UPDATE: Confirmed, white powdery substance was found in an envelope addressed to Governor Brewer. Click here to read our report.
Earlier today, I saw a number of tweets (Twitter messages for the unclean among you) indicating that a hazmat crew was investigating an incident at the Arizona State Capitol building. I couldn't find any press reports, and there was nothing on the cable news about it, so I called Arizona to find out. (So far no one has confirmed or denied the report but I await a call-back.)
Soon after, I was linked to this report at Arizona Central by Twitter user and Arizona resident @desertgardens. Mary Katherine Ham pondered the question of how such news would be treated if the roles were reversed.
And that, of course, is worth pondering. How long after the Capitol steps alleged spit incident was it before talking heads were running with the Democrat and Shepard Smith talking point that tea partiers were becoming violent? How many times in the last year, from the town halls through today, has MSNBC had panels and pundits discussing the "violent rhetoric" and increasing danger from the right? Can you imagine if Governor Brewer had declared a Arizona a sanctuary state and then received white powder in the mail? The uproar? The outrage? The utter ALARM!??!
It wouldn't matter if it turned out to be untrue. They'd get their jabs in well before that point in the story. As with the census worker who attempted insurance fraud.
Michelle Malkin points out this week that the anti-Arizona "May Day" protests resulted in a great deal of violence and property damage, much to the mainstream media's collective disinterest. Possible bad words? Domestic terror afoot! Actual attacks on police and counter protesters? Leave a voicemail, we'll get back to you.
And today we have a report about a white substance being mailed to the Arizona Capitol Building. At 10:30 this morning. The initial report is confirmed by the Phoenix New Times around noon. But are the talking heads fretting that press coverage and opinion media vilification of Brewer may have been an incitement to violence, as they routinely posit about conservative media? Are the cable networks dramatically reporting every few minutes with updates? Capitol building crawling with reporters trawling passersby for commentary about being scared? Are we getting profile reports of groups like La Raza, referring to them as divisive or their rhetoric as "dangerous?"
Well ... no. Today the media has decided to be "responsible." Maybe it was nothing, after all. Or maybe it had nothing to do with the immigration bill. We don't know. Could have been just about anything. And since it could be anything, but doesn't look tea party related, there's no reason to go get all hypothesizey and hand-wringey and can't-we-all-just-get-alongy.
I guess if they wanted to make the news the culprits should have sent spit. Or that true villain of white substances: salt.