Los Angeles Times Watch: Fake News Release Quote on Front Page

The ASSociated Press has L.A. Times Prints Quote From Fake Release

A quote in a fake news release that was intended as an April Fool’s joke ended up in a front-page story in the Los Angeles Times. The story in Tuesday’s editions of the Times noted how successful the reintroduction of wolves had been 10 years ago, but said the predators remained controversial.

“In Wyoming, for example, Gov. Dave Freudenthal last April decreed that the Endangered Species Act is no longer in force and that the state ‘now considers the wolf as a federal dog,’ unworthy of protection,” the story read.

The Los Angeles Times has had major credibility problems the past few years. This faux paus will do nothing to improve their standing with Los Angeles newspaper readers.

The Times printed a correction Wednesday, acknowledging that the news release was a hoax.

“The reporter saw it on the Internet and had talked with the governor in the past, so she was familiar enough with the way he talks and writes that she thought it sounded authentic, and she didn’t check, which she should have,” Times Deputy Metro Editor David Lauter told the Casper Star Tribune.

“We hate when this kind of thing happens, and we correct it as quickly as we can,” Lauter said.

The fake press release was put together by Maury Jones, an outfitter in the community of Afton, as a joke for April Fool’s Day.

“I never thought I’d get this kind of reaction,” he said. “But it’s got some legs.”

The correction, For the Record, is here.


Gray wolves — An article in Tuesday’s Section A about tensions over the federal effort to reintroduce wolves into parts of the West wrongly attributed to Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal a statement that Wyoming considered the Endangered Species Act no longer in force and “now considers the wolf as a federal dog.” The statement, which was circulated on the Internet, was purportedly from Freudenthal but was in fact a hoax.

If the Los Angeles Times wishes to be considered Pulitzer Prize caliber it should tighten up their reporting and editing – notwithstanding their LEFT bias on their news pages.

Patterico has L.A. Times Falls for April Fool’s “Press Release”

The “press release” is dated April 1, 2005.

Its author has no idea how his private e-mail ended up getting quoted as “news.” As he wrote to the local paper, which had also been fooled: “In a related story to the Wyoming Governor’s Official Declaration, Hell froze over.”

So, if you see a banner headline in tomorrow’s L.A. Times declaring the freezing over of Hell, you’ll know where they got the story. After all, the story has been widely reported on the Internet, so it obviously meets the standards for publication in the Los Angeles Times.

Pretty sad for a major MSM publication.