CNN reporter John King has been in the center of the storm over the past week as various media outlets, including CNN’s chief rival MSNBC, have hammered the cable news network for serious missteps during their coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing last week.
The New York Times led the charge:
On Wednesday at 1:45 p.m., the correspondent John King reported that a suspect had been arrested. It was a big scoop that turned out to be false. Mr. King, a good reporter in possession of a bad set of facts, was joined by The Associated Press, Fox News, The Boston Globe and others, but the stumble could not have come at a worse time for CNN. When viewers arrived in droves — the audience tripled to 1.05 million, from 365,000 the week before, according to Nielsen ratings supplied by Horizon Media — CNN failed in its core mission.
To his credit, King addressed the criticisms head on Tuesday in an interview on Washington DC’s WTOP:
I’ve covered a couple wars and a lot of breaking news and a lot of cops-and-robbers situations. I’ve got a pretty good track record, but when you do something like this it’s embarrassing. Beyond being personally embarrassing, it’s tough for your viewers, who you want to trust you. So the one thing you do have to do is look in the camera and say, ‘We were wrong,’ and try to explain why we were wrong.
King confirmed that he had a reliable source who told him that police had arrested a “dark-skinned male” and that report was confirmed by a second reliable source.
Listen to the segment here: