Back in April when the whole Kevin Cullen rumpus began, the headscratching staff wondered if the Irish Times would scrutinize its Cullen column that ran in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, a piece that featured unverified details different from the unverified details in Cullen’s Boston Globe column at the time.
We consequently sent this email to both the Times editor and the paper’s news desk. (We also sent it to the Press Council of Ireland and Office of the Press Ombudsman.)
Dear Sir or Madam,
[We just posted this to Campaign Outsider], documenting discrepancies among Kevin Cullen’s multiple versions of the Boston Marathon bombings, from the Boston Globe to the BBC to The Irish Times.
As you reported on Monday, the Globe has put Cullen on administrative leave “while an examination of his coverage of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings is conducted.”
Is a similar examination occurring at The Irish Times?
Thank you for your consideration . . .
To our utter amazement, we never heard back from any of them.
But yesterday we did come across this tweet from the sharp-eyed @gmolloy.
So we hied ourselves back to Cullen’s 2013 Irish Times piece and found this note attached to the bottom of it.
* A sentence (“When I looked at young Marty,” Seán told me, “I knew he was gone.”) was removed from this article on June 18th 2018 on foot of the findings of a review commissioned by the Boston Globe into the journalist Kevin Cullen’s reporting on the Boston marathon bombing. The review found that a firefighter’s account of the identification of the body of a young boy, Martin Richard, as originally reported, was disputed by the firefighter, who said he knew the boy as Martin and would not have referred to him as “Marty”.
O’Brien also said in that external Globe review that “he didn’t identify the boy’s body at that time,” which raises other questions but never mind.
At this point it will be interesting to see if other pieces Cullen wrote for the Times (such as this one) receive further scrutiny at the paper.
If so, let’s hope that effort turns out better than the porous internal review the Globe just submitted. Pompoms sold separately.