Video After The Jump
In an overzealous attempt to be the first news station to report an arrest in the Boston Marathon bombings, CNN mistakenly reported on Wednesday that a "dark skinned male" had been taken into custody. The Associated Press and Fox News quickly followed suit. The only problem was there had not been an arrest at the time, and as of this morning authorities are still looking for the person or persons responsible for the unthinkable act.
CNN reported that the breakthrough came from surveillance footage from Lord & Taylor's department store near the site of the second blast and additional footage from a Boston television station.
“I was told they have a breakthrough in the identification of the suspect, and I’m told — and I want to be very careful about this because people get very sensitive when you say these things — I was told by one of these sources who’s a law enforcement official that this was a dark-skinned male,” King reported. “The official used some other words, I’m going to repeat them until we get more information because of the sensitivities. There are some people who will take offense even in saying that.”
CNN's Fran Townsend backed up King's report.
“What was perfectly clear to me, according to this official, an arrest has been made,” Townsend said.
45 minutes later, Townsend backtracked on her initial report.
“There’s not somebody in custody or arrested,” she stuttered. “The situation is very fluid… There was a misunderstanding. That was said to me, not so much that we had misunderstood, but that there has been a misunderstanding and lots of cross communication.”
PBS anchor Gwen Ifill criticized the station on Twitter for their report.
CNN later gave a statement to The Huffington Post regarding their error.
"CNN had three credible sources on both local and federal levels," the spokesperson said. "Based on this information we reported our findings. As soon as our sources came to us with new information we adjusted our reporting."
Watch footage below.
CNN's on air mistake
The Young Turks report
Information from Raw Story was used in this report.