Before law enforcement officials released photographs of the two suspects in the Boston bombing, some media outlets went overboard in their attempt to finger ‘dark-skinned’ people as culprits for the Boston bombing.
Amy Davidson of the New Yorker writes about the young man from Saudi Arabia who was injured in the blast. But unlike all the other victims who were also in area hospitals, in a massive show of force police searched his apartment and took away boxes of his stuff while his roommate was questioned for five hours. Media outlets like the New York Post and Fox News trumpeted the capture of the alleged Saudi assassin.
And Alexis Madrigal describes how for a short while Indian student Sunil Tripathi and another person with the name of Mike Mulugeta became the suspects, though neither was anywhere near the site of the bombing. Tripathi has been missing for some time beginning prior to the bombing and it is not clear if Mulugeta even exists.
Actually identifying people in such a highly charged atmosphere is extremely dangerous as those people and their families immediately become the targets of hostility and even violence by people who are not content to let law enforcement and the legal system do their jobs.
Chris Hayes took CNN deservedly to task for its confident statement that a ‘dark skinned’ person had been taken into custody when nothing of the sort had happened, as did The Daily Show.
(These clips were aired on April 17, 2013. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post.)