The Boston Globe said Friday it’s asking a third party to conduct the probe into Kevin Cullen (Pictured) and his work for the paper
The Boston Globe has placed columnist Kevin Cullen on paid leave as an examination of his work is conducted.
The newspaper said Friday it’s asking a third party to conduct the probe but didn’t detail what prompted it.
‘We take seriously any credible assertion about the integrity of our journalism. We are conducting a review, and if the record needs to be corrected in any way, we will do so forthrightly,’ Jane Bowman, a spokeswoman for the Boston Globe, said in an initial statement to WBZ-TV on Friday.
Bowman added: ‘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.’
The Globe was awarded a 2014 Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings the year before. Cullen was a finalist for commentary.
The Globe was awarded a 2014 Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings the year before (Pictured: APRIL 15, 2013)
Police officers with their guns drawn hear the second explosion down the street during the Boston Marathon, April 2013
On April 15, 2013, Tamerlan (R) and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (L) planted homemade explosives among the crowd gathered at the finishing line of the Boston Marathon
Boston sports radio station WEEI has pointed to what it describes as inconsistencies in Cullen’s coverage.
It notes a column in which Cullen wrote about how horrifying it was ‘to watch as first responders frantically pulled metal barriers’ to get to the injured.
In his initial article about the bombing, Cullen described the scene in detail, writing: ‘It was alternately poignant and horrifying to watch as first responders frantically pulled metal barriers and the flags of so many different countries down into Boylston Street in a desperate rush to get to the dead and the injured on the sidewalk.’
‘Those flags looked like victims, splayed on Boylston Street as the acrid smoke hung in the air.’
But in a subsequent interview with the BBC, Cullen said he was one mile from the finish line when the bombs went off.
Cullen also allegedly fabricated details about the Richard family, whose eight-year-old son was killed in the terror attack, reporting that the boy’s father, Bill Richard, ran the race that day.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is currently on death row awaiting execution in a maximum security facility in Colorado
‘They said one of the dead was an 8-year-old boy from Dorchester who had gone out to hug his dad after he crossed the finish line. The dad walked on; the boy went back to the sidewalk to join his mom and his little sister. And then the bomb went off. The boy was killed. His sister’s leg was blown off. His mother was badly injured. That’s just one family, one story.’
According to WEEI, Bill Richard did not run the Marathon in 2013.
Questions arose after discrepancies were revealed in Cullen’s columns
On April 15, 2013, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev planted homemade explosives among the crowd gathered at the finishing line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding 264 others.
The blasts killed restaurant manager Krystle Campbell, 29, Chinese exchange student Lingzi Lu, 23, and eight-year-old Martin Richard.
Dzhokhar, the the surviving member of pair of ethnic Chechen brothers, was also found guilty of the fatal shooting of Massachusetts of Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier, 26.
Tamerlan was captured but later died partly as a result from a violent shootout with police, along with his brother driving over him with a SUV as they attempted to escape.
A seriously wounded Dzhokhar escaped, but was found and arrested on the evening of April 19 hiding in a boat on a trailer in Watertown following an unprecedented manhunt involving thousands of police officers.
Dzhokhar is currently on death row awaiting execution in a maximum security facility in Colorado.
Police clear the bleachers after two explosions went off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013