Today’s New York Times features an articled called “Hoax Site Distressing for Victims of Shooting,” which tells of a conspiracy website “claiming that the shootings that nearly killed Representative Gabrielle Giffords and did end the lives of a federal judge, a 9-year-old girl and four others never actually took place.” There are a few of these sites, the Times implies, but one specifically, run by a Texas man named Ed Chiarini, may be the subject of a police or FBI investigation because believers have started to show up at victims’ houses looking for proof, thereby making the websites newsworthy enough for an article. What the Paper of Record did not do, though, is name, link to, or really describe the site in question.
Of course, a simple Google search for Ed Chiarini brings up WellAware1.com, titled The Power of 1, which on its front page lists various missing persons news stories, a section called “Obama Vs Osama” and, in bold, “Rep. Giffords & Jared Loughner.” There is also a section titled, “In response to the New York Times Article.”
(Googling Chiarini’s name also brings up a video called “Killing of a President JFK ASSASSINATION HEAD WOUNDS by Ed Chiarini,” so he’s obviously really into this sort of thing.)
Chiarini’s Giffords section, the Times reports, “shows pictures of people who appeared on television after the shooting — including the suspect, Jared L. Loughner — and claims they resemble photographs of Tucson-area actors found on the Internet.”
One clip he points to as evidence of the actors is from the show Grey’s Anatomy. His section comparing local Arizona actors to the victims of the crime, pictured in a screenshot below, is extensive and detailed, though clearly inaccurate and unconvincing. Still, it’s worth seeing because it’s part of this story. Seeing the mass of “evidence” Chiarini has compiled, along with the questioning conspiracy theory language he uses (see also: birthers) helps one to better understand what might motivate believers to harass the victims of a horrible tragedy.
And yet the Times fails to get into any details about Chiarini or the site and does not explain why they do not name or link to it. Perhaps they think they are above that.
Near the bottom of the homepage, Chiarini a/k/a Dallasgoldbug, quotes himself: “Honest men fear no question.”