Earlier in the week, we told you about the efforts of some trolls to convince people that Dylann Roof, the murderer who massacred 9 people at a church in South Carolina, was a brony. Some of the efforts, it seems, were briefly successful. The New York Times fell for misinformation provided by a teenager in the UK, claiming that Roof was a fan of My Little Pony, which only fueled the anti-bronies efforts to propagate their lies.
This afternoon, it seems, progress was made as the New York Times has issued a retraction of their false information, which had placed an undue black-eye on the fan community.
The Huffington Post has the story.
The article that the New York Times posted, read as follows, using information provided by 16-year-old Benjamin Wearing, who has since admitted that he made everything up:
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.
The teenager, admittedly, didn't even know Roof, and never saw a tumblr page, or any evidence that Roof was a fan of the show My Little Pony. The fact that a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times Journalist, took the word of a teenager on the internet at face value, especially in a case of national importance, is shocking. It has resulted in this retraction:
The Times story has since been corrected and the following note attached:This is a sad day for Journalism, when we here at Horse News have to be the ones shaking our heads at the methods of Pulitzer Prize winners, for not fact checking themselves.
Editors’ Note: June 22, 2015
An earlier version of this article included a reference to a British blogger who claimed that Dylann Roof’s manifesto was similar to earlier blog entries Mr. Roof had written. That passage was removed from the article after questions were raised about the blogger and his claims. Subsequently, the blogger said in a post online that he had fabricated the information about Mr. Roof’s supposed earlier blog entries.
Hopefully these articles will clear up the issue.
Here is Benjamin's Twitter Account, of which RaspberryPirate (the original poster of the Dash Shirt Photoshops) is a follower.