What is in a name? A lot, the US media learned it the hard way Thursday as it became the butt of ridicule for publishing the wrong name – and a comical one too — of the suspect involved in the San Bernardino shooting incident, New York Times reports.
Leading sources of news including Los Angeles Times and Fox News fell victim to a Twitter hoax and published the name of the suspect as ‘Tayyeep Bin Ardogan, 28, of Qatar’.
While ‘Tayyeep Ardogan’ sounded Turkish despite the wrong spelling (it should have been Tayyip Erdoğan), ‘bin’ was definitely Arabic. ‘Bin’ stands for ‘son of’ (and ‘bint’ means ‘daughter of’) and is used in the middle of all Arabic surnames.
US reporters, racing against the deadline, faithfully carried the false name posted on Twitter by a prankster. They realized the mistake only after the San Bernardino Police Department denied identifying the suspect by that name.
Before police alerted media about the goof-up, Turkish and Arabic speakers said on Twitter that some prankster must have done a comic fusion to the name by combining words from Turkish and Arabic languages.
The false name given in the initial media report also led many online users to think that Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan, who happened to be in Qatar on Wednesday, may be linked to the San Bernardino incident.
Erdoğan is in the news after he defended the recent downing of the Russian jet fighter that was reported to have strayed into the Turkish airspace.
Although the prankster remains unknown, Turkish media did not forget to report how he took the US media for a ride.