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Friday, December 11, 2015
WND Already Pushing Conspiracy Theories In San Bernardino Shooting
Topic: WorldNetDaily

There are few things WorldNetDaily loves more than a good conspiracy theory, and it's going full conspiracy mode on the San Bernadino shootings.

WND was already conspiracy-mongering just a couple of days after the shooting in a Dec. 4 column by Stu Tarlowe (italics in original):

Are we now a nation of the arithmetically challenged?

Anyone who’s ever owned a dog will concur with this: If you think a dog can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket, and give him only two.

Apparently, even a dog can count better than the Obama regime, its “authorities,” its sycophant media and all but a teeny-tiny percentage of the American public.

Because, after almost a full day, Wednesday, of reports (including those from eyewitnesses) of three perpetrators in the attack in San Bernardino, plus hours of reports of police searching for three suspects in a black SUV and then, having dispatched two of them in a gun battle, still searching for the third (including reports that a third individual was being “detained”), suddenly Thursday came and went with nary a mention of any suspect other than Sayed Farook and Tashfeen Malik.

Overnight, three had become merely two.

Who is Stu Tarlowe? We have no idea, though he appears to have an extensive archive of articles at the far-right-fringe American Thinker website. WND's end-of-column bio for Tarlowe describes him only as "a native New Yorker living in the Heart of America" whose "pantheon of heroes and role models" includes not only domestic terrorist G. Gordon Liddy but domestic terrorist Meir Kahane, whose Kach movement and its successor, Kahane Chai, are banned in Israel for inciting racism and violence and considered terrorist organizations in the U.S.

With such an impeccable source to go on, WND executive news editor Joe Kovacs devoted a Dec. 9 article to pushing the third-shooter conspiracy:

A week after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, that killed 14 people and left 21 injured, some are wondering whatever happened to the supposed third shooter that witnesses say shot up the Inland Regional Center.

The two Muslim suspects who were killed in a police shootout have been identified as Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, who were reportedly planning the deadly assault a year in advance.

But witnesses on the day of the Dec. 2 massacre insisted there were three shooters.

Kovacs goes on to cite Rush Limbaugh, among other right-wingers, approvingly pushing this conspiracy.

Leo Hohmann piled on in a Dec. 10 article, invoking not only the third-shooter conspiracy but also other "lingering questions about how the incident occurred and the way it is being handled by the FBI." Hohmann wants to know "why there has been no video footage" of the shooting released, why reporters were allowed to go "traipsing through the apartment" of shooters Syed Farook and his "jihadist wife" so soon after investigators were done with it, and why the Council for American-Islamic Relations held a press conference denouncing the shooting "before the FBI even ruled the crime to be an act of terrorism."

Needless to say, the whole third-shooter conspiracy has been debunked; the San Bernardino Sun reports that the so-caled third shooter sought immediately after the shooting was actually someone fleeing the area of the final gun battle, possibly for his own safety. He was caught and detained, but was determined to not have been involved. Since the man did nothing wrong (but was booked on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant), authorities aren't releasing his name.

Don't expect WND to tell you any of this or, if it does, to present it at face value. Those conspiracy theories, discredited as they may be, are what keeps the rubes coming to the website.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 AM EST

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