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Failing New York Times Caught Publishing More Fake News

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My latest in PJ Media:

When the New York Times audio documentary “Caliphate” won the Peabody Award, Times executive editor Dean Baquet took a victory lap, saying: “‘Caliphate’ was one of the best works of journalism of the year, created by a team of fearless journalists who shed new light on something as complex as ISIS and terrorism.” There was just one problem: “Caliphate” was largely based on the recollections of Shehroze Chaudhry, who admitted in Canadian court Friday that he made up the stories he told the Times’ “fearless journalists” about having been an Islamic State executioner. Rather than being “one of the best works of journalism,” “Caliphate” is actually the newest in a long string of object lessons proving that the New York Times is not a reliable news source. The newspaper is really a far-Left propaganda organ that cannot be trusted even when it is not retailing Democratic party agitprop.

In exchange for his admission, prosecutors dropped charges of a terrorism hoax against Chaudhry, apparently accepting the assertion of the fake terrorist’s lawyer, Nader R. Hasan, who said the stories Chaudhry told that fooled the Times were “mistakes borne out of immaturity — not sinister intent and certainly not criminal intent.”

Yes, of course. He likely became a fake terrorist because he knew that the Times, and particularly its star counterterror “journalist,” Rukmini Callimachi, would eat up the stories he would tell and publish them uncritically. After all, it wasn’t as if he was pretending to have been someone the Times really hates and fears, such as a right-wing Trump supporter. Nonetheless, Chaudhry’s lies caused a furor. According to the Times, “the release of that series in 2018, and other reports based on Mr. Chaudhry’s tales, created a political firestorm in Canada’s Parliament among opposition parties that repeatedly attacked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government for seeming to allow a terrorist killer to freely roam the streets of suburban Toronto.”

No one knew it, since the revered New York Times, after all, had presented Chaudhry’s claims as fact, but the people of Toronto never had anything to worry about. The court heard on Friday that “Mr. Chaudhry has never entered Syria nor participated in ISIS operations anywhere in the world.”

After Chaudhry was arrested for his hoax, the Times took a new look at its award-winning documentary and, lo and behold, found “a history of misrepresentations by Mr. Chaudhry and no corroboration that he committed the atrocities he described in the ‘Caliphate’ podcast.” Danielle Rhoades Ha of the Times admitted that “Times journalists were too credulous about the verification steps that were undertaken and dismissive of the lack of corroboration of essential aspects of Mr. Chaudhry’s account.”

There is more. Read the rest here.

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