More information is coming to light about the person who killed one TSA agent and wounded at least six other people at Los Angeles International Airport this morning.
NBC News’ Pete Williams reported that the gunman had “strong anti-government views.” That conclusion seems to have been based on a note the shooter carried with him:
NOW: @fox32news reports Officials saying LAX gunman wore fatigues & carried bag containing note that said he "wanted to kill TSA and pigs."
— NewsBreaker (@NewsBreaker) November 1, 2013
— ABC7News (@ABC7News) November 1, 2013
It seems a bit of a kneejerk reaction to base the statement “strong anti-government views” on a note that so far suggests mental problems and doesn’t provide much other broad background, but we probably know why that direction was chosen:
Wait.. so "anti-government views" divined from note reading he wanted to kill "TSA and pigs?" https://t.co/XSxHfn7SX0
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) November 1, 2013
.@NoahCRothman This "anti-government" line came out way too quickly to not be politically motivated.
— Starz and Strypz (@StarzandStrypz) November 1, 2013
The anti govt writing is that he wanted to kill tsa agents and pigs. That's it?
— Greg Pollowitz (@GPollowitz) November 1, 2013
Reporters like Pete Williams might be wise to take a breath and wait a little while just so they don’t make a Brian Ross style mistake.