FBI Interrogation for Reading Alternative Media

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

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