Faked news

I don't know how much coverage it will receive in the national, or even Metro-area press, but a local Boston sports-talk channel (!) has just exposed Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen as a complete, utter fraud. Cullen wrote a series of "live" columns from the scene of the Boston Marathon bombing five years ago, reporting that earned him a Pulitzer Prize. The linked to summary barely scratches the surface: the radio show itself included live excerpts of a weeping (literally: "my tears dripped down, smudging my notes") reporter, describing a firefighter friend desperately searching for a woman's missing leg, the stench of gun smoke, the "soul-ripping" sound of a victim's last "death wail" and so forth.

Turns out, Cullen was at least a mile away from the scene, arrived, at best, an hour afterwards, the fireman who rescued the legless woman had never met or spoken with Cullen, ever, and was certainly not someone Cullen could claim, as he did, to be "a close friend". And so on: everything Cullen wrote "from the scene" was either entirely fabricated or derived from actual witnesses and claimed as his own.

The NYT has refused to surrender the Pulitzer it was awarded for publishing its reporter Walter Duranty's lies about a "so-called" famine in Ukraine, despite later revelations that Stalin had deliberately starved at least ten, possibly twenty million people. A faker of Cullen's small stature is obviously insignificant compared to the Times' fraud, so perhaps the Boston Globe hopes to pull the same stunt 80 years later. After all, it's only fake news when the right's doing the reporting.

UPDATE: Mr. Cullen has been placed on "paid administrative leave", while his editors and "a third party'" investigate his reporting.

Say goodbye, Kevin.