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Boston and the Right-Wing Media's Collapse

By       Message Eric Boehlert     Permalink
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What was truly stunning though, as highlighted by irresponsible rants about the Saudi student, was the aggressive push by key conservative media players to simply concoct stories about the breaking news event.

Back to Beck:

"I believe this is possibly the ringleader, this guy is absolutely involved, and we are flying this dirt bag out of the country because he has connections and we are covering up."

Keep in mind, this was after unethical right-wing bloggers had already harassed the Saudi bombing victim online, publishing his name, home address, and what they claimed were Facebook pictures of the 20-year-old Saudi national student. The same student police had cleared of any implication in the blast. (His only crime this week appeared to be his Saudi origin.)

And who led the early crusade against the bomb victim? Murdoch's New York Post, which erroneously reported he was a "suspect" who had been taken "into custody."

The same Post, of course, which then made headlines by irresponsibly splashing on its front page a photo of two local men at the marathon finish line, one a high school runner, and putting them under the headline "Bag Men," strongly suggesting they were involved with the terror attack. They were not. But that didn't stop ethically-challenged blogger Jim Hoft from referring to them six times in one report as "suspects" in the deadly attack.

"Grossly irresponsible" and "egregious" were some of the descriptions media pro's used to explain the Post's  shocking performance this week. As one journalism professor told Media Matters, "It does appear that the Post, there is something crazy going on there."

Trust me, it's not just the Post.

Crossposted at County Fair, a Media Matters blog

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Eric Boehlert is the author of Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush (Free Press, 2006). He worked for five years as a senior writer for Salon.com, where he wrote extensively about media and politics. Prior to that, he worked as a (more...)
 

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