Media Malpractice: ‘New York Times’ Fooled By Fake ‘My Little Pony’ Post Supposedly Written by Killer Dylann Roof

The supposed “paper of record,” The New York Times, was fooled by a 16-year-old from England who invented a fake “My Little Pony” post he said was written by Charleston killer Dylann Roof. The Times reported about Roof’s non-existent “My Little Pony” post as if it were real.

In fact, The New York Times didn’t do any due diligence to discover if the fake “My Little Pony” post was even real. The Times reporter did contact the 16-year-old British kid who invented the post, but then just took his word for it without seeing any proof of the post.

The Times posted a story containing the fake “My Little Pony” references on Saturday. Here is what the paper wrote:

Benjamin Wareing, a blogger in Britain, said the writings are nearly identical to blog posts that Mr. Roof posted several months ago on a separate Tumblr page. Mr. Wareing was preparing to write an essay on the dangers of Tumblr and troubled youths, so he took notes on the writings.

“He just made really stupid but obvious statements about people from other races,” Mr. Wareing said in an email. “He would call black citizens ‘nuggets’ and such. He never made direct threats at all on Tumblr, at least it didn’t seem like that, just weird ramblings about how he felt he ‘didn’t fit in.’”

Among his writings were images of 9/11 “memes” and of “My Little Pony,” Mr. Wareing said.

By Sunday the paper had removed these paragraphs. Why? Casey Tolan of Fusion.com has the story.

The only problem? It was all a complete fabrication by Wareing, a British 16-year-old with a Hotmail email address who never met or communicated with Roof, he told Fusion today. He never found a Tumblr account belonging to Roof, and the My Little Pony detail was created out of thin air, he said.

The Times article in question, by Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist Frances Robles, has since been edited to remove those details. According to the website NewsDiffs, which archives old versions of New York Times stories, the interview with Wareing was only online for a couple hours–it was added around 1:56 p.m. Eastern on June 20 and removed by 4:44 p.m. the same day. Wareing posted a screenshot of the unedited Times article in a blog post admitting his ruse.

The fact that the Times was tricked by a kid an ocean away from Charleston is a quirk of modern journalism: As soon as Roof’s name leaked, reporters flocked to the suspect’s Facebook page, which was private except for a profile picture and his list of friends. So reporters (ourselves included) started messaging those friends.

This is happening more and more in the liberal, Old Media establishment. It makes you wonder how much in the past they didn’t get caught just making stuff up or accepting hoaxes, doesn’t it?

Warner Todd Huston

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com, BigJournalsim.com and all Breitbart News' other sites, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, and many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs across the country to discuss his opinion editorials and current events as well as appearing on TV networks such as CNN, Fox News, Fox Business Network, and various Chicago-based news programs. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston and follow him on Twitter, on Google Plus , and Facebook.

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