In a Reuters report, the Boston Globe has acknowledged publishing a story where a freelance writer fabricated "large chunks" of the reporting. Lo and behold, the fabrications just happened to have a liberal/PETA agenda.
The Globe, which is owned by The
New York Times Co., said it stopped using writer Barbara Stewart because of a story that ran on Wednesday about a seasonal hunt for baby seals off Newfoundland -- a hunt, it turns out, had not taken place.
The story datelined Halifax, Nova Scotia described in graphic detail how the seal hunt began on Tuesday, with water turning red as hunters on some 300 boats shot harp seal cubs "by the hundreds."
The problem, however, was that the hunt did not begin on Tuesday; it was delayed by bad weather and was scheduled to start on Friday, weather permitting, the Globe said in an editor's note.
Now, I don't do any regular reporting work - I don't have the time. But those who do should be ashamed to be caught in this circumstance. Those who complain about the blogs jumping to conclusions should take note.
Here's the thing, though. Had the hunt gone off as planned the same story would have been filed and the reporting would have been just as bogus, but it would have been accepted as accurate, and even quoted in the future by those looking to ban the hunt. Now I don't really have a position on the hunt. What I do have is a position on being lied to - I don't like it.
This is of a piece with Mitch Albom's article documenting the presence of former Michigan State players Mateen Cleaves and Jason Richardson at the Final Four - though they weren't. Didn't they ever see Heaven Can Wait? Probability and outcome - the escort should never have pulled Joe Pendleton off that bicycle.
UPDATE: Stephen Green noticed, and wonders
what happened to the editors who approved it? Fact-checkers? You know, all those valuable tools (and I mean that in every sense of the word) who allegedly make Big Media "journalists" superior to us pajama types? Are they still on the payroll? And why weren't their names publicized along with that of the fired freelance reporter?
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin is on the case too.