Steve Irvin on the Texas/Los Zetas story: It’s “the Glenn Becks and Bill O’Reillys of the world.”

Steve Irvin, journalist and anchor of ABC15 News

“I don’t really need to read many of the far right wing blogs flagellating in cyberspace these days.

Not when there’s a whole battalion of their readers ready to accuse our news organization of a deep-seeded conspiracy for failing to repeat the rants of a few misinformed idiots.

The latest of these dispatches arrived over the weekend, when a number of viewers demanded to know why we, as “the media,” weren’t reporting that the Los Zetas drug cartel had taken over two ranches in the Laredo, Texas area.

The reports, which arrived all the way from Pennsylvania (which is very close to Laredo) quoted sources within the Laredo police department who “confirmed” this was an “act of war.”

Google this, and you’ll find a number of corroborating reports which manage to say the EXACT same thing, as if they’re all repeating…the exact same thing. Amazingly, none of these “reporters” appears to have actually picked up the phone and called the Laredo police department to verify the story.

And none of the viewers who e-mailed the station did either.

My point is, the reason we didn’t report the story is… IT ISN’T TRUE. In fact when the Laredo Morning Times published its own story Saturday discounting the rumors of a drug cartel takeover and subsequent standoff, reporter Nick DiGeorgiu called around to police and the Webb County Sheriff’s office, and got a general shoulder-shrugging about it, although officials said the phone had been ringing off the hook from various minuteman groups.

Simply put… not confirmed…. Not true.

Another reporter who lives in the area actually drove up and down the road where drug cartels had supposedly taken over the ranches. That reporter noted zero police presence in the area at the time… when supposedly a standoff was happening.

The point is, these rumors circulate and bubble up from the ether on almost a daily basis now. They are published with a mouse-click, and shared and duplicated with three more mouse clicks. They feed into the paranoia that already exists among extremists who believe “the media” is really an arm of a presidential administration promoting the Obama “socialist agenda.”–the-%22conspiracy%22-revealed


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