Sept. 14 (iviews.com) As major US media outlets compete to provide the latest information in their around the clock coverage of the terror attacks that shook the nation, many have admitted they provided conflicting and sometimes incorrect information about the ensuing criminal investigation.
In an almost unprecedented admission of error, CNN apologized for reporting that one of the men detained by authorities was a suspect. In a report filed Wednesday, the 24 hour cable channel reported that Adnan Bukhari and Ameer Bukhari of Vero Beach Florida were suspected to be two of the pilots who crashed planes into the World Trade Center. However, CNN later learned that Adnan Bukhari was still in Florida, where he was questioned by the FBI. In an apology to viewers, CNN admitted that Bukhari passed an FBI polygraph and was not a suspect. CNN also reported that his brother Ameer died in a small plane crash last year.
"We are sorry for the misinformation," CNN said in a statement.
And in another embarrassment to the network which prides itself in providing the latest breaking news on international events, CNN provided breaking news coverage of bombings in Kabul, and suggested that perhaps the US government could have been behind the attack. During the "breaking news" coverage, Judy Woodruff, a long-time Washington based anchor, admitted on the air she did not realize Afghanistan was in the midst of a civil war. Later in the day, a spokesperson for the US State Department denied reports it was involved in any attacks in Afghanistan.
On Friday morning, reporters for the major US networks, gingerly backed down from reports of the previous evening which told of another attempted terrorist attack. John Miller of ABC news was among the first to report Thursday evening that federal authorities may have thwarted another possible attempt to hijack planes leaving from John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports in New York. Quoting reliable sources "high" in the law enforcement community, Miller reported that the suspects were arrested at the airport and taken off an airplane because they were carrying false identification, flight manuals and knives.
But Friday morning, Miller corrected earlier statements and reported after "a night of confusion", authorities released almost all the "suspects" without charge. Describing the arrests as an "over reaction", NBC's Pete Williams admitted Friday that reports the suspects were carrying weapons were false.