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?


  • Evangeline

    Not even surprised. Now a days I take information from news outlets with a grain of salt, if that. It’s no longer about reporting truth in the news, but rather running with non truths just so they can have something to say to the masses and fill air time…a lot like the reporting that happened with Newtown if i remember correctly. I used to hold CNN to a more reputable standard, but now they’re just like everyone else.

  • Marisa

    That’s why I stayed with MSNBC because they just went with what was confirmed by the officials. Now frick and frack here CNN and Faux News looked like a bunch of damn fools, CNN were hell bent on this light-skinned dude theory and arrest to be true even when the officials said not true. Faux News are basically on suicide watch because an Arab/Muslim/Black/Latino/Asian wasn’t arrested yet.

    Faux News and the NY Post already had egg on their faces because the Post had the death toll wrong and both were reporting about the Saudi kid in the hospital as a suspect. Going so far as declaring that the kid was under police guard blah blah until the cops came out and said that report was bogus. CNN was suppose to be a higher standard than Faux News but, they sunk to the competition, which these days are about being first on the air and taking credit than being right.

  • The Comment

    What shocked me the most was that I was unable to find images from the bombing event on YouTube because the social media is now corporate owned. So I’m forced to hear reporters guess and assume. I’d like to see video footage and hear what is going on in that moment. I don’t need an interpreter. I can hear for myself.

    Reminds me of the summer Olympics when they would only show European countries during the opening ceremony. Like…dude…I like to see other people than white people. It is the Olympics. Just cause a country could only send one delegate doesn’t mean I’m not interested in their story.

    So now they are getting reamed because false reports of an arrest have been shot down. I’d rather watch Russian TV. At least their reporters are not arrogant and ignorant.

  • stone

    CNN is still fine. Every station makes mistakes. Who really cares, as long as they correct it. With the state of technology and how fast misinformation travels, I’m not surprised.

  • Troy Large

    “I am gross and perverted
    I’m obsessed ‘n deranged
    I have existed for years
    But very little has changed
    I’m the tool of the Government
    And industry too
    For I am destined to rule
    And regulate you

    I may be vile and pernicious
    But you can’t look away
    I make you think I’m delicious
    With the stuff that I say
    I’m the best you can get
    Have you guessed me yet?
    I’m the slime oozin’ out
    From your TV set ….”

    Frank Zappa, 1973

  • The Comment

    Brilliant! Frank Zappa! Yeah!

  • The Comment

    Wow!!!! You know stuff is getting deep when the FBI has to issue a statement.

    I think of Don Heley’s “Dirty Laundry

  • Child, Please

    I’m wondering who these “unconfirmed sources” are, though. I mean did they make this up? I know sometimes someone will tell you stuff off the record or they tell you under the condition of anonymity, but would someone blatantly lie like that?

  • Misshightower

    Love it! Zap on…..

  • Misshightower

    My comment above was inserted out of order. Should have come after “Troy Large” and “The Comment.”

  • DeeDee

    As a Scandinavian I just shake my had at this. Funny thing is, I’m not the slightest bit surprised either. Over in Scandinavia we don’t trust CNN, or BBC for that matter either. The reporting of incidents like this is never on point, and what we do see are usually a white upper or middle class perspectives of things.

  • Child, Please

    I’m so glad you mentioned BBC; so many use it as the antithesis to CNN when they’re not much different (at least to me).

  • Apple

    CNN be so thirsty to be the first to say something , they just spout out ANYTHING! Reading tweets as sources!

  • Starla

    I honestly feel this bombing was a test run. There was something weird about it, as though it was a big experiment.

    It’s so sad that people can no longer go out to public spaces without the fear of some catastrophe befalling them.

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