standards, or On Point needs to pull him out of the line-up until he can get himself under control. His response to the caller was emotional and aggressive, and that should never be allowed on a program that depends on persons of differing viewpoint phoning in to make comments, even if one disagrees.

        • nj_v2

          I certainly feel for Mr Cullen, since he knew many of the people involved in all this. But it’s that same involvement that should have made the On Point producers think twice about relying so heavily on him for dispassionate factual information, especially at this time.

  • Jim Cricket

    “We’ve already heard (the audio of the gunfight) before, but let’s listen to just 10 seconds to hear how intense it was”


    And this during a “report” from someone who, understandably, can’t keep from crying for his friend who was killed in action at MIT.

    This is NOT the time for this sort of reporting. NOT NOT NOT.

    I’ve said it before about Tom Ashbrook and despite, or maybe because, of the serious of the situation I’ll say it again. This is not a time for sensationalism. But it just seems to be his natural style. Every sentence is urgent. Everything is of critical importance. Is he really a moderator (etymological origin: MODERATE) or just a control freak?

  • skeptic150

    Is an ideology that labels all others as “infidels” not sufficient to motivate such acts?

    • Gregg Smith

      Yes it is but few acknowledge that.

      • skeptic150

        As I posted below, we should start recognizing and rejecting all ideologies, whether secular or religious, that condemn others (in this life or an imagined afterlife) or devalue human life for what they really are – divisive and harmful (monotheistic religions, communism/nationalism, etc.).

  • John_in_Amherst

    2 brothers from Chechnya?  Religious extremists or not, presumably they
    were making a statement about the corruption of the US, or the “moral
    decay” of the west, or some such thing.  How DO people rationalize
    demonstrating the moral superiority of their belief system by blowing
    themselves – or worse, innocent bystanders – up?  Such acts only
    illustrate how twisted logic, demented individuals and modern technology
    can come together with tragic consequences.
    Pssst!  Extremists of
    every stripe!  if you are trying to show the world the superiority of
    your views, let’s see you feeding the hungry, healing the sick,
    delivering clean water to the thirsty.  Blowing stuff up only shows
    everyone how crazy your beliefs are!

    It will be interesting to learn where these guys got their guns and gunpowder, and if this will figure into a re-vote on the background check bill that past the senate with an “insufficient majority” this week.

    • nj_v2

      I stopped reading after “presumably.”

      Some of us never learn.

      • John_in_Amherst

         I stopped reading after seeing nj_

  • Eric Jones

    Now our state security apparatchiks are running around trying to find out which one of them supplied the bombers with the explosives and training. It’s hard to stay cynical enough to keep up with reality.

  • Casey Reyner

    This bombing was terrible, 180 injured, 3 dead, now 5 including the one suspect and a police officer. This is terrible. But how skewed is our perspective when 27 people are killed in a coffee shop bombing in Iraq this morning?

    • skeptic150

      Or when thousands of children are dying each day from malnutrition and starvation (while many Americans are obese)?

    • brettearle

      Because, obviously, when violence occurs so close to home, it is easier to react to, on a visceral level.

      The fact that US involvement in the Middle East and in Central Asia has been apparent and evident, for years, is secondary to the fact that, in the morning, we brew our coffee and scramble our eggs, in the kitchens of Illinois and New York and not in Baghdad or Kabul.

      • 1Brett1

        Yes, proximity does seem to play a role in a collective emotional response toward these sorts of tragedies. 

        There is also no reasonable way to make an equivalency to all of the ills of the world, however equal in their human toll they are; we all can probably agree that they are all terrible and deserve our attention and understanding (yet, it is very human for us to have built in safety valves that regulate being bombarded with tragedies happening all the time everywhere–and this is a good thing or we’d go crazy if we couldn’t). 

        I sense that the feelings these homegrown, as it were, tragedies seem to prompt (that, for whatever reason, seem to prompt a different response than foreign events) is that the domestic events serve to disrupt our sense of security, our sense that these things can happen to any of us any time right in our own backyards. It is this feeling that happens during, and in the aftermath, of such tragedies that tend to shake us more to our core. The sense of helplessness that one can feel, considering these bombs went off and innocent bystanders could do nothing, can be unnerving.

        (And, hey, sorry that I got snippy with you yesterday; I was just in the middle of some nonsense with…well, others, and you got in the way. Apologies.)

        • brettearle

           No need to apologize.

          You and I can handle each other….

        • brettearle

          The concern I have is that:

          The Church scandals
          Penn State

          and now the

          The Boston Massacre


          –increase civil unrest

          –increase mob-mentality scapegoating and

          –increase subtler scapegoating and

          –increase unfair profiling

          –increase political and cultural polarization

          –increase general anxiety, amongst the
             public thereby, constricting daily activity;

             and thereby increasing man’s alienation
             to man….

             or another way to express it:

             increasing the sense of “The Other”

          –reduce our individual liberties and
            freedoms even more than already have
            been reduced.

          I’m sure you can add to this list.

          It’s getting uglier by the moment in this country.

          I could tell you stories–from my own personal life experiences and observations [and probably many others could, as well]– that could knock your socks off.

    • hennorama

      Casey Reyner – reactions to “27 people … killed in a coffee shop bombing in Iraq this morning” would be different if that event was covered differently in the US media, especially if there were photos or video of the event.

      Simply put, if the event is not widely covered, with visual images, Americans won’t react to it.  If there are no visual images, anyone reading an article or listening to radio coverage will go into rational calculation mode, rather than emotional response mode.

      Without emotional responses, few human eyes and ears will be moved to seek out further coverage.

      “The News” must now justify its existence, and especially its costs, to profit-seeking corporate media conglomerates.  Given this fact, coverage goes only to the most sensational events that can inspire emotional reactions, which will drive the ears and eyeballs of audiences to media outlets in an effort to sell more advertising.

  • gdnvar

    You may have seen the article in Slate about the older brother, Tamerlan, who was a boxer; told the interviewer that he had no American friends, did not understand Americans, who he said have no values.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Vita (?), caller at :32, talks about the media’s overwhelming response which can leave the media consumer with a feeling of numb fear.

    Kevin, the guest, differs about what he’s seen as a shoe-leather columnist right there in Boston.

    For me, if she was talking about the national media, I can understand what she means.

    We got a dose of this after 9/11 in which people from NYC lost, suffered and grieved, and went back to “chop wood and carry water” with a sense of determination. But people from farther away seemed to be more proportionately affected in the aftermath than the folks in the immediate geographical area, considering the loss and damage and disruption it caused in the tri-state area.

    Someone on TV had a phrase for this earlier this week, but the term escapes me.

  • twenty_niner

    “Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American”



    He looks kind of white, so that’s good, but it looks as if he was an Islamist and not an American, at least native. I wonder how Sirota is taking the news.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      You really don’t get media crit, do you?

      Anyone else who bothers to read Sirota will find out that

      There is a double standard: White terrorists are dealt with as lone wolves, Islamists are existential threats

      Though FBI data show fewer terrorist plots involving Muslims than terrorist plots involving non-Muslims, America has mobilized a full-on war effort exclusively against the prospect of Islamic terrorism. Indeed, the moniker “War on Terrorism” has come to specifically mean “War on Islamic Terrorism,” involving everything from new laws like the Patriot Act, to a new torture regime, to new federal agencies like the Transportation Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security, to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to mass surveillance of Muslim communities.

      If recent history is any guide, if the bomber ends up being a white anti-government extremist, white privilege will likely mean the attack is portrayed as just an isolated incident — one that has no bearing on any larger policy debates. Put another way, white privilege will work to not only insulate whites from collective blame, but also to insulate the political debate from any fallout from the attack.

      It will probably be much different if the bomber ends up being a Muslim and/or a foreigner from the developing world. As we know from our own history, when those kind of individuals break laws in such a high-profile way, America often cites them as both proof that entire demographic groups must be targeted, and that therefore a more systemic response is warranted. At that point, it’s easy to imagine conservatives citing Boston as a reason to block immigration reform defense spending cuts and the Afghan War withdrawal and to further expand surveillance and other encroachments on civil liberties.

      • twenty_niner

        Yea, don’t buy the double standard, and I do understand left-wing dog whistling. After the Oklahoma bombing, there was a full assault on militias because they comprised scary right wingers with scary looking semi automatics.

        The left was really pulling for some Tea Partiers on this one, having occured on tax day or near the anniversary of Oklahoma. If these were right wingers, I’m fairly certain the Huffington Post would have a different headline in 200-point font.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          “I’m fairly certain”.

          Nice bit of projection right there.

          “There was a full assault on militias”.

          Yeah, sure there was. So many of them attacked by black helicopters.

          • twenty_niner


            “Obviously, nobody knows anything yet, but I would caution folks jumping to conclusions about foreign terrorism to remember that this is the official Patriots Day holiday in Massachusetts, celebrating the Battles at Lexington and Concord, and that the actual date (April 19) was of some significance to, among other people, Tim McVeigh, because he fancied himself a waterer of the tree of liberty and the like.”

            “I’ll bet good money it’s a right-wing nutjob

            - Charles P. Pierce, Esquire

            “If it was hydrogen peroxide, this is sort of a signature of al-Qaeda. If it was more conventional explosives, which are much harder to get a hold of now, that might be another kind of right-wing extremism.”

            - Peter Bergen, CNN


            “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it”

            - Saul Alinsky

          • nj_v2

            Ha ha! Alinsky…

            There goes any little bit of credibility you might have had.

          • twenty_niner

            “Rules for Radicals” isn’t underneath your pillow?

            Report yourself to MSNBC immediately.

          • nj_v2

            Ha ha! A middle-class Jewish community organizer scares you, eh?

            Talk to the Teabaggers and Newt. They used Alinsky’s Rules, too.

            Are you wearing a clown suit while you post?

          • twenty_niner

            Are you pretending to be slow or are you really slow? It would help the conversation to know.

            If you are really slow, I could try to explain basic left-wing tactics.

      • JobExperience

         Whitey righties are usually self-made individualists who refuse to share credit.

  • StilllHere

    Are we going to cover the Democrat who sent the poison in the mail?

    • http://www.facebook.com/leonard.bast.90 Leonard Bast

      Do we have evidence that he was a registered Democrat? The anti-Obama comment he posted on Twitter at the time of the president’s second election wouldn’t lead me to conclude that he was a Democrat. If he was, he was certainly an anti-Obama Democrat, which is a rare bird, indeed.

      • MrNutso

        Not to mention that he targeted the President.

        • 1Brett1

          Leonard Blast and MrNutso,

          Gregg Smith posted a photo on here yesterday of the Elvis guy standing in front of a Christian-Democrat sticker; which, as probably already realize a) doesn’t mean anything and b) Stillhere is just a troll who tends to support/believe (however erroneous and potentially deliberately incendiary) anything Mr. Smith posts…So,consider the person(s) making such  comments intended to enflame for the sake of enflaming (however much they each might tend to actually believe the tripe they post). 

          • nj_v2

            Good point(s). 

            To summarize, DNFTT. 

            Responding seriously to trolls with legitimate, thoughtful posts lends a certain legitimacy to the troll.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Anywhere else, yes. But this is a public radio space, and I contend that public radio people are never going to dismiss right-wing trollery out of hand. There’s always a need for public radio to “involve the right”, to appeal to right-wingers (without somehow reducing the quality of their output).

            Bluntly put, in any other internet space, an ignored troll is an ignored troll. In this space, an ignored right-wing troll’s word is taken seriously if it’s repeated without contention often enough.

          • nj_v2

            I see your point. Maybe i’m just tired of their crap. 

            I usually lean toward ridicule and brief factual refutation. But, sure, we all makes our own choices.

            Look at idiot “William” (get rid of all the Muslims) earlier in the thread. It’s beyond tiresome.

          • 1Brett1

            I guess I’m also in the “just tired of their crap” camp. (And, we know who “they” are, of course.)

          • Ray in VT

            Wasn’t the Elvis impersonator guy with Ricin from Florida in 2012, not this guy from Mississippi now?

          • 1Brett1

            I don’t know. There is so much “information” going around, it’s difficult to keep up with it.

          • Ray in VT
          • 1Brett1

            Oh, I see what you were saying, specifically. Yeah, that Florida guy isn’t this new guy…man, I just hope Gregg and SH don’t start wrongfully maligning Elvis impersonators and saying the Obama Administration has been complacent toward them, too! ;-)

          • Ray in VT

            That’s why they flew Obama’s mom to Kenya when she was 9 months pregnant.  There is a well known Elvis impersonation syndicate based in Kenya, which is a part of the whole conspiracy to make Obama president.  Eventually they want us all to be Elvis impersonators.

          • Gregg Smith

            Yea, that’s what happened.

          • Ray in VT

            Maybe it is.  It makes about as much sense as the stupidity that gets floated by the birthers.  The difference is that I am only joking.

          • Gregg Smith

            Get me out of your head. I love Elvis impersonators and never ever said, implied, or thought the administration was complacent on this issue. Ever. You made it up.

          • 1Brett1

            So, when you’ve said in the past that Obama has proclaimed a kind of mission accomplished with eradicating al Qaeda or rendering them a non-threat, or that he had sympathized with Muslim people too much, how were other people visiting this forum supposed to interpret those types of comments? 

            Wait, will your default reply will be, “I never said, implied, or thought…”? 

          • hennorama

            S – I KNEW I had forgotten one! [Get me out of your head] is
            definitely on the Gregg Smith Response-O-Matic dial.


          • Gregg Smith

            So now it’s your job to save the blog from me? I never said he was a Democrat, I have no idea.

          • 1Brett1

            Hehe…Oh, so you never have any point to any comments or posts? Okay. So, what was your reason for posting the photo? Just an adolescent prank/vandalism? 

    • jimino

      Thank you for re-confirming that nothing you post has any value other than to perfectly illustrate wrongheadedness and ignorance.

  • MrNutso

    Darn, I just saw the broadcast links.  I hope there’s a rebroadcast.

  • John_in_Amherst

    Thank heavens the deranged Elvis-impersonator-turned-biological-terrorist was less effective than the deranged Chechen Jihadists.  His home-made ricin attack is almost comic relief compared to the Marathon bombing.  Hollywood couldn’t make this stuff up….

    • hennorama

      John_in_Amherst – is there any evidence of the “Jihadists” portion of your post?
      Caution is warranted when using that word.

      • John_in_Amherst

         justifiable question, H.  I have heard (unverified, but believable) that the one brother, at least, identified his world view as Islamist.  The roots of Chechnya’s terrorist struggles with Russia are Islamist, and Al Quaeda and Chechen Islamists have links.  But, NO, I do not have knowledge of direct ties, and YES caution is warranted. 
        That said, see my post earlier.  To reiterate: extremists of any sort (Islamist, NeoNazi, rightwingnut paramilitary militias, etc.)  who seek to demonstrate the moral superiority of their world views by blowing up innocents are just demonstrating how crazy their views really are.  It would be a lot more impressive if they were feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, nurturing the sick, etc.  Unfortunately, there are even groups who have followed a famous healer/carpenter who have gone on to do lots of despicable acts, too.  And the media pays ever-so-much-more attention to acts of radical terror than radical compassion.

      • John_in_Amherst

         recent news report has it that the older brother is married to  a Christian(?), according to his aunt in Canada.   However she also said he couldn’t be responsible for the bombing, that he was a sweet intelligent guy.  Who just happened to have explosives strapped on his chest when he got killed in a fire-fight.  WTF.  Clearly, this is a story in flux.

        • hennorama

          J_i_A – the “in flux” aspect of the story, combined with the media blitz, the usual loons and conspiracy theorists coming out of the woodwork, and the predictably erroneous “reporting”, were the reasons I went into an albeit short-lived media blackout about this story on Tuesday.

          Fortunately, TMC was broadcasting a Charlie Chaplin movie marathon that day (which was was the anniversary of Chaplin’s birth), as well as several recently rediscovered comedies from French genius Pierre Étaix.

  • Adena Harford

    Thank you, Paul! I agree, stop this media terrorism.

  • PJ2012

    Cullen needs to get a grip! Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Just because you are upset by a callers opinion DOESN’T MAKE YOU RIGHT!
    The media has covered this to DEATH! It is a tragedy when someone causes such devastation. Showing footage CONTINUOUSLY ON ALL OUTLETS is too much. Networks are showing the same footage OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER again. Continue to give this much attention to the distruction and you help encourage other nut jobs do the same.

    • hennorama

      PJ2012 – well said as to the looped video, which is often not labeled as such.  A viewer just tuning in could mistake it for live events.

      Video and visual imagery in general has an outsized impact on the viewer’s emotional state and decision making.

      Quoting a Sept. 2012 article from NPR’s science correspondent Shankar Vedantam (who has also been live on the air today), titled “Why Mental Pictures Can Sway Your Moral Judgment”:

      “ … we’re wired to respond emotionally to pictures. Take away the pictures — the brain goes into rational, calculation mode.

      “Here’s how they found that out: Greene and Amit set up an experiment. They presented people with moral dilemmas that evoked strong visual images. As expected, the volunteers made emotional moral judgments. Then the psychologists made it difficult for volunteers to visualize the dilemma. They distracted them by making them visualize something else instead.

      “When that happened, the volunteers stopped making emotional decisions. Not having pictures of the moral dilemma in their head prompted them into rational, cost-benefit mode.

      “In another experiment, Greene and Amit also found that people who think visually make more emotional moral judgments. Verbal people make more rational calculations.

      “Amit says people don’t realize how images tip the brain one way or another. And that can create biases we aren’t even aware of.”


  • http://twitter.com/TSILeditor Mary McKhann

    Kevin, they weren’t calling attention to themselves by robbing a 7-11? 

    • brettearle

      Despite what the CIA consultant on CNN, in recent days, has been saying, these two guys have hardly taken careful steps to cover their tracks.

      It’s too bad their shoddy work didn’t spill all the way over to their attempts at making an effective bomb.

  • Jadusta

    My thoughts are along the lines of Casey Reyner.  A tragedy, but this happens all the time in a lot of places in the world, often because of policies or actions that we have set in motion. And yet here we have the President and the whole national security state swinging in to motion over this event.  Yes we should find the perpetrators, but it seems like a massive overreaction which reflects poorly on our national character.

    • brettearle

       Despite 9//11, our country has no historical memory of war on its soil–like what we see in Western and Eastern Europe, for example.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Caller Paul? “Minutia”?
    If coverage is so offensive, turn it off.
    Don’t complain about people’s absorption when you continue to be a willing participant.

    Adena Hartford: Ditto

    “Media Terrorism”, give me a fracking break.

    • Jim Cricket

      I guess you haven’t read Ray Bradbury as a kid like some of us have, and watch what was a “mere” pondering of futuristic nightmare turn into grim reality. The omnipresent media described in Farenheit 451 is the predicament we’re experiencing now, be it in this emergency situation or Facebook or, dare I say it again?, sensationalism sold to us as thoughtful coverage. Now that we’re smack dab in the middle of it, the media is as fair game as much as the suspect is. Of course turn it off. But it’s still there nonetheless. And the real concern of this sort of onslaught of live coverage is the predatory nature of it all. The police ask us to be vigilant. But they don’t care much to parse that request or concern themselve much with how it can skew into kneejerk suspicion and even vigilantism. Yes, alot of the media announcers I’ve heard seem to trip over themselves to be careful, not to profile, and say they have incomplete information. But it’s almost comical. IF they didn’t feel it incumbent to provide live non-stop coverage of a chaotic situation, they wouldn’t have to be so non-stop careful! That’s why editors were invented.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Yep. It goes beyond individual choice of media.

        I’m thinking “The Monsters are Due On Maple Street”: A critical mass of overdosed fear, semi-informed, gets out of hand.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        I know Bradbury’s work well.
        I’m not the one missing the point.
        The “sensationalism” would cease to exist
        without rabid participation.

        I don’t blame an angry torch wielding mob’s actions on the first person to snatch up a pitch-fork and torch.
        Do you?

        • Jim Cricket

          I dunno Drew. I’m as human as the next. Monkey see, monkey do. That’s the “problem” isn’t it?

          Vigilantism these days is an ultra-modern affair. No pitchforks, just cameras probing everywhere. (The poor uncle of these two is having his house surrounded, not just by police, but media, and that after a heartfelt interview he gave.) It’s just that the media, in an age of social science and psychological “insights” thinks it can solve things for us, rather than simply explain. Amy Davidson, of the New Yorker, has it right in her insights, which amazingly enough were written in the heat of the moment.


          What’s she got that other media employees dont? Time? Wisdom?

          • DrewInGeorgia

            I completely understand your point and I do agree that the collective national media is off the chain. It has been for a while now though.

            To me, blaming a rabid media for our individual irrational thoughts and actions is a cop out. Monkey See, Monkey Do is the problem, we need to acknowledge and address it.

            Last question posed in linked story:
            “What’s missing? Is it humility?”
            It’s consideration.
            It’s individual accountability.
            And yes, it is also humility.

            Features not bugs as my friend would say.

          • Jim Cricket

            Well with all due respect, acknowledging and addressing M.S.M.D. would be akin to giving lobotomies to everyone. This is the age of Group Think, remember?  :o) But aside from that black joke, it’s just human nature, and “addressing” it would simply end up being some sort of Maoist criticism-self-criticism thing, or worse what college kids have lately called “calling out”. either one gruesome, neither one works.

          • JobExperience

             Radio was the primary driver behind Rwandan massacres.

          • Jim Cricket

            do tell

          • JobExperience

            Media has been our “wire mother” for over 60 years now. So hold me Mom in your long arms, in your electronic arms, your military arms.
            paraphrasing Laurie Anderson

        • keltcrusader

          This is exactly what worries me about those who think that everyone needs to be walking around with guns – bunch of self-appointed deputies without a clue of what they are doing and just waiting for the chance to prove what tough guys/gals they are. We don’t need any “OK Corral”-type shootouts in our public spaces by a bunch of police wanna-bees. 

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            How much do you know about the shoot out at the OK Corral?

          • keltcrusader

            Long story short-It happened in Tombstone, AZ and was between 2 groups – an outlaw group and a group of lawman (Earps) and a newly-deputized Doc Holliday. They started firing a few feet apart and about 30 shots were fired in about 30 seconds. There were different versions of the events depending upon which side was talking and there were many interpersonal problems between the groups before the event ever took place. Almost everyone involved was wounded or killed. 

            My point was more based on the massive gunfire volleys flying about that took place on a street then the actual event, sorry if that threw you off. 

          • hennorama

            keltcrusader – that is yet another reason that the entire Boston area has been shut down.  No need to have armed vigilantes roaming the streets.

  • http://twitter.com/areallycc Margaret

    Why Boston Police not FBI or Homeland? Went to Bed with Story on BBC radio thinking why Police.?  I am sorry but have feeling Police may have blown by trying to handle themselves in form of Boston Police revenge. I wonder why Police only all night and not Federal. Did Boston Police decide to do it on their own?

    • nj_v2

      It’s a good question. How is agency jurisdiction determined? How does inter-agency coordination work? Haven’t really heard anything about this in any of the reporting.

    • brettearle

       Homeland Security has been involved.

  • Paul Drayman

    The comments that they were stupid not to leave the area show a lack of thinking of what may have brought this on.  The fact that they did not leave shows to me that these young men were not part of an international terrorism organization.  It may have been just an older brother with lots of issues and never finding much in the way of happiness or friendships and a younger brother who looks up to him.  They are staying in the area they know.  This does not seem very strange to me at all.  The part I can’t quite get through my head yet is why they did this horrible thing at the event they chose.  Possibly the older brother had contact with anti-American groups, on line and at home.   

    • brettearle

      Their inability to have an exit strategy is so idiotic that it is almost as if they wanted to be caught. 

      While they may not have been satellites of any international terrorist organizations, they certainly could have been `spiritual disciples’–where they were emboldened by exposing themselves to radical ideology.

      They obviously lacked the necessary training and expertise.

      Had they developed greater skill, there might well have been greater destruction.

  • JGC

    BREAKING NEWS (New York) – The New York Post is retracting its earlier report that the Tsarnaev brothers were members of a  secret society of Elvis impersonating terrorists…

    • StilllHere

      who steal computer monitors.
      I think that wraps up this week’s stories.

  • JGC

    (Just in case any one missed it earlier in today’s comments, I am making a donation to help the rehabilitation of the Boston bombing victims, and if you go back to that first request I made, and click on the “like”, I will add an additional donation for you.  Now back to our original programming…) 

    • nj_v2

      There is also the One Fund, set up by Mayor Menino and the governor.

  • GibsonGirl99

    One aspect of the media coverage of this event that strikes me very forcibly is the fact that the terms “suspect” and “alleged” are being dropped — in far to many cases — from the description(s) of these young men. to your credit, Mr. Ashbrook, you have been scrupulous about this.

    I bring this up because what if — and this is, I admit, a big if — the robbery & all that followed were prompted by a reaction (on the part of the alleged suspects) to pop culture depictions of what happens to persons suspected of acts that they did not commit? How many movies have these young men seen where someone is accused, pursued, and somehow succeeds in eluding capture? Who’s to say they aren’t trapped in a scenario influenced not by reality, but by fiction? What if they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and are reacting with what they think may be a viable strategy?

    Is anyone, anywhere, considering this as a possibility?

    • Jim Cricket

       I’m still wondering about two people. That woman in yellow who was following the two suspects. She was directly behind them, and in the third part of the video tryptich, it looks as if she were part of a group. And….she’s wearing a backpack.

      And what’s happened to that poor schmuck that had to strip naked in the wee hours of last night in Watertown?

      • jefe68

        I was wondering about that myself. 
        Who was that guy?
        If I’m not mistaken there was another young man in a track suit on the ground with what looked like sandy blond hair.

        • Jim Cricket

          I think that’s the guy I’m referring to. I woke up around 3am and found myself following what was going on. At first they had a guy on the ground, his arms spread. then it appears to me that they made this same guy strip (presumably to prove he had no explosives on him) and taken into a police car. that was video shot by CNN with his private parts politely smeared out. i thought it was The Guy in the Black Hat, but then later I hear his brother ran him over.

          I told the whole story just now to someone who just woke up and she insisted I was making things up as I went along!

          • jefe68

            No, I saw the same thing. But I do remember that the guy on the ground had different color hair to the guy that was taken away naked.
            It’s very weird how that part of this event is now not mentioned at all.

      • Paul Drayman

        I also was wondering about that girl as I watched the video.  I’m sure that in time we might hear more info on that from investigators because it seems like a logical question.

      • brettearle

        He may have found himself an Ambulance Chaser by now.

    • jefe68

      Sorry but they were both shooting at the police.
      They killed one MIT policeman and seriously wounded an MBTA policeman. 

      The brother that was killed and had detonators on him.

      Hardly the acts of alleged innocent men.

      • 1Brett1

        But most definitely (and considering, in addition to killing two police officers, they threw out pressure-cooker bombs at police pursuing them), these are the acts of allegedly guilty men.

      • nj_v2

        That may all be true, but until the judicial process has played out, the protocol is always to use “alleged” or “suspected” as qualifiers.

    • brettearle

      If they are guilty of such behavior, then they are still suspects.

      Just a different kind.

  • Gaius_Casius

    I realize that WBUR is a Boston station and covering the local Marathon explosions and shoot out has relevance to local listeners. But WBUR is also a regional programmer and offers programs like On Point that serve a much broader constituency than Boston. I think using 6 hours of On Points 10 hours of this week’s showtime for this issue is a bit of an overkill. The same day as the Boston Marathon attack there was a bombing in Iraq that killed 60+ people. I think Americans need to get a sense of perspective and proportionality around these kinds of events. Removing the Week in Review for another hour of coverage is excessive in my opinion.

    • Paul Drayman

      I understand that you would like to hear news and comment of a wider range of subjects.  However, what happened in Boston is a fear and  a nightmare come true for most Americans.  The Boston Marathon is a national and international, major event and the bombing has understandably had equally widespread effects.  It will eventually settle down and find its perspective.

    • nj_v2

      An entire, major city has basically been closed. People asked to stay inside. Businesses closed. Public transport shut down. Amtrak line into the city shut down.

      Yes, the rest of the world is still happening, but this is a big deal that has implications beyond the immediate area.

    • brettearle

      This Tragedy is virtually unprecedented.

      Such wide and long coverage is completely understandable.

      The only problem, with it, from my view, is that after a while, after looking at, and listening to, the broadcasts for so long, it actually somehow, sometimes, doesn’t seem real.

      • Ray in VT

        Can you imagine something on the scale of the Oklahoma City bombing occurring in today’s news and online information environment?  I think that such an event would easily dwarf this.

        • brettearle

          I can see that.

          But I can also see the possibility of any Foreign Element or Power eclipsing domestic terror.

  • William

    Eventually, our luck will run out and one of these Muslims will blow up a nuke plant or something like that…

    • Paul Drayman

      Remember that the guys that plotted and blew up the Federal Building on this day several years ago were by no means Muslims.  There are people out there with all kinds of grievances.  The possibility of what you say, though, is definitely there.  

      • William

        How many Timmy vs Muslims? We keep talking around the problem when it is right there in front of us. Just one dirty bomb and we lose a major city for hundreds of years. We have played the pc game long enough. Call out the Muslims, they either change or get out of our country.

        • keltcrusader

          Muslims have been in this country as long as it has been a country. It is all our country, not just a select few.

        • Paul Drayman

          For me it has nothing to do with political correctness, it has to do with the kind of country we feel this is and its future direction.  I realize that you probably feel that something like you suggest is necessary for our survival.  I think, though that we need to concentrate on good intelligence and police work. I would be willing to have more surveillance of public areas of the type that led to identifying the two suspects and connecting them to a convenience market robbery.

    • John_in_Amherst

      In this case, “These Muslims” is starting to look more like a couple crazy kids who may or may not have been incited to violence on the web.  It’s not like there aren’t Crazy Christians (think KKK or most of the perps in our recent mass-shootings).  Milenialist Christians are still trying to egg Israel on into a war to usher in the “second coming”.

      I want to know more about where they got gunpowder and weapons.  Both could be obtained with some difficulty and a license in MA, or with much greater ease in NH, an hour away.  More importantly, would the type of back-ground check that went down to ignominious defeat this week in the Senate have helped?  What about the measure to include tagants in gunpowder, which was defeated by the NRA some years ago?

      • twenty_niner

        One doesn’t need gun powder. Lethal explosive can be made with commonly available materials.

        “incited to violence”

        Once again, no one has free will. We’re all just puppets in a giant marionette show controlled by corporations and the web.

        Maybe, as an experiment, just this one time, we just blame the two m-fers who perpetrated this crime and not society or the parents or the internet or Burger King for dolling out a bad Whopper that day.

  • madnomad554

    But what the hell was their motive and reason??? And the sick, brutal and twisted irony that so many lost their legs, at a running event…

  • mikeyclooney

    Nazis bombing London could not shut it down.
    Should we let one monster win by shutting down Boston.

    • nj_v2

      And what if the guy (or guys; we don’t really know if more people might be involved) got himself back into the city and blew up some more people.

      Some would scream, “Why didn’t they close down the city until they knew they had everyone involved?”

      It’s a tough call.

  • Trond33

    At what point does “locking down” this large a population start to have a negative social impact?  Individuals who miss a doctors appointment or delay going to the doctors/hospital.  Unfortunately, just like during major snow storm, there will be secondary casualties simply from individuals being restrained from their normal course of action.  

    • John_in_Amherst

       Indeed.  It is sure starting to look like we’ve “given in to the terrorists” when a lone, deranged teen with pipe bombs and a pistol can shut down a metro area with 1M+ inhabitants.

  • john__riley

    23: 07 Amen.  President’s speech too much demagoguery.  Great callers.

  • JGC

    I am just thinking about the recent book “Far from the Tree” about children who are very different from their families. No one plans to raise a terrorist/killer (except maybe for the insanely, dangerously wacky Khadr family here in Canada).  No one who knew him can apparently believe the younger brother could be capable of doing such damage to lives. And damage to his own. He is only 19. What sort of life awaits him now, when he is finally cornered?  Suicide? Death penalty after many lonely years of solitary confinement?  A one-way ticket to Guantanamo?  

Aug 29, 2014
Ukrainian forces guard a checkpoint in the town of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of the nation's security council and canceled a foreign trip Thursday, declaring that "Russian forces have entered Ukraine," as concerns grew about the opening of a new front in the conflict.  (AP)

War moves over Syria, Ukraine. Burger King moves to Canada. Nine-year-olds and Uzis. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Aug 29, 2014
Beyoncé performs at the 2014 MTV Music Video Awards on Sunday, August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Getty)

Sex, power and Beyoncé’s feminism. The message to young women.

Aug 29, 2014
Beyoncé performs at the 2014 MTV Music Video Awards on Sunday, August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Getty)

Sex, power and Beyoncé’s feminism. The message to young women.

Aug 29, 2014
Ukrainian forces guard a checkpoint in the town of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of the nation's security council and canceled a foreign trip Thursday, declaring that "Russian forces have entered Ukraine," as concerns grew about the opening of a new front in the conflict.  (AP)

War moves over Syria, Ukraine. Burger King moves to Canada. Nine-year-olds and Uzis. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: August 29, 2014
Friday, Aug 29, 2014

On hypothetical questions, Beyoncé and the unending flow of social media.

More »
Drew Bledsoe Is Scoring Touchdowns (In The Vineyards)
Thursday, Aug 28, 2014

Football great — and vineyard owner — Drew Bledsoe talks wine, onions and the weird way they intersect sometimes in Walla Walla, Washington.

More »
Poutine Whoppers? Why Burger King Is Bailing Out For Canada
Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

Why is Burger King buying a Canadian coffee and doughnut chain? (We’ll give you a hint: tax rates).

More »
1 Comment