“You have got to be fucking kidding me.”
That was the approximate reaction of every decent and intelligent human being upon seeing a headline from yesterday claiming that gangs may be targeting New England police departments. It was the appropriate reaction, too; whichever national or regional editor at Patch who thought to boost their traffic by localizing the violence in Baltimore through fear-mongering should be fired and exposed.
The click scam played out in a few different ways, depending on where you lived and which Patch sites you follow on Facebook. If you reside on the North Shore, then you may have seen the shameless headline, “‘Credible Threat’ Warning Issued that Gangs Might Target Woburn Police.” Really. They sunk that low. Only upon opening the story did readers get the real:
The Baltimore Police Department has issue a national alert warning law enforcement agencies across the country, including Massachusetts about a credible threat that gang members may be organizing to “take out” police officers.
The threat notification was issued earlier this morning and sent to the NLETS system. Police also requested media outlets share the information with the public.
In other places, Patch was more reserved in its fraudulence. Take Concord, New Hampshire, where a similar headline appeared, but without inserting the name of the city. Here’s the slick part though: they used a picture of the Concord police station. How clever. Or as we call it around here: “journalism.”
To be clear: we’re not ragging on the individual reporters who had to attach their names to these stories. We’re blaming the asshole executives at Patch, who have been putting profits over journalism in an irresponsible way for far too long. To their credit, a few reporters have actually worked to clean up the disaster into which they were forced by some godless top brass dildo who orchestrated the strategy to capitalize off Baltimore. As the Woburn Patch reported today:
On Monday, an article about a “credible threat” to police officers from newly-allied gangs in Baltimore ran across several Massachusetts Patch sites.
Many individuals found its since-altered headline – stating that gangs might target local departments – misleading and alarmist.
Among them – Woburn Chief of Police Robert Ferullo, who called Woburn Patch to clarify that his department is no more or less worried about gang retaliation than they normally are.
“It was a generic one-paragraph letter from the BPD, that two gangs were getting together and declaring war against police in general,” Chief Ferullo told Patch, speaking of the press release issued nationally by the Baltimore Police Department.
Well it’s a good thing we got that straightened out.