‘LA Times’ Retracts Story That Relied On Fake FBI Records

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By: Joe Strupp

Three weeks after running a questionable story linking Sean “Puffy” Combs to the shooting of Tupac Shakur, the Los Angeles Times has formally retracted the story, admitting it had relied on false FBI documents that “The Times no longer believes to be credible.”

In an editor’s note posted online today and published in the paper, the Times stated that the March 17 story by Chuck Philips had also been removed from the paper’s Web site along with the backup material that included the fake report.

“The Times has since concluded that the FBI reports were fabricated and that some of the other sources relied on — including the person Philips previously believed to be the ‘confidential source’ cited in the FBI reports — do not support major elements of the story,” the note stated. “Consequently, The Times is retracting the March 17 Web publications as well as a shorter version of the article that appeared on Page E1 in the March 19 Calendar section of the newspaper. Statements that Philips made in two online chats, on March 18 and 25, and on The Times’ Soundboard blog on March 21 also are being retracted.”

The note added that, “among other things, the March 17 article and related Times publications reported that newly discovered information supported Shakur’s claims that associates of music executive Sean “Diddy” Combs orchestrated an attack in which Shakur was injured at the Quad Recording Studios in New York on Nov. 30, 1994.”

The entire editor’s note can be found at:
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-quadretraction7apr07,0,3600312.story

The Times began looking into the story after thesmokinggun.com raised questions about its accuracy and the reliance on the FBI documents in a March 26 item.

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