We got the big news late last week from the Boston Globe:
Opening statements in the trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should begin next Wednesday, nearly two years after the bombs went off, as the federal judge overseeing the case wound down the difficult two-month process of picking a jury.
Well, we also heard the update elsewhere, but let’s face it: The Globe runs the Tsarnaev Media Show, and reporters there have a Pulitzer Prize to prove it. In fact their content is so stellar that New England’s paper of record is pushing it on other outlets; coming soon, you’ll be able to read their trial coverage in any number of places, as they’re offering packages to potential partners galore. Nothing wrong with that, just business in the 21st, but we’ll be keeping eyes on just how much of the Tsarnaev echo chamber is occupied by the Globe, so be sure to let us know if you see their work turn up in Hit Parader or some other obscure crevice.
Before diving into the innumerable articles about the actual proceedings, you may want to brush up on the killing of Ibrahim Todashev. We’re not sure what happened to the 27-year-old, who did not survive a May 2013 interrogation in relation to the bombing of the Boston Marathon, but here’s what NBC has to say …
[Todashev] was show [sic] seven times at his Orlando home in May 2013 by an FBI agent who was investigating his relationship with Tsarnaev and their connections to a grisly 2011 triple homicide in Waltham, Mass … The agent acted in self-defense after Todashev became angry during questioning and began wielding a pole “in the style of a javelin,” a Florida prosecutor later concluded … Todashev’s family believes the FBI used excessive force, according to a notice of claim filed on its behalf by lawyers at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
In case you were thrown by NBC’s typo, which has so far remained on the site for nearly 12 hours, an FBI agent shot Todashev, not showed him, during a visit to his Florida apartment. Not just any agent either, but a former cop who the Globe uncovered was even too violent for Oakland, not exactly an emblem of police sensitivity. This tangential story is important for a few reasons, but mainly because it serves as a steel reminder that the FBI, which is still scrambling to cover up the shooting nearly two years later, cannot be trusted. You would think at least some of the reporters who have helped expose the extent to which agents lie would stop quoting their bullshit, but of course it’s not objective journalism unless taxpayer-subsidized spin doctors get to mislead the public.
You’re almost ready to start following the trial. In all seriousness, though we joke about the Globe and other Hub industry leaders, we really are in good hands. Had such a tragedy gone down in, say, Oklahoma City, there would be far less local hacks with adequate resources and institutional memories to set a professional reportorial course, write the master narrative.
On that note, there are essentially two things of importance in today’s mainstream trial coverage, starting with Tsarnaev’s lawyer headline-grabbing opening admittance of the kid’s guilt. We’d hardly call it closure, but it ain’t a bad start. Secondly, it’s nice to finally start getting sketches of the jurors, as federal Judge George O’Toole seems to have picked quite the kaleidoscopic posse. Boston Globe, take us home …
The jurors who could decide Tsarnaev’s fate include a house painter, a young auditor who was recently fired from his job, a fashion designer, an air traffic controller, and a legal secretary at a law firm … Those seated on the panel said they could remain open-minded and decide the case fairly. All said they could impose the death penalty if it is warranted … “You don’t know if someone is guilty or not until the case is over, that’s kind of a point of a trial,” said one juror, a clerk at a Barnes & Noble store on the North Shore.
[Media Farm is wrangled by DigBoston News+Features Editor Chris Faraone]