Debunking The Oklahoma Story Later Rather Than Sooner

Wall Street Journal reporters Ryan Chittum and Joe Hagen dive into the story and speculation surrounding the apparent suicide of Joel Hinrichs III outside the crowded University of Okalahoma football stadium on October 1st. (Hat tip to NRO's Spruiell) The WSJ reporters describe some factors that have caused bloggers and some smaller media outlets to continue to buzz about the incident:
"Adding to community concern was the revelation that two days before he blew himself up, Mr. Hinrichs visited a feed store and inquired about buying ammonium nitrate -- the same chemical Timothy McVeigh put in the bomb he used in 1995 to blow up the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, 20 miles to the north. …

To that unsettling set of facts, blogs and local Oklahoma TV stations added several apparent inaccuracies, including: that Mr. Hinrichs was a Muslim and visited the mosque frequently; that he tried to enter the stadium twice but was rebuffed; that he had a one-way airplane ticket to Algeria; that there were nails in the bomb and that Islamic extremist literature was found in his apartment.

None of these claims are true: Mr. Hinrichs's family, university officials and the Federal Bureau of Investigation say Mr. Hinrichs suffered from depression, and the explosion was an isolated event."

Earlier we noted the lack of MSM coverage of this story and commented it was worth airing whatever the facts may be. By putting to rest some of the rumors that have been circulating, the Journal story shows exactly why it was worth looking into. The article notes that the FBI investigation is nearly complete and acknowledges that not all skeptics will be put off by "any disputing of their claims."

But it's a step toward putting much of the conspiracy talk to rest. And an example of how MSM organizations have more to gain in engaging such stories than ignoring them and letting them fester.