Serving the reality-based community since 2002.
Notes and observations on
the press, politics, culture, technology, and more. To sign up for
e-mail delivery, click
here. To send
an e-mail to Dan Kennedy, click
For bio, published work, and links to other blogs, visit
Monday, December 20, 2004
THOSE SCARY ENVIROS. Now
that we know "eco-terrorists" (don't you love the term?) weren't
responsible for those December 6 arson fires in a southern-Maryland
subdivision, it's time to ask a few questions as to why the media
were so gullible.
Not surprisingly, though many news
organizations picked up on FBI suspicions, few went as far as Fox
News. Here's a bit from Special Report with Brit Hume from
December 7. Reporting is Steve Centanni:
The housing development is
near a place called the Araby bog, it's a sensitive type of
wetland called a Magnolia bog and that prompted the Sierra Club to
protest the construction plans. The environmental group called the
subdivision urban sprawl that impacts on fragile wetlands.
Raising that possibility ecoterrorists, like the ELF, the Earth
Liberation Front, could be to blame.
That group, the so-called
ELFs, have launched high profile arson attacks to protest
development across the country, including a 1998 attack in Vail,
Colorado. But unlike in previous ELF attacks, no calling card
like a banner, sign or any other claim of responsibility has been
found here in Maryland. Although one could still turn
One source close to the
investigation tells FOX News, members of the Earth Liberation
Front are likely to be contacted as part of this painstaking
Can't you just feel the fear? And
don't you love the casual, connect-the-dots link between the Sierra
Club and house-burning radicals? Subdivisions go up every day, many
of them in wetlands and other environmentally sensitive areas. Yet
how often do you hear about eco-terrorism? I'm not saying it never
happens - evidently it has. But it seems sufficiently rare that it's
bizarre for the Earth
Liberation Front to emerge
instantly as Fox's most likely suspect.
Here's CBS reporter Bob Orr on
The Early Show for that same day:
While investigators are
certain the fires were deliberately set, they don't know who's
responsible. The neighborhood being built near a nature preserve
has drawn criticism from environmentalists concerned that
overdevelopment may threaten Chesapeake Bay wetlands.
So-called eco-terrorists have
already used fire as a weapon. Last summer a group called the
Earth Liberation Front admitted torching a $50 million development
in California. Environmental extremists have also targeted
upscale, gas-guzzling SUVs. Maryland authorities say so far
they can't connect this fire to eco-terror. But the arson
damage will top $10 million, and dozens of families have had their
American Dreams interrupted.
"So far." But they will, by God!
Except that they didn't.
To its credit, the Washington
Post as early as December 8 ran a story by David A. Fahrenthold
that took a
skeptical view of the eco-terrorist
angle, noting that it was
only one possible motive, and that such criminal tactics are
completely alien to the Maryland environmental movement. But it's so
much more fun to say "eco-terrorist."
I'll grant you that this story
never got completely out of hand, like the targeting of security
Jewell in the Atlanta
Olympics bombing of 1996 (he was later cleared without ever having
been formally charged), or the blaming of Islamist extremists in the
City bombing of 1995. But
will the media ever learn to restrain themselves when stumped
investigators float theories in the hope of flushing something or
Now we're told that
may have been a motive.
We'll see about that.
CAPTURED SOUND, ROUND 2. I
received some excellent advice in response to my recent call for help
in finding a digital voice recorder. After rejecting a suggestion for
a $700 unit (an easy call, though I'm sure it's great), I'm looking
seriously at an Olympus DS-660. One Media Log reader told me she's
very happy with her DS-330; and it seems that the more-expensive toy
is only slightly more expensive if I buy it online - like
posted at 9:54 AM |
For most of my stuff, I use an Aiwa MiniDisc recorder I got on eBay for $90. Later, I wanted to upgrade, and people suggested getting a Creative Labs Nomad recorder but I wasn't able to find one for under $80. Right now, they have some on sale for around $79 at various electronic stores.
legal pad and pen. don't cast aside the wonderful tactile experience of writing!!
Aw c'mon Dan! That $700 Marantz was to die for and you know it! ;-)
Seriously, though...one thing I forget was the Archos line of recorders. These are basically portable hard drives with audio recording gear built-in. I don't know if they still make the simple audio recorder one (the Jukebox) my friend had but it was very cool; he used it to record his band (it could record direct to WAV or MP3) and also as a handy music source for parties. No bigger than a cassette walkman and IIRC he said it was about $160.
According to their website, the Gmini-120 is about $230 and does work with Macs and PC's.
http://www.archos.com/products/prw_500449.html and noodling around a little on eBay turned up some of them for reasonable prices, too.
Good luck - and let us know how it turns out!
- Aaron Read
And Aaron Read knows his recorders!
Pricegrabber.com found the Olympus DS-660 available at Pageomputer (4 out of 5 star merchant rating) for $138 including shipping to boston
Post a Comment
MEDIA LOG ARCHIVES
Dan Kennedy is senior writer and media critic for the Boston Phoenix.