The media have become startlingly lax on police stories, which is essentially what the latest shooting on the Arizona border south of Tucson is: a police story.
Initial reports yesterday from the Border Patrol said that three agents on horseback had been fired on, with one killed, in the dead of night while responding to an alarm from one of the ground-sensors that the high-tech contractors have installed along that rugged and forlorn portion of the border.
Horseback in the middle of the night, in primitive terrain? I was shaking my head over that one when, by mid-afternoon, the Border Patrol story had changed. No, the men were on foot.
Weirdly enough in the southern Arizona area, the Los Angeles Times newspaper usually has the sharpest regional reporting fopr the Tucson area, given the nearly total surrender of the feeble Tucson news media and the inability of the Phoenix daily, which really does try, to overcome the fact that at least half of its readership is made up of delusional people.
Here's the L.A. Times story.
Here are the two major things missing in all of the reporting, local and national:
1. What do the two surviving agents say about what occurred?
2. What was the nature of the gunfire? Did the agents fire, and if so, how many rounds?
There is a kind of breathless lunge in the news accounts I've read to circle this into the politically charged narrative of the "Fast and Furious" scandal that involved guns being allowed to fall into the hands of Mexican drug gangs as part of a hapless sting operation run out of the Phoenix office of the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agency, abetted by a feckless federal prosecutor's office in the Arizona capital.
That may be the case, but let's make a simple request of the media at this point:
How about you can the speculation for a day or two, do some reporting, and get the facts?