Boston Marathon Bombing: CNN Backtracks on Reports of Suspect Arrest

Boston Marathon Explosion Scene Screengrab - H 2013

Boston Marathon Explosion Scene Screengrab - H 2013

Updated: After reporting a suspect was arrested, the network reports that law enforcement chatter led them awry: "There was a misunderstanding;" AP, Fox News also walk back their reports.

On Wednesday, CNN's John King and Fran Townsend cited law enforcement officials who stated that an arrest was made in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation. followed with a report confirming that an arrest had been made. And the Associated Press reported that a suspect was in custody and on the way to a federal court. 

The Boston police department and the FBI refuted the claims. In a statement, CNN defended its initial report: "CNN had three credible sources on both local and federal levels. Based on this information we reported our findings. As soon as our sources came to us with new information we adjusted our reporting."

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CNN's reporting -- which also included mention that the suspect was a "dark-skinned male" -- led to widespread criticism. PBS anchor Gwen Ifill wrote on Twitter: "Disturbing that it's OK for TV to ID a Boston bombing suspect only as 'a dark-skinned individual.'"

The Associated Press, which reported that a suspect was in custody, updated its story to say that the law enforcement official who briefed the wire service "stood by the information even after it was disputed."

The Boston Globe, which also reported news of an arrest on Twitter, sourced their tweet to CNN. Other outlets, including NBC News and CBS News, denied the reports that an arrest was made.