COULD it have been any worse for the media yesterday? They made a horrific situation worse. One outlet after another blew the call. Pros taking emails as confirmation that a suspect had been apprehended, just so they could beat Twitter to the news. The FBI warned the media that if they can’t report it right to just not report anything at all.
Many were suckered.
The worst criticism was saved for CNN, which made an absolutely mess of the coverage, then compounded it with an hour of vamping until the bosses figured out what to do about it. John King made the gaffe of the day by reporting that the suspect was a “dark-skinned male,” making him look like the dumbest white man on TV.
Wednesday afternoon has seen a flurry of contradictory reports about the status of an alleged suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, but for the past hour or so, CNN has been going all-in with sources that said an arrest had already been made. A few minutes ago, though, CNN’s chyron went from “Sources: Arrest In Boston Bombing” to “Defcon: Oh, Crap,” as CNN contributor Tom Fuentes came on the air to tell Anderson Cooper that two “highly-placed sources” say there has been no arrest, followed by Fran Townsend reporting that “two administration officials” have confirmed that there has been no arrest.
Jon Stewart renamed CNN as “the most busted name in news.”
“CNN had three credible sources on both local and federal levels,” the spokesperson said. “Based on this information we reported our findings. As soon as our sources came to us with new information we adjusted our reporting.” [CNN spokesman, via Michael Calderone]