In the aftermath of the tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon on Monday, a lot of information came out, and less than 36 hours we now know that most, if not almost all, of that information was incorrect. As Elizabeth Scalia (@TheAnchoress) tweeted yesterday:
Phones weren’t shut down, other explosives were not found, there is no suspect in custody. Beyond “there was explosion” most MSM info wrong
— Elizabeth Scalia (@TheAnchoress) April 16, 2013
Every time something big happens, particularly if it is tragic, the media reports a lot of things that just aren’t so. You’ve heard the saying “if it bleeds, it leads?” Well that is completely true, and every news outlet wants to be the absolute first to report every detail. When things are happening quickly, news outlets report whatever information they have, with no time to fact-check the details to make sure that what they report is accurate. In the 24-hour news cycle, every broadcast news outlet is competing for ratings, so being right, but second to report, does not help. Being wrong, but first to report, can help a broadcast station because they get the reputation as “the first on the scene,” but there is no accountability later for being wrong. After all, it’s a chaotic scene, so how can you blame them for being wrong?