The New York Post may have to pay for its careless reporting. In the chaotic aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, the paper ran a photo on its cover misidentifying the two suspects. The title was “Bag Men: Feds seek these two pictures at Boston Marathon.”
One of the two men pictured was actually a 16-year-old track athlete named Salah Barhoum who had just run the marathon. What followed was a torrent of unwanted media attention for the teen, who pleaded his case to the New York Daily News and professed his innocence.
Now, Salah’s father, El Hussein Barhoum, wants to hold the paper accountable. The Washington Post reports that the elder Barhoum is talking with attorneys about his options to sue the paper. The 16-year-old is reportedly afraid to go to school because he does not want people to ask him questions about the bombings.
Staffers from the New York Post, says El Houssein Barhoum, visited his home in Revere, Mass., on the same day that “Bag Men” appeared on the paper’s cover. “They come here at my home, check his real name and took some pictures,” he recalls. When asked if they’d apologized for the high-profile photograph, El Houssein Barhoum said they hadn’t. “If they won’t apologize, it’s not between me and the New York Post,” he says. “They should apologize on the newspaper. They should write something on the newspaper, not between us. If they make a bad image of your son, they should make a good image just to correct.
The Post did run a story later that said Salah and his acquaintance had been cleared, but that’s not enough, according to the boy’s father.