For the past few days, the corporate media has been reporting on a phone call made to Arlene Holmes, the mother of alleged mass murderer James Holmes. ABC News’ placed a call to the Holmes family home in San Diego, CA in the early morning hours after the shootings in Aurora, CO. ABC reported that Mrs. Holmes immediately said, “You have the right person.” Since that time, multiple media sources have reported over and over again that Arlene Holmes was not surprised to learn that her son had gone on a murderous rampage.
Personally, I never interpreted Mrs. Holmes’ words in that way. I assumed that she was saying that, yes, she was the mother of a man named James Holmes who lived in Aurora, CO. It turns out that my interpretation was the correct one.
Today, Lisa Damiani, the Holmes family attorney, read a statement from Arlene Holmes in which she attempted to clarify the media narrative. She explained that the reporter asked her if she was Arlene Holmes and if she had a son, James Holmes, who lived in Aurora, CO. She then said “You have the right person,” indicating that she did have a son by that name. She then asked the reporter why he was calling and he told her about the shooting and asked for a comment. She told the reporter that she needed to find out of the person in custody was really her son. She the said that she would call the police or go to Colorado.
UPDATE: The full statement is reproduced at the end of this post.
I have to say that I am disgusted with the way the media covers horrible stories like this. Can any of us possibly imagine what it would be like to be awakened by a phone call from a national news organization announcing that your son has committed an unspeakable crime? The cold-blooded way that the media confronts families is sickening to me.
I am as fascinated by stories like this as anyone, but I try my best to be fair in evaluating what I read and hear. Unfortunately, the media narrative has probably been set in stone already and will continue to be reported again and again, as people judge this family and hold them responsible for their son’s actions.
I was also surprised to learn from the press conference that the family has not been contacted by Aurora police. It may be that James doesn’t want police to contact them. He’s an adult and legally can make his own decisions.
Another interesting thing the attorney said was that the family does not wish to discuss their relationship with James at this time. I don’t want to read anything into this, but the statement is suggestive that there may have been some kind of difficulty. I don’t want to be guilty of the same behavior that I’m criticizing, so I’m going to wait until there is more information.
TMZ has a breaking news story on this now. As soon as someone publishes the full statement, I’ll link to it here.
UPDATE: Here is the full statement from Arlene Holmes from Politico:
Arlene Holmes, the mother of Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes, says that ABC News mischaracterized her when it reported that her initial statement to the reporter, “you have the right person,” was a reference to her son.
“This statement is to clarify a statement made by ABC media. I was awakened by a call from a reporter by ABC on July 20 about 5:45 in the morning. I did not know anything about a shooting in Aurora at that time,” Holmes said in a statement this afternoon, read to the national press by attorney Lisa Damiani. “He asked if I was Arlene Holmes and if my son was James Holmes who lives in Aurora, Colorado. I answered yes, you have the right person. I was referring to myself.”
“I asked him to tell me why he was calling and he told me about a shooting in Aurora,” she continues. “He asked for a comment. I told him I could not comment because I did not know if the person he was talking about was my son, and I would need to find out.”
In the first paragraph of its initial report on Friday, ABC News reported that it had identified the correct James Holmes because his mother “told ABC News her son was likely the alleged culprit, saying, ‘You have the right person.'”
I don’t know who the reporter was that made the phone call to Arlene Holmes and then twisted her meaning; but he or she should be fired. Brian Ross had previously reported that a Tea Party leader named Jim Holmes might have been the shooter. He should be fired too.
Rush Limbaugh attacked ABC News’ decision to air an interview with Newt Gingrich’s second wife, Marianne, tonight in advance of the South Carolina presidential primary.
Limbaugh was extremely skeptical of reports that ABC News was debating the ethical implications of airing the interview before the South Carolina primary. The radio host charged, “If there was any debate at ABC, it was over when would be the best time to do it so as to cause the most harm.” He alleged that the network was trying to “clear” the GOP field, and never dug up dirt on Democratic candidates.
Limbaugh also drew parallels between Gingrich and Bill Clinton over their affairs. He said that Gingrich “wanted an open marriage just like Bill and Hillary and in fact, Newt actually had the politeness to ask permission for it. You think Bill ever did that?” He speculated that the charges against Gingrich, which he dismissed as unimportant, might even prompt Democrats to vote for him.
Some quotes from Limbaugh’s show via Think Progress:
“I don’t understand why the media’s pretending to be so upset” about Gingrich’s behavior with his ex, Marianne. Limbaugh went on to read a “great note” from a “good friend of mine,” which posits that Newt and not Marianne — whom Gingirch left shortly after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis — is the real “victim” here….
LIMBAUGH: I got a great note from a friend of mine. “So Newt wanted an open marriage. BFD. At least he asked his wife for permission instead of cheating on her. That’s a mark of character, in my book. Newt’s a victim. We all are. Ours is the horniest generation.” […] That’s from a good friend of mine, “Newt’s slogan ought to, ‘Hell, yes, I wanted it.’” (laughing) I’m sharing with you how some people are reacting to this.
Limbaugh didn’t seem concerned about the fact that Gingrich had already been carrying on his affair with Callista for years before he supposedly “asked permission.”
So this is the state of Republican morality today. Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, married for the third time after cheating on his first two wives is defended by drug addict Rush Limbaugh, who is now married to his fourth wife. But somehow Bill Clinton is still the real bad guy.
Here’s ABC’s preview of the interview with Marianne…
and a radio interview with Brian Ross about the interview
Minkoff Minx highlighted this story earlier today, but I thought I’d expand on it a little bit. As Minx wrote earlier, Solyndra is a solar energy company that the Obama admnistration has hyped as an example of the potential of green energy technology to create jobs in the U.S. From the LA Times editorial page:
Solyndra was the first company to be awarded a federal loan guarantee under the stimulus, worth $535 million. Taxpayers are likely to end up on the hook for much if not all of that amount, a highly embarrassing development for President Obama because he was among the company’s biggest cheerleaders. He visited its Fremont plant in May 2010 even though PricewaterhouseCoopers had weeks earlier raised doubts about its plans for an initial public offering by questioning whether it could continue as a going concern.
That’s especially troubling because Solyndra is backed by one of Obama’s key fundraisers, George Kaiser of Tulsa. Congressional Republicans were raising alarms about Obama’s connections to Solyndra well before Wednesday’s announcement, with GOP members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee voting in July to subpoena documents from the Office of Management and Budget on the loan-guarantee decision.
Two important questions are raised by Solyndra’s failure: Should the government be in the business of picking winners and losers by providing loan guarantees to risky energy ventures? And is Obama using stimulus funds to reward his political contributors?
The Times says “yes” to the first question and “maybe” to the second, pending the results of the House investigation.
As the LA Times noted, questions were being asked about the Solyndra loan even before the bankruptcy announcement. Brian Ross and his colleagues at ABC News have also been looking into the White House connection.
ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News first reported on questions about the choice of Solyndra for the loan in May after the Department of Energy disclosed it was being forced to restructure its loan package for the company, which was showing early signs of financial distress. One of Solyndra’s major investors was George Kaiser, an Oklahoma billionaire who raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama during the 2008 election.
Following the ABC News and iWatch News reports, the House Energy and Commerce Committee opened their own investigation into the loan and into the Kaiser link, which Stearns office said in a statement “raised concerns that politics may have played a role in putting taxpayer dollars at risk making this loan guarantee.” ….
White House officials deferred ABC News’ request for comment on this report to the Department of Energy. There, officials told ABC News and iWatch News that it used objective factors in selecting Solyndra. The department released a statement Wednesday on its website blaming changing economics in the industry — including a major push by Chinese firms to drive down solar panel prices — for the company’s collapse along with two other domestic firms. According to the Energy Department, the price for solar products dropped 42 percent in 2011.
I don’t know why anyone would be surprised to learn that Obama was using government money to help his big donors. Isn’t that what he’s been doing with Wall Street since the fiscal crisis began? Even before he was elected, Obama whipped for TARP. If he hadn’t convinced members of the Congressional Black Caucus to vote for it, the bailout bill never would have passed. So now Republicans control the House, and they can’t wait to investigate.
House Energy Committee Chair Fred Upton (R-MI) sent a letter to the White House
which calls on the White House to turn over correspondence between administration officials, Solyndra and its investors….”How did this company, without maybe the best economic plan, all of a sudden get to the head of the line?” Upton told ABC News in an interview this week. “We want to know who made this decision … and we’re not going to stop until we get those answers.”
The White House denies any involvement in the approval of the loan, although members of the administration have enthusiastically and publicly praised it. Yet more neutral observers have been critical of the deal.
While Energy Department officials steadfastly vouched for Solyndra — even after an earlier round of layoffs raised eyebrows — other federal agencies and industry analysts for months questioned the viability of the company. Peter Lynch, a longtime solar industry analyst, told ABC News the company’s fate should have been obvious from the start.
“Here’s the bottom line,” Lynch said. “It costs them $6 to make a unit. They’re selling it for $3. In order to be competitive today, they have to sell it for between $1.5 and $2. That is not a viable business plan.”
Furthermore, OMB considered the loan to be “risky,” according to ABC News.
The White House’s Office of Budget and Management viewed the arrangement as a riskier bet to taxpayers than DOE had. That forced the government to set aside millions more in case of a default, iWatch reported last month.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens, but I can only assume that Republicans in the House are going to be on this like white on rice. They hate Obama and they hate green energy.