The Los Angeles Times on Monday retracted stories it had published on March 17 that tied rap mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs to a 1994 attack on rapper Tupac Shakur, who was murdered two years later. The paper said that the stories, written by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Chuck Phillips, relied on FBI documents that turned out to be phony. (AP)
What the commentators said
The Los Angeles Times “has another thing coming if it thinks it has wriggled out of a libel lawsuit,” said Stuart Heritage in the blog Hecklerspray. “An apology and a retraction just isn’t enough to win Diddy over.” Diddy’s “already made noises about wanting to unequivocally clear his name,” and “he could hire a goose in a suit to be his lawyer for this case and he’d still probably win it quite easily.”
At least the LA Times apologized and retracted the story, said Craig Silverman in the blog Regret the Error. “It’s not a bad thing to see the paper follow up and drive home the point that it doesn’t stand behind the information and accusations contained in the story.” But in the statement the paper released regarding the scandal, the last few paragraphs “seem to plead, ‘please don’t sue.’” We’ll have to wait and “see if the retraction satisfies Combs.”
Well, there’s “no news as of yet whether or not” Diddy “will bring legal action against the paper,” said the blog Chatter Shmatter. But one thing is for sure: “Despite the fact that the story was false, it attracted quite a buzz for the Times, who received more than 1 million hits on their website by people looking” for it.
But “episodes like this,” said Ross A. Lincoln in the blog LAist, should “illustrate that the way to compete in the Internet era isn’t to slash indispensable staff and adopt journalistic methods best suited for TMZ.” It’s too bad, because the “LA Times used to be a great paper.” Let’s hope that they “stop with the yellow journalism and try other means of boosting sales.”