Anthrax intern cleared.
October 10, 2001 4:27 AM   Subscribe

Anthrax intern cleared. The dark-skinned guy with the weird name (who sent a "threatening" e-mail when he left The Sun and "disappeared to Sudan") turned out to be Basque/Jewish and a student at FAU. However, the FBI was kind enough to arrest him in the middle of a job interview. Though cleared in an hour, he's afraid the 'terrorist' label will stick.
posted by xowie (12 comments total)
I count eight anthrax threads in three days, and arguably only this one had anything I didn't see on TV news in the same day.

I don't mean to be snarky here, but ... hell I am being aren't I?

posted by walrus at 5:03 AM on October 10, 2001

oh crap I meant this one ...

searching for rock to hide under
posted by walrus at 5:04 AM on October 10, 2001

Of course, of course. The name of the game is speculation, speculation, speculation. In fifty years, people are going to look back and see just how ridiculously ignorant people can be through a combination of lack of education and too much TV and sensationalist media. It's no surprise, of course, that this kind of accusation got generated within the confines of the empire of The Enquirer.

Isn't it amazing just how much speculative news reporting gets spewed out? Neither the editors nor the journalists not the readers seem to be fed up. And it's not restricted to The Enquirer-types; CNN posted a report today on the anthrax situation which included this: "Investigators cautioned that tests confirming that the bacteria strain was manufactured are not complete, but a positive match would mean the strain was man-made and would move the case closer to a criminal investigation." The operative words here are "but" and "would". I am not tired of getting good news, I am so tired of having to weed and filter through this kind of garbage.
posted by mmarcos at 5:13 AM on October 10, 2001

walrus: Not all of us watch TV all the time...
posted by delmoi at 5:33 AM on October 10, 2001

what? don't watch tv all the time? what's wrong with you people?
posted by tolkhan at 5:35 AM on October 10, 2001

Cheer up walrus. I did look around for this story, which was filed at 8 pm EST yesterday, not exactly peak news-cycle, and though it's from the AP wire, it is well written and has some charming elements, like the fact that the poor fellow was on his way to be anthrax-tested himself when he gave the interview. Besides sloppy journalism there is certainly dis-information happening in the media; many federal officials ruled out terrorism before the investigation started. That plus the life-or-death-and-it-could-be-you-next aspect makes the redundancy of anthrax postings here somewhat forgivable, imho.
posted by xowie at 5:39 AM on October 10, 2001

This was news to me, and I'm a pretty obsessive news watcher. Plus, it's more than just an anthrax story. It touches on how our fears and insecurity have led to inaccurate but equally dangerous examples of racial profiling.
posted by waxpancake at 6:48 AM on October 10, 2001

*sigh* I wish all this anthrax stuff were in a single thread. Real info about the disease gets buried in all the speculation...too much of which is coming from John Ashcroft, Fearmonger Extraordinaire.
posted by realjanetkagan at 7:42 AM on October 10, 2001

Sorry xowie ... I didn't mean it broke the "rules" or anything ... I just kinda wish all the anthrax threads could be combined. By the way, I haven't seen this one in the mainstream news yet, so my bad or something.

delmoi: I watch TV less than almost anyone I know. I've still noticed that most of the MeFi WTC-related threads have been covered within 24 hours in UK TV news bulletins. I see that as a failing: this is not plastic. Anyway, you can see these stories all over the CNN and BBC websites if you look.

realjanetkagan: yep. Why didn't I just say that in the first place?
posted by walrus at 9:03 AM on October 10, 2001

this article was not really about anthrax...i read it more of a fear thing myself (as waxpancake notes).

it's about blaming, suspecting & fearing anyone that looks different. it's also about this fellow who felt warmly towards his coworkers as he departed and kindly left treats for them...hoping that they would remember him well...but instead they mistrust him, they perhaps even suspected him of all sorts of things prior to the anthrax scare. that's what disgusts me. the unvoiced suspicions the falseness of people. this will cause this young man to question everyone around him, and not trust that people can be truly kind, instead of pretend to be nice and then hurt him by calling the FBI and accusing him of things. ugh!
posted by m2bcubed at 10:20 AM on October 10, 2001

FAU sent a mass-mailing to all its students reassuring them that all the interns who worked at American Media had been cleared of suspicion, but didn't mention his name. I'm not exactly sure whether that's good or bad. :P
posted by Moireach at 6:30 PM on October 10, 2001

Wisconsin Man Tested For Possible Case Of Anthrax

Health officials are investigating whether a Wisconsin man who reported suffering from flu-like symptoms was exposed to anthrax, authorities said. Preliminary medical observations indicated it was unlikely the man had contracted anthrax, but more tests were ordered, FBI special agent Barry Babler said Tuesday (results coming back Thursday). The man told hospital staff he received a piece of mail that contained a white, powdery substance about two weeks ago...
posted by SenshiNeko at 12:07 AM on October 11, 2001

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