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Posted by on Apr 16, 2013 in Featured, Media | 3 comments

NY Post Still Running “Saudi” Headline On Boston Story; He’s Not A Suspect Nor Is He In Custody

Do News Corp and The Far Right Have No Shame?

Maybe if I lived in New York I’d be more sanguine.

Pandering is a kind adjective to describe the editorial management at the New York Post, the 13th-oldest and seventh-most-widely circulated newspaper in the U.S. and one that is owned by News Corp. And losing money.

If you get your news from the NY Post, you’d be forgiven for thinking that yesterday’s tragedy was orchestrated by someone from Saudi Arabia. For the second day, the NY Post is trumpeting made-up headlines:

ny post

Police took a 20-year-old Saudi national into custody near the scene of yesterday’s horrific Boston Marathon bomb attack, law-enforcement sources told The Post.

These anonymous sources contradict every public statement from local and federal law enforcement.

The story also contradicts the NY Post’s own Twitter stream:

Even the Gateway Pundit — a conservative blog! — has corrected its headline!

gateway pundit

The more accurate headline comes from the Washington Post. Even though this story only cites two anonymous sources, these sources mirror the official comment from the Boston Police Department.

washington post

I wish I could say that the hounding like that going on in America’s far right echo chamber were the exception. But as Karen McVeigh reports in The Guardian, our mainstream (“trusted”) news organizations don’t have a great record when it comes to following anonymous sources and fixating on the first “suspect.”

In this case, the NY Post and FOX provided soundbites and fodder for the professional far right blogosphere. And these “conservative media” have published photos, full name and the address of a man who is studying here — legally — and who is not a suspect in the tragedy.

Moreover, part of the fringe still insists that there is a Saudi connection:

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) used the tragedy to speak out against immigration reform.

But there is enough pushback on Twitter to have hope than reason can prevail.

4:30 pm : @kegill
Screen caps from Memeorandum

Updated 4:50 pm

What About MSNBC?

On Twitter, Edward von Bear asked me about the Chris Matthews Monday night show:

Just hours after explosions rocked the Boston Marathon on Monday, Chris Matthews speculated, “Normally domestic terrorists, people, tend to be on the far right.” He then reconsidered and suggested, “…That’s not a good category, just extremists, let’s call them that.”

No cable company has a monopoly on extreme “analysts.” The more extreme, the more audience; the bigger the audience, the more money for everyone. This was Bill O’Reilly’s take on that truism during his “Rumble” with Jon Stewart:

O’Reilly said the problem [of political discourse] is “capitalism” because “you can make a lot of money by being an assassin…. you’re a hater, you get paid. They don’t even believe half the stuff they say. And they get paid a lot of money.”

In fairness to Matthews, he did back track something the NYPost has yet to do, at least in its headlines and stories. And I didn’t see him or MSNBC continuing that line of rhetoric today.

Finally, I’m more offended by reporters citing anonymous sources under the guise of “news” than I am of cable TV pundits – people who are hired to hold an opinion – putting their feet in their mouths. They are not the same infraction. Not even close.