Told Ya So: On Thursday

Told Ya So: On Thursday I bemoaned the fact that the press was destroying Steven J. Hatfill’s life by painting him as the guy who probably was sending anthrax through the mail. Well Hatfill has now spoken out about this issue and his comments echoed my own…

“Reporters bang on Steven J. Hatfill’s door at all hours. An Internet Web site labels him “Steven ‘Mengele’ Hatfill, Nazi swine.” Cable talk shows routinely discuss whether he is last fall’s anthrax mailer. And twice, the FBI has very publicly swept into Hatfill’s Frederick apartment.”

“Hatfill was once a highly respected researcher and teacher of biological warfare. Now he is doing neither. Since February, he has lost one job and been suspended from another. He had seemingly dedicated his life to combating biological terrorism, but his has become the leading name in the investigation into the most dramatic act of bioterrorism that America has ever seen.”

“…I went from being someone with pride in my work, pride in my profession, to being made into the biggest criminal of the 21st century, for something I never touched,” Hatfill said. “What I’ve been trying to contribute, my work, is finished. My life is destroyed.”

Hatfill’s life is being ruined by the media and they have been deliberately leaving out a key fact in their rush to judgement…

“In fact, Glasberg said, when Hatfill worked at the Army bioresearch lab at Fort Detrick, “he did not do anthrax work. Steve has never worked with anthrax. He has never cultured anthrax. He has never handled anthrax.”

Hatfill never even worked with anthrax! Doesn’t that seem like a relevant fact that should be included in any article about him? But that would undermine the media’s attempt to create a sensational story wouldn’t it? Maybe this guy will turn out to be guilty, but he may also be innocent. Considering that he hasn’t even been charged with a crime, we should not even know Hatfill’s name at this point. Too bad the media hasn’t been responsible enough to balance the damage they can do to innocent lives with their desire to break a story.

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