Several media outlets covering the chaos in Washington, DC Monday learned the hard way that lesson from journalism 101: first be right, then be first. With the investigation into the Navy Yard shooting stretching into the evening, until police became confident Aaron Alexis acted alone, parts of the nation’s capital remained on edge.
The first major error occurred around 1pm when CBS News and NBC News reported, then retracted a report that misidentified the shooter. Several hours later a situation outside the White House , at 6:50pm, the team from FNC’s “FOX Report” Tweeted:
A few minutes earlier, White House correspondent Ed Henry went on “Special Report with Bret Baier”:
“I was standing outside and I heard what sounded like at least two gunshots. At first, I thought it was fireworks or something because it’s very extraordinary to hear that obviously on the North Lawn of the White House. But I knew there was something more than just that when I saw at least one secret service officer take out a rather large weapon and start engaging. Then we saw at least one suspect thrown down to the ground.”
It turns out it was fireworks. Baier cleared that up a few minutes later, as did “FOX Report” at 7pm. Here’s the man who was taken into custody: