Rupert Murdoch issued a belated defense of the New York Post's coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings on Saturday.
The paper has been besieged with criticism for its faulty reporting of the attacks. The Post said 12 people had died, when only three had; it said a Saudi man was a "suspect" in "custody", when he wasn't; and, perhaps most gallingly, it splashed pictures of two young men on its front page even though it admitted it did not know whether they were suspects or not. The men turned out to be completely innocent. One was 17 years old; he told the Associated Press that he was scared to go outside.
The Post is not a paper that apologizes very often, and it did not apologize for its Boston coverage either. Its owner continued that trend when he tweeted about the controversy on Saturday:
All NYPost pics were those distributed by FBI. And instantly withdrawn when FBI changed directions.
Murdoch did not address how one can "withdraw" the front page of a printed newspaper from circulation.
This is an old story, one I have gone over before here at Perdido Street School.
Late last year during the Newtown/Sandy Hook tragedy, the NY Post ran an interview with a "fake Ryan Lanza" who issued ridiculous quotes to the Post reporter via Faceook that even a Columbia University Journalism School writer could have picked up as jive.
What was worse, they kept the faulty story up and simply added a note saying:
UPDATE: A spokesman for the Lanza family says an imposter is behind Ryan Lanza's Facebook page and that Ryan did not post the messages in this story.
Just as Murdoch deflected blame and responsibility for the Post's error-riddled reporting during the Boston bombing and manhunt onto the FBI, last time around the Post deflected blame onto the "imposter" rather than the reporter who swallowed the interview hook, line and sinker or the editors who went with the story.
They also tried to drag other news outlets into the mess by saying they had reported the interview too, when what those news outlets had reported was the NY Post report.
You see mistakes are NEVER the fault of Rupert Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch's employees or Rupert Murdoch's news outlets - they are ALWAYS somebody else's fault.
As I wrote back in December:
As usual with the people at a Rupert Murdoch organization, accountability is never for themselves - it's always for other people.
The same is true in April.