The media did not exactly cover themselves with glory in "reporting" the Boston Marathon bombing story. Much of their reporting was downright wrong.
Breathless and incorrect news about a suspect being held in custody led to an FBI rebuke, warning "media members to more carefully vet stories on the investigation and said that spreading misinformation could have unintended consequences."
Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post led the race to the bottom. It initially overstated the number of people killed in the bombing, and then stubbornly stuck with the report despite reality to the contrary. The paper then fingered a Saudi man who "smelled like gunpowder" as the prime suspect in the terror strike.
Yesterday, the Post posted a photo of two Marathon watchers and slapped the "Bag Men" headline over the duo. The Post claimed that police were using the photo to track the killers. Buried in the story: "It was not immediately clear if the men in the law enforcement photos are the same men in the surveillance videos." The guys were smeared.
Like all newspapers, the Post is racing to compete against the all-encompassing real-time social media word. That's a lot of pressure. But it's not a license to print conjecture, speculation or dreams as facts.
Any shred of credibility that the Post had prior to the Boston Marathon massacre has been shredded to bits. The Post is more of a newspaper parody. It's as if the paper has given up.
The bogus Boston Marathon coverage may signal the end of the money-losing Post. The paper will soon be part of the new News Corp., which will be anchored by the Wall Street Journal, London Times, Sun and various Australian papers.
The new entity will not have access to the wad of cash that is generated by Fox Broadcasting, Fox News and the 20th Century Fox studio. It won't be able to afford to subsidize the Post's losses.
Perhaps more important, the Post will lack the personal support of 81-year-old newsprint running through his veins Murdoch, who is expected to spend most of his time on the faster growing TV/Hollywood entertainment group.
I’ll miss the Post's sports section. Nothing else.