Al Sharpton and Chris Hayes, MSNBC hosts, tore into CNN’s John King who reported on Wednesday that the potential suspect in the Boston bombings was a “dark-skinned male”.
This report, which was false, caused controversy and Sharpton called his comments “codes, offensive language,” and said they had “no place” in the national discourse, reported the Huffington Post.
King was the first to report that law enforcement officials had identified a suspect in the attack, which happened on Monday.
“I want to be very careful about this, because people get very sensitive when you say these things,” said King. “I was told by one of these sources who is a law enforcement official that this is a dark-skinned male.”
He said that there had been a further description given, but the was refraining from sharing it with viewers, added the Huffington Post.
“There are some people who will take offense for even saying that,” he said. “I understand that.”
King also said that he was only going to use the “dark-skinned male” description because sometimes information did not turn out to be true.
“What King’s word did is to make every dark-skinned male in Boston a suspect, and that’s shameful,” said Sharpton.
Hayes added that “What dark-skinned actually communicates with a wink and a nod is, “ah’! All you folks who thought it was a bad Muslim who did this, you nailed it,” added the Huffington Post.
PBS anchor Gwen Ifill also tweeted her disapproval of King’s choice of words, saying that “Disturbing that it’s OK for TV to ID a Boston bombing suspect only as “a dark-skinned individual.”
The suspect or suspects are actually white male(s).