Smoking Gun Casts Doubt on Times’ Tupac/Combs Allegations

Looks like the Times is having to do a little back peddling after internet-dirt-diggers-extraordinaire The Smoking Gun revealed that the documents used as the basis for last week’s report linking Sean Combs to an attack on Tupac Shakur were faked. Times Editor Russ Stanton has launched his own internal investigation into the matter:

Stanton ordered the review after the editor of the celebrity-centric website, The Smoking Gun, told the newspaper that he had reason to doubt The Times’ account and in particular the FBI records that were supposed to buttress the story.

The website this morning posted a story saying the records — purportedly statements by an unnamed informant to an FBI agent, which the newspaper posted on its website — appeared to be forgeries. The Smoking Gun said the documents seemed suspicious for multiple reasons, including the fact that they appeared to be written on a typewriter, rather than a computer, and included blacked-out sections not typically found in such documents.

Given that the March 19th article on Shakur’s 1994 shooting was the the Times most-viewed story this year, that’s gotta sting a least a little.

4 Replies to “Smoking Gun Casts Doubt on Times’ Tupac/Combs Allegations”

  1. Yeah, this could be bad.
    The article was meant as an exclusive for the Times online brand. While it may damage the Times credibility, it should stand as an example as to why “unnamed sources” should always be taken with couple mugs of skepticism.

  2. I am not an attorney but I would venture a guess that printing any misinformation about Combs would be met by a vetty expensive lawsuit. Online can be deleted (sort of), or made to be in compliance with the Millenium Act, but what are you going to do with piles of the printed word? Ask Jason Blair.

    This whole story is about hiding, obfuscation. I don’t see how a media outlet can be held legally responsible for not reporting something, but it can be held for reports stated as facts.

    What a mess, not a disaster, not the end, but a pretty notoriously big blotch on the L.A. Times.

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