The NY Post shames itself and misunderestimates the power of the internet. Apparently they are reporting today about two men who were identified and dismissed by internet sleuths yesterday. Max Road at Gawker denounces the Post with appropriate vigor but overthinks this a bit:
It took Redditors a few hours to find that Facebook page; it took me about ten minutes in the wake of their work. If you have even a little faith in the FBI, it's difficult to imagine that its investigators didn't figure out who this kid is, and how unlikely he is as a suspect, yesterday—especially after he went to authorities to clear his name.
Which means there are two possibilities: one, the Post newsroom couldn't even be bothered to do the bare minimum of follow-up reporting—that after reporters had spoken to their sources, who gave them at best outdated information, they didn't (or didn't know how to) spend the ten minutes it would have taken to learn that the person in the photos had been identified already—by message board posters!—as a person who did not plant a bomb at the Boston Marathon.
Or, two, that the the Post did the followup reporting—that its reporters found out that the kid had been identified online, that he'd contacted authorities, that he's just some poor teenager who posts "SWAG" image macros on his Facebook page—but is institutionally so committed to identifying an Arab, any Arab, as a terrorist, that it still splashed his photo on the front page and insinuated his suspect-hood.
Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence. I think it would be pretty easy for an old-school reporter to underestimate the power of the net.
Hoping the public will provide crucial clues, the FBI today released video and photos of two men who are suspected in Monday’s deadly Boston Marathon terror bombings.
“Somebody out there knows these individuals as friends, neighbors, co-workers, or family members,” said Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the Boston FBI office. “Though it may be difficult, the nation is counting on those with information to come forward and provide it to us.”
He said the two men — shown strolling down a sidewalk behind marathon spectators and mingling in the crowd — are considered “extremely armed and dangerous.”
DesLauriers described the two men as Suspect No. 1 and Suspect No. 2. Suspect No. 1 was wearing a dark hat. Suspect No. 2 was wearing a white hat.
DesLauriers said Suspect No. 2 was observed planting a bomb, leaving it in place shortly before it went off.
“Within minutes,” he said at a news conference at a Boston hotel.
As someone noted, the finsih line of the Boston marathon was probably the most photographed/videoed place in America on Monday (barring any travel by Kim or Lindsay, natch.) Yet Genius Suspect 2 is sauntering along with his baseball cap turned backwards to minimize the disguise value.