NY Post Stands By Decision To Run Photo Of High Schooler Unconnected To Boston Bombings

In response to the controversy erupting over today’s New York Post “Bag Men” cover photo, the paper’s editor issued a statement to Salon standing by the editorial decision.

The cover photo, which clearly singles out two males wearing backpacks in the marathon crowd shortly before the bombs went off, was accompanied by the headline: “Bag Men: Feds seek these two pictured at Boston Marathon.”

Though the headline and graphics implied the two were criminal suspects, Post editor Col Allan‘s statement explains that the paper did not explicitly identify anyone as a suspect:

We stand by our story. The image was emailed to law enforcement agencies yesterday afternoon seeking information about these men, as our story reported. We did not identify them as suspects.

One of the two men, identified as Salah Bartoun, was discovered to be a local high school track runner and not a suspect in the Boston bombings. He spoke with ABC this afternoon and expressed his and his family’s dismay at being lumped in with the horrific events.

As Salon points out, the Post ran a story this afternoon confirming that the two men pictured have been cleared of any suspicion in the attacks.

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