Zooey Deschanel gets apology for report she was Boston bomber

A TV captioning service that accidentally told viewers actress Zooey Deschanel was a suspect in last week’s attack on the Boston Marathon has offered an apology.

On Friday evening, when millions of Americans were captivated by TV news coverage of the manhunt that shut down a city, those watching Fox in Dallas with closed captions saw the words “Marathon Bomber. He is 19-year-old Zooey Deschanel” on their screens. Deschanel, who plays Jess on the City series New Girl, saw a screenshot on Twitter and responded:

Kala J. Patterson, president of Kansas-based Captions Solutions, said Wednesday that the company “deeply regrets” the mistake and “sincerely apologizes for this error.”

Patterson wasn’t the only one apologizing in the aftermath of the bombs. The social news site Reddit issued an apology of sorts after its users spread false reports about the suspected bomber’s identity.

CNN reporter John King also issued a mea culpa after falsely reporting last Tuesday that police had made an arrest. He told Washington, DC’s WTOP radio: “I’ve covered a couple wars and a lot of breaking news and a lot of cops-and-robbers situations. I’ve got a pretty good track record, but when you do something like this it’s embarrassing. Beyond being personally embarrassing, it’s tough for your viewers, who you want to trust you. So the one thing you do have to do is look in the camera and say, ‘We were wrong.’”

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is accused in the April 15 attack that killed three people and wounded more than 250. His brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was also a suspect and died during a confrontation with police.

Looking for more?

Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.