Why Was the New York Post the Outlier in Boston Marathon Coverage?
The New York Post is either the most well-sourced newspaper in the country, the luckiest paper in the country, or an awful rag stirring up hate for Muslims. It depends on who you ask today, really.
The New York Post is either the most well-sourced newspaper in the country, the luckiest paper in the country, or an awful rag stirring up hate for Muslims. It depends on who you ask on a wild Monday in Boston, really. And whether or not they can prove a controversial report is correct.
The Post reported around 4:28 p.m. that a 20-year-old "Saudi national" is "under guard" by police at an undisclosed Boston hospital, according to "law enforcement sources." They did identify him as a suspect. They also reported 12 people were killed in the attacks, even though only two victims have been reported by Boston police so far.
Initially, it seemed there wasn't a hope in hell the Post's report was accurate. A Boston police department spokesperson told Talking Points Memo's Hunter Walker that they didn't know "where [the Post was] getting their information from, but it didn't come from us." And the news about the Saudi Arabian suspect seemed to infuriate many observers on Twitter. "Friends: please try to refrain sharing information from NY Post. Great headlines, poor reporting standards," said one. "Remain calm and don't report anything from the NY Post," said another. "Its better to be right than be first. The New York Post is learning that the hard way today," someone opined. "The New York Post's writing today has been criminal. Reporting that a Saudi was responsible is yellow journalism at its worst," and so the pile on went. Others were a bit more measured with their criticism. There is, after all, a chance the Post is right:
The New York Post seems like it's going to either be very right or very, very. very wrong.— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) April 15, 2013
No one in custody means no one yet arrested/charged, but NBC and NY Post both reported man under guard at hospital.— Evan Hill (@evanchill) April 15, 2013
For NY Post Superfan @batemanny: If it comes out in the wash that 12 people were dead and a Saudi was in custody three hours ago, mea culpa.— Sean Gentille (@seangentille) April 15, 2013
So the Post is either so far ahead of the story the story or wrong in the worst possible way. The truth likely lies somewhere in the Post's choice of words, as it now seems they may be vindicated in the end. Reports are still foggy right now, but it seems the Post was more right than wrong about everything. NBC News is now reporting Boston Police are "guarding" a wounded man at a Boston hospital. CBS' John Miller is also reporting a Saudi national was taken into custody after the bombing. Miller also said the suspect is denying any involvement with the bombings. The L.A. Times adds that a Saudi national was taken to a hospital and questioned about the attack, according to federal law enforcement sources. "The person was not identified as a suspect," they add, though.