Bomb Suspect Images? New York Post Called Out For Id'd Boston 'Suspect'
The New York Post has come under fire for identifying a high school student and his friend as suspects in the Boston Marathon explosions. (Photo: Reuters)
The paper published images of the "suspects" in question on the cover of Thursday's edition. The cover photo ran with the headline "Bag Men."
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"Feds seek these two pictured at Boston Marathon," read the subheadline.
The article stated that investigators were circulating these images in an attempt to identify the two men in the photos. One carried a blue duffel bag, while the other had a black backpack (hence the "Bag Men" pun). The story made clear that there was not enough evidence to arrest either of them, and that they might not even be the men whom the FBI have identified as suspects. Still, the cover at least implied that the Boston suspect had been ID'd.
However, this idea was quickly squashed on the Internet. Per Business Insider, John Miller of CBS said that the bomb suspect images that the FBI will release on Thursday do not show the same men featured on the Post cover. He then explained how the paper could have made such an egregious error.
"Those pictures were on the Internet yesterday morning and then they started going viral on different sites, and then different intelligence fusion centers around the country picked those up and they post them into bulletins and say any law enforcement agencies who can identify these people, we'll take that information," King said. "Then it ends up leaking back to the newspaper, so it comes out in one big circle."
Thus, the Post did not lie when it said that investigators were circulating these images. However, by placing the photo on the cover with a typically salacious headline, the paper did imply that the Boston suspects had been ID'd.
Indeed, Gawker reports that some Reddit users posted the images in question on the social media website, where other posters quickly determined that the two men were not actual suspects in the bombing. One of them, in fact, is reportedly an area high school student who plays soccer and runs track.
In fact, Deadspin notes that the high schooler's bag is not even the same color as the one that was found at the scene of the bombing. The teen in question also quickly took to Facebook to express his displeasure at being identified as a "suspect" in the Boston explosions.
"Going to the court rightnow!!" he wrote. "S*** is real. But u will see guys I'm did not do anything."
As the Huffington Post notes, the New York Post is currently under fire for its use of these bomb "suspect" images.
"NY Post sinks to a new low," wrote Salon on its Twitter page.
"Appalling," added James Poniewozik of Time.
This is not the first time the New York Post has been criticized during its coverage of the Boston Marathon explosions. As Mediaite notes, the paper originally stated that at least 12 people had been killed during Monday's attack. It also claimed that authorities had a "Saudi Arabian national" as a possible suspect. Both of these reports were apparently false.