Before San Bernardino Police Department officials confirmed the identities of the two dead suspects in Wednesday’s mass shooting, there was the usual mad rush among media outlets to identify the shooters. It turns out there were two local individuals named Syed R. Farook, and initially, The Daily Beast published a Facebook photo and details of the wrong individual.
There is now a correction at the top of the article by Oliver Jones and Katie Zavadski. But for a long enough time time yesterday, a large photo of the wrong individual was at the top of the piece, grabbed from Facebook. That wrong photo was quickly passed around social media and published by several other outlets.
While The Daily Beast incrementally updated the text of the piece, prior to the correction, the LinkedIn profile of the mistakenly fingered person was de-activated. And this was not the only suspect identification misstep.
Separately, L.A. Times FBI and justice reporter Rick Serrano initially reported the name of the female suspect to be Tayyeep Bin Ardogan. And again, because of the nature of these breaking news situations, that wrong information quickly made its way onto the Fox News Channel scroll. The female suspect was subsequently identified as Tashfeen Malik.