FBI Interrogation for Reading Alternative Media

| August 1, 2003

FBI agents thoroughly questioned Marc Schultz after someone spotted the 'suspicious' bearded man reading an article from a free, independent alt weekly paper. Schultz was at first surprised when his mother called him at work to say the FBI was at his house. Still, he thought, 'background check...interviewing acquaintances... No big deal right?' Enter two FBI agents who, assuring him he is not in trouble, want to talk for a bit. A few moments later he can't help feeling somewhat eerie as he realizes the questions are about him.

They ask what car he drives, if he was in a specific coffee shop on a recent Saturday morning, and what he was carrying. He thought at the moment: 'A bomb? A knife? A balloon filled with narcotics? But no. I don't own any of those things.' One of the FBI agents says, 'Any reading material? Papers?' Schultz is at first unable to recall anything -- under the heavy stare of the agent -- before remembering that he was reading an article his dad printed for him. 'Some kind of left-wing editorial, the kind that never fails to incite me to anger and despair over the state of the country.' He can't think of the name of the article on the spot, especially with one agent suggesting they would like to 'get to the bottom of this. Now if we can't, then you might have a problem.' Schultz checks for the article at the bookstore where he works and in the trunk of his car. He even tries calling his dad, who is dumbstruck upon hearing that the FBI is questioning his son.

Exit FBI. After Schultz calms down a bit, he and his dad talk again, and they figure out that the article was 'Weapons of Mass Stupidity,' by Hal Crowther, from a recent issue of the Weekly Planet, an independent paper based in Tampa, Florida. Thus, the truly stunning irony comes to light. The piece was 'this scathing screed focusing on the way corporate interests have poisoned the country's media, focusing mostly on Fox News and Rupert Murdoch -- really infuriating, deadly accurate stuff about American journalism post-9-11.' The FBI has refused to comment on the case.
-- Joel Stonington

Go there>>Careful: The FB-Eye May Be Watching

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