For the last several days VICE has been caught up in the international media frenzy that is the John McAfee saga. We have been following McAfee and filming a documentary about his bizarre and confusing flight through the jungles of Central America after he was named “a person of interest” in a strange, tragic, and very public murder investigation in Belize.
The flight we chronicled was from the start filled with misinformation, rumors, social-media-fed myths, outright lies, and overall total weirdness. All of this chaos was compounded by the fact that a photo that VICE released contained metadata that pointed to McAfee's location somewhere around the Guatemalan border. Was this planned? Was this not? Were we duped? Was it a fuck-up? McAfee’s actions AFTER the photo was released (publicly conducting interviews with international press in Guatemala City, making statements, getting suits made, hiring lawyers, etc…) have been confusing as well.
Despite many media outlets’ obvious glee in damning us immediately, VICE has decided to wait and talk to the people on our team who were on the ground and who can therefore tell us what actually went down in an attempt to refrain from propagating the same rumors, myths, and madness that this story has consisted of from the start. When that is done we will follow up with not only a comprehensive statement (and apology, if one is necessary), but also our footage, which we will show to the world.
Our team has just returned home to debrief and deliver said footage. We have always been transparent in our filmmaking and will continue that practice—this will be no exception. If we fucked up, you can be sure it will be in the film, which we will show everyone, everywhere—warts and all. The story as a whole has engaged people around the world precisely because it is so freaky, and even if it shows that we made mistakes on the ground during a very hectic and dangerous week of reporting on McAfee's mistakes, we are sure it’s going to make one hell of a documentary.