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News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch has responded to harsh critics of his tabloid the New York Post‘s erroneous — and many call irresponsible — coverage of the Boston bombings.
Hours after Monday’s horrific twin bombings, the Post claimed the terrorist act had claimed 12 lives and that a “Saudi national” was in custody. The facts remained on the Post‘s website for hours after they had been proved wrong.
But the tabloid’s biggest misstep was yet to come: Thursday’s edition featured a front-page color photo of two innocent men, one a 17-year-old Moroccan track athlete, under the headline, “Bag Men: Feds seek these two pictured at Boston Marathon.” The story was deemed “reckless and appalling” by the Columbia Journalism Review, a sentiment echoed by much of the media world.
“All NYPost pics were those distributed by FBI. And instantly withdrawn when FBI changed directions,” the 82-year-old media mogul tweeted Saturday morning, 48 hours after the edition, which has a circulation of 520,000, landed on newsstands.
Murdoch’s stance echoes that of Post editor in chief Col Allan, who on Thursday issued a statement defending his choice.
“We stand by our story,” Allan said. “The image was e-mailed to law enforcement agencies yesterday afternoon seeking information about these men, as our story reported. We did not identify them as suspects.”
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