CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski, the reporter currently under fire for threatening to dox the alleged creator of President Donald Trump’s infamous WWE video, once spread false information about a man being a terrorist, after which said man killed himself.
According to a New York Times article from 2013, in April of that year – on the day of the Boston Marathon bombings – a man by the name of Greg Hughes tweeted, “BPD scanner has identified the names. Suspect 1: Mike Mulugeta. Suspect 2: Sunil Tripathi.”
Of course, neither actually turned out to be the bomber in question.
Still – despite the unverified nature of Hughes’ claim – a journalist by the name of Kevin Galliford proceeded to share those names.
The New York Times states that Kaczynski – who was working for BuzzFeed at the time – proceeded to share the information himself, along with the words, “Wow Reddit was right about the missing Brown student per the police scanner. Suspect identified as Sunil Tripathi.”
Kaczynski’s 81,000 followers quickly latched onto the information and it spread, with journalists and civilians alike accepting the Kaczynski-approved Reddit theory that Tripathi – who had been suffering from depression and disappeared a full month before the bombing – was the suspect.
Of course, he wasn’t. But despite the fact that police hadn’t identified Tripathi as a suspect, journalists and civilians alike took the dubious information for truth and began bombarding the Tripathi family with phone calls and messages.
By the time the actual bombing suspects were identified, The New York Times reports that Tripathi’s body had been discovered in a river.
The cause of death was suicide.
According to The New York Times, Kaczynski subsequently “deleted his incriminating tweets” and carried on like normal, writing a post-mortem of the incident for BuzzFeed that contained no mention of his involvement in spreading the falsehood about Tripathi.
As Mike Cernovich puts it, “Kaczynski did not merely spread minor fake news. He ruined a young man’s life by falsely accusing him of a horrific act of terrorism.”
Interestingly enough, Kaczynski – who now works for CNN – is currently going around accusing other people of sharing false information on Twitter and failing to provide corrections.