Frankly this is getting rather old rather fast. The latest installment of blame Texas EquuSearch brings us to last nights Fox News’ “On the Record” with Greta Van Susteren. It would appear that in a slow news cycle that any rumor or innuendo is some how going to pass for news. During last nights show, Tito Lacle of Aruba Today said the following comments that makes one question why it was said and why Greta provided no follow up questioning such baseless accusations: (Transcript)
Greta: In terms of the search today, any update on what’s being searched?
Tito: Well, basically we did some research today as to why the group that came in last week had so much trouble getting into the landfill. I spoke to the Minister, I spoke to several people in charge, and the minister didn’t even know this group was on the Island. He thought that the Texas Equusearch people were still here. I spoke to the people of the landfill and they confirmed that they closed the area because of the problems they had with Texas Equusearch people. Lastly, because of that the new guy in town, Fred, is paying the price for what the Texas Equusearch people apparently did. It seems, Greta, that the Texas Equusearch people were the ones that started a fire last Thursday and that caused problems for the landfill people. They decided to close it down until further notice, until they make out a new permit for anybody else to do whatever they have to do for the search. I must say, Greta, they don’t have a problem with anybody as long as they keep themselves to the rule but right now they are just waiting for higher up approval for anybody to be getting in and helping with the Natalee search.
One wonders just how much investigative journalism went into this? Exactly how many sources were questioned during this research and was TES ever even consulted in the matter to get their side of the story? From what I have determined the answer with regards to contacting Texas EquuSearch was no. Some how an accusation from someone at the landfill is allowed to stand as the truth and allowed to be broadcast live on Fox TV. A further accusation by Tito that that Fred Golba “is paying the price for what the Texas Equusearch people apparently did.” Paying a price for incidents that took place after TES left Aruba?
In researching this accusation made the fire at the landfill that they are discussing took place last Thursday or Friday, August 11th or 12th. Anyone researching this story could have contacted TES as I did and discovered that the last member of TES, Joe Huston, left Aruba on August 8, 2005. Joe Huston contacted me via email last night with this comment:
I was the last TES member and I left on 08/08/05.
Miraculously, TES was some how responsible for a fire that occurred in a landfill some 3 or 4 days later after they left. Accusations that were made by individuals at a landfill who were also responsible for the covering up of pre-dug holes that the new search teams were supposed to go through with their dogs. Holes covered up as Fred Golba was reported to have seen right in front of his eyes as he became sickened. The truth of the matter seems to be all based on a false accusation because TES was not even on Aruba to start the so-called fire at the landfill that in turn caused the landfill people to close it and make life difficult for the new search teams. One really begins to wonder what some of the agendas are by some when searching for Natalee Holloway. Maybe these comments were said to create a diversion from the fact that the landfill had filled in the holes and wasted previous valuable man hours? Does anyone not think that simple fact checks like dates and locations could not be done? What makes things even more precarious is that a Minister whom I presume was the Minister of Works did not even know what search team was on Aruba and that TES had actually left according to Tito.
At what point does news become PR or just sensationalism to get any story out at any time? The accusation of the fire in the landfill sounds very much like the TES destroyed turtle eggs story. A baseless accusation with no proof. All this while the further news story coming out at the same time by Tito referencing the upcoming boycott of the American media:
Greta: Alright. In terms of the reaction of the people who live in Aruba, what’s their view today, or at least in recent days, of the American media and of these private search groups coming in?
Tito: The private search groupsÃ¢â‚¬” they’re ok with that, as far as the media, they still have their problems with it. There was a talk show today on the radio, and people were a little bit livid on the situation of the press. Still, at one point, I must point out, not all the press, some media and some specific names were mentioned that they have a problem with and they are working toward a possible protest, but that is not confirmed yet, until the end of this week.
Greta: Alright, and that possible protest, that would be, at least they’re thinking about it, against the American media. Where would that be located? Where would that happen in Aruba?
Tito: That location is still to be seen, based on a permit that they are still waiting upon, and once that is issued, I’ll be able to give you more information as to the exact date, location, and time frame, but it looks right now as it’s going to be toward the end of the week.
Greta: How much ground swell is there to protect American media? How much enthusiasm is there to protest American media.
How ironic; a boycott of the American media for the views they express yet we have had exaggerated and blatantly false charges made by Arubans as well that have certainly been inflammatory. Seems like there may be enough misinformation to go around on all sides. A boycott of American media? This is once again hardly the image that Aruba wants to portray.
Maybe everyone in Aruba forgot about this article from April 18, 2004; Arubastation.com Aruba moving towards full transition of parkietenbos facility
Although spontaneous fires at the site remain a concern, the project has been responsible for bringing an end to the daily occurrence of uncontrolled fires and for the implementation of a Thermal Treatment Unit for the safe disposal of contaminated wastes. CIWS, together with representatives from the Ministry of Public Health and Environment and Serlimar, have approached the issue of how best to handle situations of spontaneous fires, seeking to further revise and implement fire prevention protocol and action plans.