The 6 Worst Media Reactions to the Boston Marathon Bombing

In a horrific series of events, that may not yet be over, two improvised explosive devices were detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon today, killing at least 2 and injuring over 20 others. As yet, there have been no confirmed reports of more bombs, and there are only conflicting rumors about a suspect in custody.

In an unusually appalling display of cynicism, pundits and commentators are already trying to turn this tragedy into a political talking point, while there is still blood on the streets and no one could possibly have any information about what really happened. BuzzFeed reports the disturbing #falseflag tag started trending almost immediately after the news broke, while various unsupported accusations are being hurled at domestic right-wing and foreign Islamic groups.

1. InfoWars’ Alex Jones

Everything is a conspiracy; this is a thing; this must be a conspiracy. QED.

2. New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof

Never miss an opportunity to shamelessly exploit tragedy to score points on the other party.

He later deleted the tweet and gave non-apology.
After receiving a tsunami of criticism, he deleted the tweet
and gave a surly non-apology.

3. Washington Posts Jennifer Rubin

Never miss an opportunity to make every story about your personal crusade.

4. NBC’s Luke Russert

It might be unfair to single out Russert, who’s only engaging in irresponsible speculation–like everyone else in the media.

5. Erik Rush

I have no words. Conservative columnist Erik Rush immediately blamed “Saudis” for the attack, and when asked if he was accusing Muslims of being behind the bombing, Rush responded:

Rush deleted the tweet, but RightWingWatch took a screen capture.

6. BBC’s Mark Mardell

Oh good! “Chatter” from anonymous sources! The most reliable kind of intelligence. If we had only had more responsible journalism like this we never would have invaded Iraq.

The Good:

Lest you think no one had anything intelligent to say today, I offer three counter examples:

1. New York Times’ R0ss Douthat

Ross need only have waited a few minutes for his Times colleague Nick Kristof to inform him.

2. Former Governor Jim Gilmore

Keep calm, hug your children, call your Bostonian friends, and wait for the facts.

JIM

3. Comedian Patton Oswalt

If all this has left you feeling dirty, here’s Patton Oswalt with, I think, the right message–the one we should have heard from the media.

Comedians are the voice of reason in our public discourse.

“The good outnumber you, and we always will.” Amen.

Daniel Bier

Daniel Bier is the founder and editor-at-large of The Skeptical Libertarian. He writes on issues relating to science, skepticism, and economic freedom, focusing on the role of evolution in social and economic development.