The Boston Marathon tragedy: Should the New York Post apologize for blaming an innocent Saudi national?

A 21-year-old student, who was injured in the blast, was quickly, and erroneously, labeled a suspect

The Saudi national with chunks of shrapnel in his leg was a witness, not a suspect.
(Image credit: Ken Crane/ZUMA Press/Corbis)

In the immediate chaos following the Boston Marathon bombings that left three people dead, information flew fast and furious over Twitter. News organizations on Monday scrambled to discern truth from fiction, and, naturally, a few made mistakes. While most issued retractions or corrected their reports, there was one glaring error that stood out above the others.

In a report that was widely criticized, the New York Post boldly and incorrectly trumpeted that 12 people had been killed in the explosions and, more alarmingly, that a "Saudi national who suffered shrapnel wounds" had been identified as "a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing." The story, which was never corrected, spread quickly through the usual information pipelines: As of Wednesday, the story had 48,000 Facebook likes and was tweeted more than 16,000 times. One man echoed the sentiment of many:

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