Its coverage this week of the Boston bombings puts it, it seems to me, in the same area as the British Murdoch equivalent, the News of the World. No, they have not committed any legal crimes, or systematically replaced reporting with illegal taping of private phone conversations. But crimes against journalism should also count. They have reported the news of this week with reckless indifference to the truth.
On Monday, they published that twelve people had been killed. That story remained on their website all day, as I kept checking back in amazement. I have yet to see a correction. I searched for one. Do they ever print corrections? But to be wrong on such a critical fact, and to resist withdrawing or apologizing for it, is not journalism. Deadspin – which has higher standards than the New York Post – takes on today’s front-page featuring two guys with backpacks and dark skin:
They are most assuredly innocent.
They carry large bags. They are dark-skinned. This was enough for internet sleuths to peg them as suspicious. (They show up here, in Gawker’s rundown of “suspects” identified by crowdsourcing on Reddit and 4chan.) And that was apparently enough for the Post to run with its front-page story today, claiming investigators are circulating photos of the two. (The photo on the paper’s cover is a cropped and zoomed-in version of the one taken by Ben Levine, which appeared on Deadspin on Tuesday.)
But maybe there was a reason for them to be at the marathon, wearing track jackets and carrying bags: they’re runners. The kid in the blue jacket is a middle-distance runner at Revere High School. Last week he ran the two-mile in 11:20 … Today on CBS This Morning, John Miller specifically said these two are not the suspects the FBI is seeking.
The smearing of private individuals as terrorist murderers with reckless indifference to the truth because they have dark skin is almost a text-book case of libel compounded with racism.