Did you hear the one about…? Well, neither did I. How about the one that has Paul Revere warning the British? Heard that one, laughed in pity. But seriously, did you hear the one about the Department of Education? Their SWAT Team? Bet you never thought that the DOE was ‘wasting tax dollars’ on a SWAT Team. Just one more reason why THAT useless department ought to be shuttered.
A familiar blog blew up this ‘story’ to great proportions and added a photo of the ‘incident’ wherein this alleged SWAT Team busted down the door of a house in Stockton CA at 6 AM in order to collect overdue payments on a student loan. You can read the blog story here: Thuggery from the Department of Education.
I searched CNN for the story but came up blank. Then I figured that FoxNews ought to have carried it as the blog tilts far to the right. Sure enough, there it was, ‘Unpaid Student Loan’ Raid Claim Refuted as Feds Target California Couple in Fraud Probe. However, FoxNews said this further down in the story: In a statement to FoxNews.com, Education Department Press Secretary Justin Hamilton confirmed that its Office of Inspector General executed the warrant with the presence of local law enforcement authorities. “While it was reported in local media that the search was related to a defaulted student loan, that is incorrect,” the statement read. “This is related to a criminal investigation. The Inspector General’s Office does not execute search warrants for late loan payments.”
Also, the ‘story’ of the alleged victim seems to be quite exaggerated. He claimed that 15 officers surrounded his house in the early-morning raid and that his 3 children were traumatized. “They put me in handcuffs in that hot patrol car for six hours, traumatizing my kids,” he told ABC 10/KXTV. However, according to ABC 10/KXTV, the Stockton Police Department said it was asked by federal agents to provide one officer and one patrol car for a police presence when executing the search warrant.
I’m thinking that this incident and the right-wing hype about it was just that, hype for those right-wingers who hate government, who hate the Department of Education. I’ll be happy to write an apology if this Stockton story is essentially true. Yet, I’m betting that the truth will come out in the next few days.
If a person is to be a credible blogger, then he must not shade the truth in order to enhance his political ideology. Knee-jerk reactions to ‘stories’ does not constitute real journalism nor does it qualify as a judicious post by a blogger. With the recent Palin-Revere dust-up still fresh in our minds, we bloggers ought to be quite careful what ‘facts’ we include in our postings.