“Our family is dead because they lied to us…” – Family member of a miner who died in the Sago, WV explosion [MSNBC, 1/4/06]
Umm, no. Your family is dead because they were in a mine two miles underground during a very large methane explosion. I understand tragedy can be very disorienting and confusing. And yes, the communications about these guys was terribly botched. But, the botching of the communications did not kill these guys. And no sane human thinks this was lying. Stupidity, yes – but not lying. And, that stupidity is not to blame for their deaths. Perhaps the saddest part is the irony that it was apparently family members themselves who initially started spreading the word that they were alive.
It’s also extremely angering that the media would perpetuate all of this last night when these reports were totally unconfirmed. Not a single official had gone on record to say these guys were OK. Yet it ran in dozens of newspapers this morning and all over the web.
This is an unfortunate and painful illustration of that old adage, “a lie is halfway around the world before the truth even gets its pants on.”