Newspaper says sorry to PM—and its own reporters

“No credible support” to back claim Harper pocketed communion wafer, and btw, reporters never wrote it


 

It’s not the mother of all mea culpas; that prize goes to the Kentucky paper that neglected to cover the 1960s civil rights movement. But New Brunswick’s Telegraph-Journal has issued a dandy today. Not only has the Saint John, N.B.-based daily apologized to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, it has admitted it let down its own reporters by inserting unfounded claims into their story about the PM’s alleged failure to eat the communion wafer during the funeral of former Governor-General Roméo LeBlanc. The story had stated as fact that Harper had pocketed the wafer and that a senior Catholic cleric had called him on it. Not only was there “no credible support for these statements of fact,” the paper admits on its front page, but the TJ’s own reporters never wrote it. “In the editing process, these statements were added without the knowledge of the reporters and without any credible support for them,” the apology reads. Wow. That’s some aggressive editing.

Telegraph Journal

The original piece:
Telegraph Journal


 
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Newspaper says sorry to PM—and its own reporters

  1. Where is Kady on this one? I thought this was her favorite story?

  2. In the editing process, these statements were added without the knowledge of the reporters and without any credible support for them

    Wow. This was already a story that was driven by the media, but this takes the media culpability to a whole new level. Reporting that the wafer went into Harper's pocket when there was no direct evidence to suggest it is bad enough; but the editors of the paper fabricating a quote from the priest demanding to know what happened to the wafer, and inserting said fabrication into the reporters story takes this to a whole new level of malpractice.

    This story ran on July 7. Why did the paper wait 3 weeks, until the story was long dead, to issue this apology? Has the editor who perpetrated this baseless smear against the PM been disciplined?

  3. There was another wafer .. check out the grassy knoll!

  4. Why is anyone surprised? The traditional media has lost its way on so many things that few people have any faith or trust in them. We know that traditional media is biased, but they pretend that they are neutral and we all go along with it and are shocked, just shocked, when they own up to something like this.

    Bloggers have been condemned by traditional media as not being 'real' journalists who have been trained to ferret out the nuisances of a story, but at least bloggers are up front with their biases and will be called out if they falsify a story. No wonder traditional media is having trouble keeping their readership – people are not as stupid as traditional media makes out that they are.