So yeah, I sat up till 2AM (Pacific, 5AM in Boston), fascinated by the situation in Cambridge and Watertown. I listened to the police radio online, watched a few live Twitter feeds, and had a couple Google Maps windows zoomed in on streets that I’d never heard of but now know where they are: Hazel, Dexter, Laurel. The professional news media knew less than I (3 timezones away) did, but said more; somewhere between nauseating and just silly.
I tried a few live-TV streams but the inconsequential arm-waving and flow of bloviation-with-good-hair-on-top was unbearable. And clearly they weren’t listening to the scanner or watching the right Twitterers.
One little example: After the big Watertown shootout, some police official said something like “Two suspects accounted for, we are searching for more.” And instantly the so-called news professionals began speculating about not just two guys, but larger gangs and wider plots. If you’d been following the primary sources, you knew perfectly well that there’d been two guys, one was dead or in custody after the shootout at Dexter & Laurel, the other’s location was unknown. There were lots more like this.
This morning, when I got up, the good papers (NYT, WSJ) had well-reported stories about the Tsarnaev brothers and the night’s mayhem, which corresponded well to what I’d heard in real-time. So maybe there’s hope for journalism; but just not in real-time.