When the media can’t help themselves

The Washington Post is reporting that a Saudi national is not a suspect in yesterday’s bombing in Boston. He is regarded “as a witness, not a suspect,” the newspaper says.

To their credit, a lot of news organizations didn’t bite on this New York Post headline yesterday, and with good reason.

But CBS News, while couching the story, gave it credence in its broadcast last night, by noting that he was tackled by a bystander because he was “acting suspicious.” No one seems to have provided any detail about what qualified as “suspicious,” other than “he was hanging around” and “then he was running after the blast,” which also describes just about everyone else who was in Copley Square yesterday afternoon.

And this morning, FoxNews did what FoxNews does best, shamefully so, even by FoxNews standards:

Earlier today, Fox 25 in Boston claimed that a flight from Boston to Chicago returned to the gate after departing marathoners expressed concern that two men “not sitting together” were speaking Arabic.

  • essjayok

    “When the media can’t help itself” is a lovely way to say, “When the media is totally racist.”

    But, yeah.

  • Bob Collins

    Well, yeah, except for the fact the media is (are) not totally racist.

    Some very professional journalistic standards were upheld yesterday. Just not by the three organizations mentioned in the post.

  • essjayok

    Was just playing off the initial generalization you made. “The media” were your words.

  • Bob Collins

    I didn’t make any generalizations. The media is a plural noun. I disparage those organizations that continually make the same stupid mistake, over and over. As I said, there were some fine journalistic standards upheld yesterday. There was a lot of bad journalism practiced as well.

  • Mudhooks

    Not to mention the New York Post’s front page photo with a giant headline claiming that two men carrying backpacks pictured were “suspects” and the Federal authorities were asking for help in identifying them… The NYP, surely the most unbiased and truthy news organ on the planet (snork) further showed the “proof” purpotedly showing one of the men with his backpack and then supposedly without…. Trouble was not only was the backpack he was shown with not the same as the one used in the bombing but in the second the “suspect” was, in fact, still carrying the backpack.

    When the poo hit the fan that the Federal authorities were NOT looking for these two men but that the NYP’s “evidence” was faulty, they defended themselves and then claimed that they never said they were suspects.

    The possibility that some irate citizen could, on the basis of the NYP article, take the law into their own hands and act out some misplaced revenge is not remote.

    In regards the two men on the airplane… I don’t suppose that it might have occured to anyone thay they might be hearing impared men using handsigns. But, of course, the story has disappeared and the vigilantes on the plane will likely be hailed as heros.