Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Crowd is Watching

Dave Boyer writes in the Friday Washington Times about Vice President Joe Biden's recollection of being near a 2006 school shooting incident in Pennsylvania.

The context is the current gun reform talks, and Biden was sharing how even he was Bi­den re­calls be­ing near site of ’06 school shoot­ings in Penn­syl­va­nia.

“I happened to be literally — probably, it turned out, to be a quarter of a mile [away] at an outing when I heard gunshots in the woods,” Mr. Biden recounted. “We didn’t know. ... We thought they were hunters.”

The speculation is Biden, then a U.S. Senator from his home state of Delaware, was playing golf in the neighborhood of Charles Roberts IV's shooting of 10 at the West Nickel Mines School in Amish country.

Connection here? The paragraph that follows in the Washington Times:

An online search didn’t produce any earlier instances of Mr. Biden telling the story about having been within earshot of the school massacre.

Fact checking Biden's colorful stories is a national media pastime. In the wake of Te'o, it is a background reminder that for news events, the Internet is reasonably detailed into the early 2000s.  Subject dependent on previous digitization of records or recollections, consulting "The Book of Knowledge" aids in these circumstances.

Moral to the story? Not unlike asking for proof of life, speakers in the future must take great care in their details and illustrations.

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