WASHINGTON — CNN’s John King says he is embarrassed after wrongly reporting last week that a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was arrested, calling the mistake a “double kick in the head” because he’s a Boston native.
“When you do something like this, it’s embarrassing,” King, the network’s chief national correspondent, told WTOP on Tuesday. “The one thing you have to do is look straight in the camera and say, ‘We were wrong.'”
CNN was criticized for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings. On Wednesday, it was one of at least four major news organizations that cited anonymous sources when reporting an arrest had been made. The Associated Press, Fox News and the Boston Globe also disseminated the inaccurate news.
King says he was one of two reporters at CNN involved.
“We had two reputable sources, one of mine and one of a colleague of mine, who have been reputable in the past who simply had bad information,” he says. “We went with it and we had to correct it.”
He said the mistake was upsetting to him personally and professionally. King says he grew up in the same neighborhood as the youngest victim, 8-year-old Martin Richard.
“It’s my city, too, so it’s sort of a double kick in the head to me,” he says. “But, the best way to deal with it is to say ‘We made a mistake. Here’s how we made a mistake.’ And then move on.”