Media outlets jumped at the chance to publish news that a suspect had been arrested in the Boston Marathon bombing, but it turns out those reports could not have been further from the truth. CNN and Fox News were among the publications that announced an arrest and backtracked when the Boston Police Department rendered those reports false.
The FBI backed up the Boston Police Department and chastised media outlets with the following scathing statement:
“Contrary to widespread reporting, no arrest has been made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack. Over the past day and a half, there have been a number of press reports based on information from unofficial sources that has been inaccurate. Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting.”
It’s quite alarming to see the FBI criticize CNN for unverified reports when the outlet was once considered a model of fair, balanced and accurate journalism.
CNN reported that a possible suspect was identified in the bombings through cell phone tower call logs, and that the suspect is a white male wearing a white baseball cap on backwards, a gray hoodie and black jacket.
Former CNN pundit, Roland Martin isn’t holding back in making the network accountable for false reports, tweeting:
“It’s a bad day for a news organization when the FBI has to body check you about fact checking. Wow. MASSIVE screw ups today in Boston [...] Who thinks Jon Stewart is tap dancing on a conference room table after the journalism malpractice we have witnessed the last two hours? [...] NUMEROUS TV, print and online news organizations ran with the arrest report. FBI came back to smack all of them down. BRUTAL developments.”
What are your thoughts on false reports on the Boston bombing arrest and the refutal from the FBI, Clutchettes?