You will recall that today's New York Times and yesterday's FoxNews.com attributed nameless "law enforcement" officials as drawing a link between Tucson shooter Jared Loughner and the white-power chuckleheads at American Renaissance. Over at the Washington Post, Greg Sargent picks up the phone (presumably) and calls a nameless DHS source of his own:
[A] DHS official tells me that the department has not established any such possibility, undercutting what appears to be the primary basis for this claim.
Fox News's report yesterday initially claimed that a DHS memo had outlined the possible connection […]
But DHS has not officially provided any such information to any law enforcement officials, the DHS official says.
"We have not established any such possible link," the official says.
The official cautions it's conceivable that a law enforcement official got unofficial info from a DHS official somewhere along the lines of what Fox reported. But he emphasizes that DHS has not even concluded in any official way that even the possibility of such ties exists. The official adds that it wouldn't be DHS's place to reach any such conclusion in the first place, since the FBI is leading the investigation.
As Donald Rumsfeld taught us, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. But as he also taught us (less wittingly), don't leap on the first frayed thread of information that tickles your confirmation bias. Especially if you claim to be in the news business.