Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

Red-handed: Associated Press caught inserting “assault rifle” into Alabama hostage standoff

Written By: Bob - Feb• 01•13

Jimmy Lee Dykes has no business having firearms. A violent Vietnam vet with PTSD who beat a neighbor’s dog to death, threatened to shoot school children, and did shoot into an occupied vehicle, that Dykes wasn’t already incarcerated is a complete failure of the mental health and criminal justice system in this nation. All that happened before he murdered a school bus drive and took a 5-year-old hostage earlier this week in an on-going standoff.

In reading up on the hostage situation today, however, I caught an edit to the established facts (my bold below).

Here’s the current Associated Press report:

Dykes was known in the neighborhood as a menacing figure who neighbors said once beat a dog to death with a lead pipe, threatened to shoot children for setting foot on his property and patrolled his yard at night with a flashlight and an assault rifle.

Here’s the earlier story:

Dykes was known around the neighborhood as a menacing figure who once beat a dog to death with a lead pipe, threatened to shoot children for setting foot on his property and patrolled his yard at night with a flashlight and a shotgun.

¬†Yes, the Associated Press has been caught red-handed changing “shotgun” to “assault rifle” in their reporting.

Since the beginning of the standoff (example) it has been reported only that Dykes has been armed with a shotgun when patrolling his property. The morphing of the shotgun into an assault rifle seems to have happened within the past four hours.

Update: Without noting that they’ve made a correction of any kind, the story has changed again:

Dykes was known around the neighborhood as a menacing figure who neighbors said once beat a dog to death with a lead pipe, threatened to shoot children for setting foot on his property and patrolled his yard at night with a flashlight and a firearm.

It’s just too bad for them that screen caps never die.

The Associated Press strikes out again.

The Associated Press strikes out again.

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  1. Comrade X says:

    Hitler had only one Goebbels while Obama has NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, NYT, AP, etc etc etc!

    Death before slavery!

  2. Para says:

    Where does one buy a lead pipe these days?

    • NikFromNYC says:

      • c_taylor says:

        Nope, not not even McMaster Carr or Graingers carries lead pipe these days. Perhaps, having gotten all their plumbing knowledge from CLUE, the reporters are unaware that there is any other kind of pipe.

      • Phoebefeline says:

        NOPE; reporters have no ‘CLUE,’ there are other types of pipes. Toxic lead pipes–‘killer’ lead pipes; says the ASPCA.

    • Larry E says:

      Good question. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen a lead pipe.

      But everybody says “lead pipe” all the time, even when it’s a steel pipe. I guess “lead pipe” sounds more dramatic — like “a lead-pipe cinch.”

      • Phoebefeline says:

        Like saying you like ‘jello,’ when that’s just the brand name for the flavored gelatin treat! Such a small change of a word or two, can change the whole dynamic of a story.

    • C.T. Westing says:

      Maybe Feinstein should go after them. After all, do you really need a lead pipe? I mean, aren’t they just used for intimidation and violence? It’s not like they’re used for hunting and sport. We’d be much safer with them off the streets, or only in the hands of law enforcement.

      • Mike says:

        Give Feinstein a break……she would only ban the “lead pipe” if it had a pistol grip and was black!!!

    • Boyd says:

      Good catch. And more instructive than I first thought. It speaks to the total abandonment of prose by today’s “reporters”. It’s post modern reporting now with poetic references and political narrative in place of common language intended to inform. I guessing they learned this in journalism school?

    • Mr. Green says:

      He borrowed it from Colonel Mustard in the conservatory.

    • Phoebefeline says:

      The game “CLUE.”

  3. Phil says:

    Actually, the first time I saw the above comment in the media it stated that he beat a dog “almost” to death. Now this….

  4. AFIraqVet says:


    The Vietnam vet part of this story is still very much in doubt, and hasn’t been substantiated. Check out This Ain’t Hell’s writeup for more info on that aspect. It seems the press’s willingness to label anyone a veteran is only surpassed by their visions of “assault weapons” in every corner.

    • Oldflyer says:

      The Vietnam Vet and PTSD reports contained in various stories are pure crap. It took me about five minutes to find a USN bio on the guy. He was an Aviation Administrationman assigned to a reconnaissance squadron in Japan. That means that he did specialized paperwork maintaining aircraft log books, etc. His squadron sent detachments aboard carriers, so he may or may not have actually deployed aboard ship. But, every award he earned was a unit award, and those were actually earned by the aircrews who were flying in Vietnam.

      Based on the evidence, this guy did nothing stressful, and never saw Vietnam.

      • Black Betty says:

        The AP needs to blame it on the military, because they can’t to come out and say that he may have some severe psychological disorder. You see, he just CAN’T be like all the rest of the wackadoos who end up digging bunkers, shooting up public joints and turning their apartment buildings into a giant chemical bombs.

        No. He’s the ONE guy who fits their meme.

  5. Roger U says:

    Pretty soon they’ll just use the catch-all, “assault gun”.

  6. Cole says:

    This is why none of trust the media and the conspiracy theorists have so much breathing room. Hard to call someone paranoid when the media is actively lying to us.

  7. robins111 says:

    I’m very surprised, they didn’t insert ‘Bushmaster’ into the narrative, they seem to love, rolling that off their lying tongues..

  8. Orion says:

    Did he beat the dog to death with an Assault Lead Pipe?

    We need to ban assault plumbing!! If it saves only one child, it’s worth it…


  9. Waldo says:

    I’m not surprised at all. I have been wondering since this story broke why it is that there are not media lined up everywhere to cover this. A kid “falls into a well” and the world literally comes to a halt – live coverage on all the networks and constant updates. And we find out later it was just a hoax/joke.

    The only details they seem to be providing are traits of this person that they wish to demonize. “Doesn’t trust the government” (and thus he is “anti-American”). “Has a BUNKER in his yard”. Doomsday prepper. War veteran. Owns guns. Mentally unstable.

    What are they waiting for? Perhaps enough “public outcry” to go in and rescue the kid? To show us why neighbors like the one who says they went into the bunker with Mr. Unstable Veteran need to “snitch” when their neighbors are doing “strange things”? To convince us we need the military to be involved because they have the ground-penetrating radar and other technology available?

  10. Steve White says:

    There’s a hoary old newspaper saying that used to be hammered into cub reporters: “if your mother says she loves you, check it out.”

    The point of course was that reporters were supposed to fact check everything they wrote. Vietnam vet? Check it out. Firearm? Check it out? Beat a dog to death? Check it out. And so on.

    That’s what reporters did. Perhaps the AP person who wrote this story was a ‘journalist’, someone more concerned with narrative than with getting the facts right.

  11. James says:

    I’m personally doubtful that the reporter was doing this on purpose to be dishonest. Remember, for the most part, they haven’t a clue. A rifle is the same as a shotgun is the same as a pistol to them. They’re all “assault weapons” to be used interchangeably…

  12. J.P. Travis says:

    Good catch. The media has completely turned the corner into a giant media/government complex dedicated to propaganda.

    • Comrade X says:

      Just watched Chris Wallace on Fox this morning carrying the water for the gun grabbers from the law abiding, disgusting!

      Death before slavery!

  13. C. says:

    The story now lists it as “a long gun”.

  14. BTC says:

    I’m not denying that this was not a reporting error, but I would suggest checking the sourcing on each of the stories. The AP is a collaborative service with hundreds of local affiliates and stories like this are rarely reported by the actual AP staff reporters so to blame the AP itself is pretty premature.

    • Comrade X says:

      Isn’t a company represented by the people who work for them, now if this was an isolated case that is one thing but it ain’t a one time deal methinks!

      Death before slavery!

  15. Mike says:

    “beat a dog to death with a lead pipe”? What is this, Clue? The crazed vet did it in the bunker with the lead pipe.

  16. teapartydoc says:

    The CEO’s of any news organization with readership/viewership over 20,000 should be required to give weekly public news conferences for questions by the general public with no armed guards.

  17. AT says:

    Here’s another question what the heck is a ‘lead pipe’? I’m familiar wih copper, PVC, and iron but is there really such a thing still as a lead pipe?

  18. Roy Hauer says:

    Lead pipes were pretty well obsolete and about as hard to find as hens teeth back about the late 50’s. I would just have to think that lead pipe sounds better than just the word pipe. Lead pipe is more gangsta sounding from the roaring 20’s. There is many many folks with underground bunkers all through that area as well as most of Alabama. Some may be survivalist/preppers, but most have a moderately stocked shelter for hurricane and tornado protection. The media makes it sound when throwing the words, PTSD, Vietnam Vet, Bunker, Assault Rifle, that this guy ois a raving lunatic. I doubt he is all that bad, he just needs mental help which most likely he can not get and he snapped. I am not saying I condone what he did, but odds are if he was properly treated for his mental probs he would probablay be a great guy to know. I live about 60 miles from this place, and have firearms and an underground shelter too. also I am a Viet Nam vet (3 tours) Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan as well. But don’t let the media dare tell me I am crazy or one that is likely to go off. Cause I am not.

  19. PacRim Jim says:

    In my experience, Associated Press takes every opportunity to denigrate the United States. Whenever I see “AP,” I know I’m in the domain of an America-hater.

  20. Dr. Eviler says:

    Has once again been changed at the link to say ‘long gun’. Then adds that authorities have not released what type of gun it is.

  21. willis says:

    Next thing you know they’ll have the guy eating the dog after beating it to death with a krypton pipe.

  22. Robert Engler says:

    This is the same Associated Press that said the lying-liar photo of Obama on thee “skeet” portrayed His Eminence as “holding a rifle.” The just don’t know wtf they’re talking about.

  23. David G. Mills says:

    Why does any get surprised by this? It’s not going to get better. When you have LIBERAL AP serving LIBERAL newspapers, no one gives a damn.

    If you all would simply STOP BUYING THE PAPERS
    If you all would pick up your phone and call AP in New Jersey.

    If you all would call your paper about the obvious liberls leanings and liberal edits..

    We are not JEWS in NAZI Germany..we can “fight back”.
    We can always fight back wit our wallets.

  24. Okrathief says:

    A little thinking about the “lead pipe” led me to “lead pipe cinch”. Feel free to Bing it. Maybe the neighbors/press wants the outcome to be a foregone conclusion, which may result in a fatality?

  25. Jeff D says:

    It’s a news story ON THE INTERNET, Bob.

    What he patrolled his property with at night probably depends on which neighbor any given reporter has talked to, and on what that neighbor imagines he or she has seen after dark after talking to other neighbors.

  26. Ray Van Dune says:

    Too bad he didn’t kidnap a journalist. Then we could all just forget about it since no human life was at risk.

    But seriously, I wonder why there is so little mention of the unfortunate bus driver who was killed.

  27. Dirty Old Man says:

    AP can be contacted at Don’t expect to get connected with the dufus that wrote this story, though. I’d boycott the newspapers, but I quit reading them years ago.

  28. Monday morning links…

    America’s Baby Bust – The nation’s falling fertility rate is the root cause of many of our problems. And it’s only getting worse. Babies needed, preferably with two functioning parents Sandra Fluke: People Who Oppose Free Birth Control Are Like Peop…

  29. NO FEAR says:


  30. obsidian says:

    The screaming of some words by the media overshadows everything else, “VIETNAM VET blah blah SHOTGUN/ASSAULT RIFLE, blah blah blah SCHOOL BUS, blah blah CHILDREN IN DANGER, MURDER and most of all the repeated use of the word BUNKER when describing a common item in Alabama peoples yards…a tornado shelter.
    Got That America?
    The media’s reporters get positively hysterical in their reporting.

  31. Louie says:

    So I’m interested to know, since the writer insists Dykes had no business owning a gun, does the writer support background checks for all weapons sales, or do you support police confiscating weapons from folks merely accused of a crime?

    The media sells a product, like any marketing mope they sensationalize. Caveat emptor.

    Wat are we going to do to keep weapons out of the hands of The Jimmys of the world? The media didn’t kill that bus driver or traumatized that child. A gunman did that.

  32. Winston Court says:

    Dykes had a message he wanted the news media to put out, I can’t help but consider what would have happened if they, the media, had complied? Would he have released the boy?

    I would ALWAYS like to hear what message needs that kind of censorship.

    One thing which I think is quite obvious, there is much more to this story than they are allowing us to know. I would like all the facts, but doubt we will ever have them.

    • Louie says:

      Responsible police didn’t let reporters anywhere near the weirdo.

      You perceive a problem with that?