The reaction of Anonymous members to the arrest in Dallas Wednesday night of Barrett Brown, the group's self-proclaimed spokesman, was as swift as it was inevitable. Within hours, members had posted the names, home addresses and other identifying information of 13 federal employees, most of them involved with the military and seeming to have nothing to do with Brown or his arrest.
The Morning News reported on a much more insidious plot: to have a whole bunch of cheese pizzas delivered to the FBI's Dallas office, thereby grinding the nation's domestic security apparatus to a halt as agents scramble to secure their slices.
It's fun to imagine some scrawny pizza guy swearing up and down to stone-faced FBI guys that, yes, someone did call in an order for that address and, no, he doesn't think he should be added to the terrorist watch list. But did that actually happen?
First thing this morning, I called Katherine Chaumont, the FBI's Dallas spokeswoman. She hadn't heard of the plans and hadn't noticed any pizza boxes around the office but said she would check. At least her words said she would. Her tone of voice said no way she was wasting her time tracking down a pizza delivery prank.
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I called back around 4 p.m. to see what she'd discovered. Maybe some stray crumbs on a colleague's desk or the lingering scent of cheese pizza. Maybe the pizza guy's car that was left when he was whisked away for questioning. But no.
"I did not get around to checking on that," Chaumont said.
No apologies. No Oh, I meant to get to that. Just, "I do not have any information on the pizzas."
We wanted to believe her, really, but her grumpiness recalled someone who just ate way to much pizza in a short period of time. That's all the information we need.