It’s an incredible story, and it’s one you’ll be hearing more about, I’m sure. When state and federal law enforcement officials swooped into Tony Alamo Ministries, many, if not most, of the major news organizations in Arkansas were in Texarkana, Ark. watching it all unfold.
This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. The raid was originally scheduled for sometime in October. But on Friday, somebody in the U.S. Attorney’s office inadvertently sent an e-mail about the raid, several weeks early, to 50 media outlets across the state.
With the cat out of the bag, law enforcement officials moved up their time schedule. Newspapers had to decide whether to go with the story in Saturday’s editions or wait a day or two. With children reportedly in the compound and with allegations of child abuse, every news organization in the state voluntarily refrained from writing about the raid until it had already begun.