It has been about nine months since news organizations reported the wrong name of the shooter in the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre. And it has been about five months since news organizations mangled various facts in the Boston Marathon bombings. And so it’s a bit unfortunate to see these messages surfacing on Twitter:



And here’s a tweet from Charlie Kaye, executive producer for radio, CBS News: “BREAKING. @johnmillercbs advises the initial reports identifying the suspected shooter as [NAME DELETED] are wrong.

CNN’s Jake Tapper hopped on the air to address the mistakes of other organizations: “Just a caution that a name that other media outlets have reported of one of the potential suspects is to be avoided. NCIS, naval intelligence, put out the name as a potential suspect and then they retracted it. But not before some other media organizations reported it, not CNN.” How often do you get to serve your viewers and elbow your competitors in the same line?

At this point in such a fast-moving story, it’s a complicated task to name a suspect, or even to un-name a suspect.

UPDATE 1:47: CNN spokesperson Edie Emery e-mails the Erik Wemple Blog: “CNN is being extremely cautious. There has been conflicting information all morning due to the multiple law enforcement agencies involved. CNN is checking and double-checking everything before we put it on air.”