"An arrest in the Boston Marathon bombing has been made." (before any arrest)
- CNN, Boston Globe, Fox News, Associated Press, et al.
"Initial reports, so often are wrong" (still, before any arrest)
- CNN's Anderson Cooper
Yes, it was an explosive week for news, one by which the media chose to implode. There was plenty to report, but obviously for so many in the media, it wasn't coming out fast enough. So, instead of reporting it, they made it up... or, at least, reported what someone else made up for them.
At CNN a gaggle of hosts gathered around reporter John King's iPhone as he received the blockbuster news everyone was waiting for. Being the good hosts, they refused to let their viewers wait one moment longer. There had been an arrest. And other than an arrest actually being made, King's sources were spot on.
Down Interstate 95, the New York Post, the pride of Big Apple journalism, dipped just below the ethical standards of a Weekly World News banner hailing the reemergence of Batboy. With the front page header "BAG MEN: Feds seek these two pictured at Boston Marathon," the tabloid displayed a photograph of two students who were never suspects. Their front page showcase showered them with plenty of unwanted and undeserved suspicion. To add a dash of fourth estate hubris, the Post circled the heads of the two non-suspects in red. Post editor Col Allan defended the newspaper's decision to run the picture saying you would need a "crystal ball" to get these things right. "Crystal Ball" is New York Post-speak for "proof."
While I hesitate, nay, cease altogether to call him anything within a light year of journalistic integrity, Glenn Beck said America should "demand (President Obama's) impeachment" for scurrying a "Saudi national" suspect in the bombings out of the country. There was no Saudi national suspect in the bombings, nor did the president request that the nonexistent, non-suspect be permitted to be sent abroad.
With technology continuing to ramp up our ability to transmit news at breakneck speed, along with the public's insatiable need to know something ASAP, the media has been painfully susceptible to rapid-fire misfiring in the race for "breaking news" and ratings.
Makes one wonder what might have been if today's media outlets had been around a few years earlier.
Jonestown More of a Picnic Than a Punishment (CNN, November 18, 1978) - CNN's John King reports that, according to a source close to the situation, "the Peoples Temple group in Guyana, thought to be a treacherous cult, has been proven to be just a well-meaning paradise as leader Jim Jones has just distributed what I'm told is delicious, specially-prepared, grape-flavored Kool-Aid."
Emancipation Proclamation: (The Blaze, January 1, 1863) - Glenn Beck reports that according to well-placed sources just outside his plantation, "President Lincoln has allowed tens of thousands of Negroes to escape rightful ownership." Beck added, "There is no doubt that Lincoln, a known progressive, has a deep-seated hatred for white people and should be impeached. My sources also tell me that the Negroes' release was a preemptive strike to give these potential Democrat voters an undeserved freedom distribution leading to the election of a Negro president sometime in 2008."
Scientists Brag of Gravity, But Picture Proves it to be Junk Science (New York Post, April 15, 1726) Front Page - "Brag Men: Apple pictured, seemingly suspended between a tree branch and Sir Isaac Newton (seated beneath the tree) unable to reach ground."
Page 3: Crank scientist, Sir Isaac Newton, with his studies paid for by the lame-stream gravity complex, told this reporter that, "By deriving Kepler's laws of planetary motion from my mathematical description of gravity, I have removed the last doubts about the validity of the heliocentric model of the cosmos." Yeah, right. Editor's Note: Pictures don't lie.
Mary Todd Suspect in Husband's Assassination (AP, April 15, 1865) - Moments ago, President Lincoln has either been stabbed or shot at Ford's Theater in Washington and is in critical condition. Ticket registers and hastily drawn illustrations show the president's wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, to be the closest person seated next to Lincoln just prior to the attack. According to an unidentified, but reliable source, the First Lady is presently being held for questioning.
Washington Cancels Crossing (Fox News, December 25, 1776) - According to sources close to the situation, gale force winds, torrential downpours and treacherous seas will keep colonial General George Washington from crossing the Delaware River in an attempt to surprise the Hessians camped out in Trenton.
Who Fingered Jesus? (MSNBC, February 30, 0031) - According to a highly-placed source in the Roman Empire, "Soldiers have pulled in twelve suspects for questioning in the alleged betrayal of Mr. of Nazareth. Suspects include a dark-skinned, Jerusalem-national, who I'm told, is being sent to Palestine by Pontius Pilate in hopes of improving relationships with the ever-peaceful neighbor."
Cross-posted from the Philadelphia Inquirer