Scott Hanselman

Interesting...Man Sets Himself on FIRE near the White House...and no one covers the story?

November 16, 2004 Comment on this post [10] Posted in Musings
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Patrick saw this on CNN for literally 5 seconds, but I figured this would be a lead story today.  A fellow tries to set himself on fire near the White House, and noone covers the story? It's not on or's buried on the Reuter's Wire.

UPDATE: It's trickling in now via Google News.

Color me reactionary, but when someone tries to self-immolate (thanks Patrick) I figure they're pretty upset about something.

I wonder what it could be?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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November 16, 2004 6:56
This one says "Hours later, another man jumped a wrought-iron White House fence down the street on Pennsylvania Avenue and was quickly apprehended by Secret Service agents after injuring his ankle."
November 16, 2004 8:28
No need to sensationalize one man's psychosis (he was allegedly screaming "God is Great" in Arabic) when the only one harmed was the individual involved. Yes it should be reported, but it's hardly the top headline.
November 16, 2004 10:33
In my opinion, this is nothing but manipulation of information. There are demostration all over the country, but how many of them do we see on TV? Those media corporations benefit from Bush administration anyway, so they want to hide anything negative to Bush administration. A lot of people are upset about this administration, but media is not talking about it for their own benefit, which makes me sick to my stomach.
November 16, 2004 11:52
At least CNN is talking about it now.
November 16, 2004 21:40
NBC has covered it today. Apparently the guy is an FBI informant, distraught over not being able to return to his home of Yemen.

Moral of the story, don't jump to conclusions.
November 16, 2004 23:33
According to the Washington Post, the man approached the FBI voluntarily after September 2001 because he wanted to help. He was allegedly promised great monetary reimbursement (he received $100k), citizenship, and generally good treatment. In exchange, he helped the FBI find and apparently capture at least one high-profile suspect. Now the FBI is holding his old passport (they did not give him US citizenship) and he is thus unable to travel home to visit his apparently cancer-stricken family (he himself is said to suffer from diabetes and more). In addition, his identity and details of his help were leaked - now his family is subject to threats in Yemen. Recently he has been giving a series of interviews to Washington Post reporters. Pretty unbelievable that the initial news stories mentioned none of this for many hours (though they did give the man's precise age).

The full article is available on the front-page of, but now requires subscription. Title is "Terror informant ignites self".
November 17, 2004 2:40
"Those media corporations benefit from Bush administration anyway, so they want to hide anything negative to Bush administration." - Hiriami

Wha ??? You must be living in a parallel universe or something.

90% of the news media are registered Democrats.
Most major newspapers endorsed Kerry.
Election night, you could see shock and disappointment on the faces of ABC, NBC, CNN, CBS news anchors. All smiles on FOX, but at least we should get ONE network :)

Most of the media will defend themselves and try to say "no, we are neutral, we just report the news", but I've NEVER heard anybody accuse them of being in the pocket of the Bush administration. That's just absurd.
November 17, 2004 9:22
True, I was just saying (myself) that it was weird. I'm not implying it was being swept under the's just that burning oneself up is close to being a suicide bomber, and I thought more people would be freaked.
November 17, 2004 22:34
NPR interviewed the journalist that had interviewed him several times, she seems to believe his story but the FBI can't say whether someone is in protective custody or not.
November 19, 2004 2:38
CNN is a joke. We had CNN constantly running in office kitchen and I never ever saw any story or footage or any funny quotes that might make Bush look bad during whole of his previous term. While watching Farenheight 911, I just asked myself where the hell so called best news network journalists were all the time? Why I never saw any of these footage on CNN? They literally kept painting Bush as strong desirable leader every single second of their transmissions I'd seen. They showed whole thing for 5 seconds is surprise for me - usually they are not supposed to show any anti-Bush footage.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.