Nearly two hours after bomb blasts at Boston Marathon’s finish line killed at least two and injured up to 100, the New York Post reported that authorities arrested a 20-year-old Saudi Arabian national.
Then, everyone else refuted it.
The report, citing unnamed sources, said the suspect was under guard at an undisclosed Boston hospital. Fox News reported that the suspect was severely burned. The tabloid’s supposed scoop was picked up by numerous sites, including Breitbart.com, TheBlaze and PolicyMic.
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said at a press conference at 6 p.m. that no suspects were in custody.
So perhaps the Post reporters misheard or got it wrong, or were mislead by a rumor a police source heard over the radio. But if that's the case, and Post's clearly headlined report is the only source for this story, what possible excuse could there be for the following headlines?
- Suspect being 'held in Boston hospital' with severe injuries while another man is arrested, By Katie Davies, | DailyMail, PUBLISHED: 20:40 GMT, 15 April 2013
- Report: Suspect Being Held in Boston Marathon Bombing, Pundit Press, Posted by Matthew at 4:41 PM
Remember, this isn't about whether an Arab committed this particular attack—it's about whether we could trust the press to report it if he did.