The Post Wasn’t a Bad Paper… Until Now

04/19/2013 11:52 AM |

All the Presidents Men movie

Remember that scene in All the President’s Men in which Woodward and Bernstein are desperately trying to track down a source to confirm the story they already have? And they can’t, so Ben Bradlee won’t run the story? How quaint! All week, the New York Post published scoop after scoop about the Boston Marathon Bombing. How’d they beat all the other outlets? Because every time they were wrong—it’ll be a great case study for journalism schools in how not to do journalism: the poorly sourced rush to publish first. It’s fashionable in New York to despise the Post, and I will agree that its editorials are reprehensible, and that its editors often work questionable language into headlines and hard news stories. But I’ve long respected its reporters (several of whom I know from J-school and elsewhere); ordinarily, the Post reports the hell out of New York City and beyond. This week, though, it “found itself sewed to the far end of an informational Human Centipede,” as Gawker put it (in a superbly headlined post: “Is the New York Post Edited by a Bigoted Drunk Who Fucks Pigs?”). Here’re the biggest stories it got wrong.

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