The Boston Globe put Kevin Cullen on administrative leave to review his work after his five-year-anniversary column this week on the Boston Marathon bombings. Why?
Boston sports radio WEEI flagged problems it found with Cullen’s 2018 column, including the claim that he “was not at the scene when the bombs went off,” despite Cullen’s column having described recalling the touch, smell, taste, visuals and sounds of the bombing. WEEI noted Cullen told the BBC he was a mile away from the finish line when the bombs went off.
WEEI also alleged various errors including:
- the claim that Bill Richard, the father of 8-year-old Martin who was killed at the marathon, ran the marathon
- that Richard registered his time,
- the name of the firefighter who saved Jane Richard, the sister of Martin and daughter of Bill, and
- a description of an injury.
Deadspin also pointed to a 2013 article by Cullen that described first responders after the bombing and seeing a runner being “knocked to the ground” by an explosion.
iMediaEthics contacted the Globe to ask if the investigation is limited to Cullen’s coverage of the marathon bombings, if his column was fact checked and where Cullen was during the bombings. A Globe spokesperson Jane Bowman pointed to the Globe’s statement.
In that April 20 statement on its website, the Globe said:
“The integrity of each of our journalists is fundamental to our organization. In light of questions that have publicly surfaced, Kevin Cullen has been placed on paid administrative leave while a thorough examination, involving a third party with expertise, is done of his work. We will be transparent with the results of the review.”
Cullen was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his commentary on the Boston Marathon bombings and also was part of the Globe‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning team for investigating Roman Catholic priests.
iMediaEthics has tweeted Cullen and sent an e-mail to his work account for his response.
Hat Tip: Mediaite