But is the story True or False? And why we’re sticking with it until the end.
Yesterday, The Cypress Times published an article from DiggersRealm.com, with permission of the author, which stated that two ranches in Laredo, Texas had been seized by armed members of the Los Zetas Mexican drug cartel.
The story quickly went viral and was picked up by, literally, thousands of websites and bloggers. However, throngs of doubters and nay-sayers among readers and internet users soon appeared to call the story “wrong,” “fake,” a “lie” and worse. You can read some of the more tame comments received on the article published by The Cypress Times HERE.
I have been in contact with the citizen journalist (blogger) that broke the story. He writes under the name Digger, and he is the publisher of DiggersRealm.com and is standing firmly behind his story and his sources. In addition, Kimberly Dvorak of the Examiner.com has now confirmed the information as well using sources independent of Digger’s.
From DiggersRealm.com –
First, let me clarify that I was also skeptical of the story when I initially heard word. It is certainly not because there haven’t been armed intrusions into the United States before from Mexico. There have been a ton in the last decade, but there have not been any where they would hold onto a position. They usually leave after a standoff or upon discovery.
The situation has become different in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico over the last few days. There have been gun-battles through the streets and fragmentation grenades used as the government of Mexico tries to run the Los Zetas out of their stronghold there. People died and were wounded. The city was on lockdown and the US government issued warnings to US citizens in the area to remain indoors. With our lack of border security and porous borders, it is not beneath my intellect to believe that the Los Zetas could be forced into a retreat into US territory and attempt to seize a hideout.
Not only that, but “first contact” with me of the initial story was from none other than Jeff Schwilk, founder of the San Diego Minutemen, who had a confirmed source in the area of Laredo. With this in mind I decided to go with the story, but to remain cautious. I clearly stated on the story that it was not 100% confirmed. It remained that way all night.
I put out my feelers throughout the night to try and collect information and other credible sources to confirm the occupation of ranches in Laredo. I did not receive actual confirmation until this morning when I got word that Kimberly Dvorak of the Examiner had made multiple confirmations within the Laredo Police Department. Up until this point the story had not spread wide. There was no reason for the Laredo Police Department to crack down hard and keep things truly blacked out as there was no heavy interest from media.
However, upon that second confirmation and her running her story “Los Zetas drug cartel seizes 2 U.S. ranches in Texas” the story to me at that point was 100% confirmed. I changed my story to reflect that and released it to the world – spreading it wide. It has since gone viral.
(Since then I have learned Kim has no less than three sources inside law enforcement. Kim was also involved in the Acorn investigation with Breitbart, so she’s no whipper snapper.)
Since that time many journalists have tried to get information from law enforcement in the area. With the flood of calls to the Laredo Police Department, others are now starting to receive dodgy kind of answers to their questions. This leads me to believe that there may indeed by a bona-fide news blackout as they try to resolve the situation.
We do have people looking into it and digging further; other things behind the scenes are going on for additional confirmation other than the current sources.
Both Digger and Dvorak are being told by multiple sources in law enforcement that a “news blackout” is in place around these unfolding events.
A news blackout is basically an order from the top down to disavow any knowledge of a situation or story. Deflect, disavow and deny. There are many reasons for this. They range from the legitimate tactical reasoning to the downright nefarious “cover up” reasoning.
Tactical reasoning is an easy one. It is so they can perform their duties with minimal intrusion. That one is very simple to understand.
The article continues by examining more nefarious, or politically motivated, reasons that “officials” might enforce a media blackout.
DiggersRealm.com is an established and respected blog having been online and on the front lines of independent internet journalism for over seven years.
Kimberly Dvorak is a well-established, credible internet journalist. I am standing with them and continuing to run this story here in The Cypress Times.
If I have miscalculated, or if the story’s sources prove to be wrong, then I’ll apologize to all of our readers with a front page article.
As to those of you who have asked, “Why not pull the story?” or “Doesn’t running this story show a lack of journalistic integrity?” I can offer the following.
To the “Watergate” example; if Woodward and Bernstein had stopped when the government, even the President of the United States had denied the story the truth would never have come to light. Like this story related to the takeover of two Texas ranches by a drug cartel, Woodward and Bernstein used a “confidential source.”
If we, in the internet space, are to be different from the MSM, we cannot stop the pursuit of a story because of government denials, or simply because the MSM isn’t reporting the story, too.
Sometimes we outside of the MSM have to trust each other, and rely on one another’s integrity. While we are dedicated to our work, we are also outmanned and outgunned by the established news services both locally and nationally.
A local television station in a small town employs dozens of people in order to generate the “news”. A major market television station or newspaper employs hundreds. At a network level the staffing numbers become ridiculous. Yet how often do you see a genuine news story carried by only one mainstream media outlet and not the others?
Does having more feet on the ground make a news organization better? Maybe, but not necessarily. It all gets down to individual work ethic and integrity. Never forget that the entire world of professional journalism was blind to “Watergate” save for two enterprising reporters.
The mainstream media has a “follow the leader” mentality these days as well as a broad and well-documented streak of lazy. If one of their own covers a story they all follow suit in true lemming fashion while claiming to have done it better and faster and first.
Out here in the nether regions of this new burgeoning frontier called citizen journalism, or internet news, or the blogosphere, we have little to no staff, fewer resources, no money and a burning desire to get to the truth; even if the truth is initially denied by government officials, or the MSM. We must rely solely on hard work and integrity; our own, and our compatriots who have grown tired of being force fed what corporate media determines to be “newsworthy”.
Let’s face it, none of us in the alternative internet journalism space would even exist if you fully believed that it’s only true if you’ve seen it on NBC, CBS, ABC or Fox or read it in the New York Times.
This particular story concerning a “reported” takeover of two Texas ranches by a Mexican drug cartel could be a real game changer for citizen journalism, for the new age of internet news that sometimes reports what is completely contrary to the news being reported by the MSM. This could be one of those watershed events that changes things forever.
We’ll wait as the story develops, follow where it leads, and act accordingly.