Sunday, January 8, 2012

Five Myths and Truths about Tim Tebow:

  Myth:  Tebow lost the last three games, after winning the six of the previous seven.
Truth: The Broncos lost the last three games, and won six of the previous seven.  It's always been a team success, not an individual triumph by Tebow.   Tebow said it best, "There's no 'Tebow Time,' just 'Bronco Time'."   Sure, Tebow can inspire, but he is not, despite the media-hype, a miracle-worker.  He needs better play calling from the offensive coordinator, a better game plan that give him better options (both run and pass), and receivers who don't have butterfingers.  
Myth:   Tebow can't pass, and his passing numbers are so bad because he's inaccurate.
Truth:  Tebow is better-than-average passer.  He didn't set those college records at Florida because he couldn't pass. Tebow's passing numbers are so bad because, a) he's constantly throwing in desperation situations, b) his receivers drop a lot of on-the-money passes, c)  he waits too long to throw the ball.   Yes, he has to make quicker decisions, but that's a learning curve any rookie goes through. 
Myth:  Coach John Fox brilliantly revamped the Bronco offense to accommodate Tebow's unique skills. 
Truth:   Un, no, not so much.  With a few notable exceptions, the Broncos have settled into a traditional, somewhat unimaginative grind it out run offense, in which the quarterback is encouraged to stay in the pocket and pass -- often in very obvious passing situations or against prevent defenses.  Much was made of the Broncos employing a retro college-style option, but anyone watching the games would know they barely run it.  Nor do they run many plays that have Tebow rolling out or stretching out the defense, to give he a chance to make a smart run/pass call.  They basically run off tackle and pass out of the pocket. 
Myth:   Tebow can't improve.
Truth:  Tebow must improve, and likely will, if given the chance.  No one works harder, and he certainly has the ability.
Myth:   Tebow's washed up if he doesn't win today's playoff game, big.
Truth:  Tebow will be snapped up by any number of teams should the Broncos be foolish enough to cut him loose.  I predict Redskins or Jaguars, would be prime candidates to sign him, in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Imortal 9/11 Conspiracy

Some conspiracy theories never die. They remain impervious to facts or logic. So deeply enamored are some cynics with their dark fantasies, that all evidence to the contrary is either ignored, or dismissed.

[caption id="attachment_1730" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="The E ring of the Pentagon at the 7th Corridor is beginning to fill with a thin haze of smoke, about 20 mins after plane hit the Pentagon. Photo by Jamie McIntyre. © 2001"][/caption]

So it is with the 9/11 deniers who still, nine years later, argue no plane hit the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. And I know this firsthand, because one of my reports is routinely used, or misused, to perpetuate the myth.

[caption id="attachment_1731" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Outside the River Entrance, waiting for the second plane to hit, 9/11/01 Photo by Jamie McIntyre ©2001"][/caption]

Google “Jamie McIntyre” and “9/11” and this firsthand account from 2001 will pop up, in which I utter the fateful words, “I can tell you from my close-up inspection, there’s no evidence of a plane crashing anywhere NEAR the Pentagon.”
That phrasing – taken out on context – has fueled internet conspiracies for years, and a fresh crop has popped up ahead of the 9th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
What the 9/11 deniers intentionally misrepresent, is that I was answering a question about an earlier report that the plane crashed SHORT of the Pentagon, nearby. I was explaining there was no sign of a crash anywhere BUT at the Pentagon.

[caption id="attachment_1732" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="A portion of the Pentagon collapses - 9/11/01 - Photo by Jamie McIntyre ©2001"][/caption]

A Google search will also turn up a longer version of the same report, in which you can see the full context of my report, and how it was deliberately distorted by mischief-makers whose motives are frankly unfathomable to me.
Whenever I confront one of these conspiracy promoters, the result is the same: they simply conclude I must be lying, or that the government has "gotten to me" to change my story.
But I was there. I saw the thousands of pieces of the plane scattered over the heliport outside the Pentagon. I photographed pieces of the wreckage, photos you can see here.
As a journalist I understand why some people are willing to believe the worst about the government. Because sometimes the government does lie, and cover up.

[caption id="attachment_1733" align="alignright" width="300" caption="On the heliport thousands of tiny shards of airplane wreckage cover the ground, 9/11/01 - Photo by jamie McIntyre ©2001"][/caption]

But the evidence surrounding the events of the September 11 is overwhelming and incontrovertible. Conspiracy theorists use a very simple devious and disingenuous tactic to sow doubt and promote their dubious conclusions. They simply ignore all the strong links in the chain of evidence, and focus instead on the weakest possible link.
If all you had to go by was the short clip of me saying, "there's no evidence a plane hit anywhere NEAR the Pentagon," you might well debate all day what I meant.
But we have all the evidence we need to know, without any doubt, that American Airlines flight 77 that took off from Dulles Airport was in fact flown into the side of the Pentagon the morning of September 11th.

[caption id="attachment_1734" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="A piece of wreckage that appears to be a cockpit window - 9/11/01 - Photo by Jamie McIntyre ©2001"][/caption]

When it comes to questioning the official version of events, it's good to keep an open mind. But if your mind is too open, your brain can fall out.
And frankly I think that's what's happened to some of these deniers.

[Construction Complete On 9/11 Truther Memorial]

[caption id="attachment_1735" align="alignright" width="300" caption="A piece of American Airlines flight 77, on the grounds of the Pentagon - 9/11/01 - Photo by Jamie McIntyre ©2001"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1736" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="The picture I was arrested for taking. A Pentagon Police officer claimed I violated the ban on photography. - 9/11/10 - Photo by Jamie McIntyre ©2001"][/caption]

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

All Out War - CNN vs. Fox

CNN Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson was fuming. Accused by the rival Fox network of being an unwitting "human shield" duped by the Gaddafi forces, he was lashing out at his accuser.

"This allegation is outrageous and it's absolutely hypocritical," ranted Robertson, in a rare direct attack on Fox. When you come to someplace like Libya you expect lies from the dictatorship here. You don't expect it from the other journalists."

Strong words.

One problem: Robertson had no information to contradict the central allegation in Fox's report, namely that British planes called off a missile attack on Muammar Gaddafi's compound in Tripoli because a busfull of reporters, including from CNN and Reuters were being given a tour of the damaged building at the time.