Authorities found a do-it-yourself car bomb of propane, gasoline and fireworks in the trunk of a Nissan Pathfinder in Times Square on Saturday, May 1, causing thousands of people to clear the area and drop their touristy ventures. President Barack Obama addressed the nation at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, May 4, after a long weekend of speculation and ongoing investigations into who and what the bomb scare was connected to: “This incident is another sobering reminder of the times in which we live. Around the world, and here at home, there are those who would attack our citizens and who would slaughter innocent men, women, and children in pursuit of their murderous agenda. They will stop at nothing to kill and disrupt our way of life, but once again, an attempted attack has failed,” he said. Captured just before leaving the States to go to Dubai, the prime suspect in the attempted bombing, Faisal Shahzad, admitted his involvement and claimed that he acted alone, despite conjecture that the failed hit may be connected to terrorist organizations overseas, and despite Pakistani intelligence sources claiming to have arrested several terrorists linked to the backfired plot. Shahzad, a 30-year-old Pakistani-born/naturalized U.S. citizen, had purchased the SUV with cash at a dealership in Connecticut, where he lives. Along with other charges, the US Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday, May 4, that the Justice Department expects to charge Shahzad “with an act of terrorism“: “It is clear that this was a terrorist plot,” Holder said. It could have caused “death and destruction in the heart of New York City.”
Obama’s above quote speaks volumes as to why such an event is overwhelmingly newsworthy: Americans’ lives were in danger. When lives, lifestyles or livelihoods are threatened, the public’s ears must hear of such issues. The subsequent government actions will also be highly valuable to an interested populace. “Are they [the government] protecting us well? Did they foresee this? If so, did they take all the appropriate measures to prevent it?” Questions like these will invariably surface in the minds of an inquisitive news audience. Newspapermen and women should understand this and answer the public’s cry for salient information, never shying away from a story that, to them, might seem trivial or “stupid.” As this guerilla’s sorry try at piercing the unified heart of Americans is continually covered and reported, the journalist must remember to apprise news consumers with honest and hopeful information, proving to our enemies that they have not struck us down. Journalists need not be objective in acts on terrorism. “Who did it and are they being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law?” is the cynosure of the matter.
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