Biggie - Biggie Mistake How Chuck Philips and the...

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View Full Document Right Arrow Icon Biggie Mistake How Chuck Philips and the L.A. Times could have dodged the Tupac hoaxer. By Jack Shafer March 27, 2008 A jailbird named James Sabatino appears to have duped the Los Angeles Times and its reporter Chuck Philips according to a withering Smoking Gun investigation published yesterday. The Times apologized today for its March 17 story about the roots of the deadly feud between Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. by Philips. Philips and his editor have expressed their remorse for relying on now-discredited FBI documents. An internal investigation of the investigation has also been announced by the paper's top editor. How did a Pulitzer Prize winner like Philips and an excellent paper like the Times get snowed? What precautions should they have taken? We won't know the full story until the Times or some other news organization completes a postmortem and more is learned about the allegedly forged documents. But what happened at the Times isn't unique to newspapers. Con men have forged documents to perpetrate financial swindles, scientists have forged laboratory results and published their "findings" in the best journals, and police have manufactured evidence to convince juries to imprison innocent people. So don't be quick to claim that you could never be similarly hoodwinked. Like most disasters, the Times ' could have been avoided, which is easy for me to say in retrospect. Here are a few general suggestions for journalists, investors, scientists, juries, and other targets of how to avoid getting swindled by your sources.
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This note was uploaded on 03/24/2011 for the course COMM 102 taught by Professor Pike during the Spring '07 term at Rutgers.

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Biggie - Biggie Mistake How Chuck Philips and the...

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