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New York Times Admits Massive Failure With Its ‘Caliphate’ Podcast

New York Times Admits Massive Failure With Its ‘Caliphate’ Podcast

Now do the 1619 Project!

The New York Times 2018 podcast Caliphate gained traction after it featured Shehroze Chaudhry, a Canadian who claimed to take part in Islamic State executions among other things. The 12-part podcast won a Pulitzer Prize.

Now it has all fallen apart after Canadian and American intelligence officials determined Chaudhry, who used the name Abu Huzayfah, lied about everything.

The Times admitted massive failure on their part from the top of the publication.

However, the Times did not retract the podcast. The newspaper chose to publish an editor’s note at the beginning of the transcript and put in an “audio correction” in Chaudhry’s episodes.

The Times admitted it found “significant falsehoods and other discrepancies in Huzayfah’s story” and reached out to intelligence officials.

They continued the podcast, but used Chapter 6 to explore “major discrepancies and highlighting the fact-checking process that sought to verify key elements of the narrative.”

The story began its collapse in September when Canadian authorities arrested Chaudhry and charged him “with perpetrating a terrorist hoax.”

Chaudhry’s arrest, not the “significant falsehoods” the editors found during the recordings, forced the Times “to investigate what Canadian officials had discovered, and to re-examine Mr. Chaudhry’s account and the earlier efforts to determine its validity.”

The Times “found a history of misrepresentations by Mr. Chaudhry and no corroboration that he committed the atrocities he described in the ‘Caliphate’ podcast.”

Uh…so, um, the Times missed this completely during its own investigation? Nothing but failure:

From the outset, “Caliphate” should have had the regular participation of an editor experienced in the subject matter. In addition, The Times should have pressed harder to verify Mr. Chaudhry’s claims before deciding to place so much emphasis on one individual’s account. For example, reporters and editors could have vetted more thoroughly materials Mr. Chaudhry provided for evidence that he had traveled to Syria to join the Islamic State, and pushed harder and earlier to determine what the authorities knew about him. It is also clear that elements of the original fact-checking process were not sufficiently rigorous: 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.

Chaudhry made outlandish claims like:

  • Taking part in executions: shot a man in the head, stabbed another man in the heart and hanged him on a cross.
  • Joined the religious police in Syria.
  • Participated in training sessions to attack the West
  • Witnessed ISIS commanders using “color-coded instructions” on maps to teach recruits “how to strike major Western targets, get into restricted areas, kill people and attain martyrdom.”

The Times executive editor Dean Baquet said:

“When The New York Times does deep, big, ambitious journalism in any format, we put it to a tremendous amount of scrutiny at the upper levels of the newsroom,” he said in a podcast interview that was scheduled to be posted by The Times on Friday.

“We did not do that in this case,” he continued. “And I think that I or somebody else should have provided that same kind of scrutiny, because it was a big, ambitious piece of journalism. And I did not provide that kind of scrutiny, nor did my top deputies with deep experience in examining investigative reporting.”

Baquet also said that the Times will keep the podcast host Rukmini Callimachi at the paper with “a new beat” because staying on the terrorism beat would be “hard to continue.”

After all, the fault belongs to everyone at the paper! So no one faces punishment or backlash. Baquet seems to brush it off as a learning experience since it “was something new” they did:

“We do a lot of things we didn’t do before,” Mr. Baquet said in the interview for this article. “We don’t just produce long-form newspaper stories. I don’t think we have built a system to give that kind of support to some of the bigger things we do.” He added, “For the most part we’ve gotten everything right. But I think this fell through the cracks, because it was a different way of telling stories than The New York Times is used to. We didn’t have a system in place to manage that, to help the audio team manage that.”


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Reliable sources anyone???

Continuing the traditions of Walter Duranty,

Success has many fathers. Failure is an orphan.

> NY Times seems to have many orphans lately.

Democracy Dies When Stories Are Manufactured to Trigger the Woke Readers. This is just one of many – Russia Collusion, Most Trump stories, Supreme Court nominee stories, peaceful demonstrations, etc.

Funny thing is – the readership never seems to hold the NY Times accountable. They never stop to say “hey, this is the 10th story that has been far off-the-mark. I’m not going to put up with sh*t this anymore. I’m going to switch to [insert name of what passes for news media these days].”

    Groundhog Day in reply to Ben Kent. | December 18, 2020 at 5:45 pm

    Times (pun intended) have changed – many (if not most) people read newspapers so they can feel vindicated. Not to mention that there aren’t much news in newspapers anymore. And even news networks like Fox News are capable of running an entire day with one single ‘news alert’, discussing it 24 hours with different ‘power panels’ – with me watching Fox News to get the code for MyPillow…

    CapeBuffalo in reply to Ben Kent. | December 19, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    Blind obedience is required by the State.

It would be shocking only if the NYT told the truth.

“When The New York Times does deep, big, ambitious journalism in any format, we put it to a tremendous amount of scrutiny at the upper levels of the newsroom. We did not do that in this case”

They left out the rest of the quote though:

“That scrutiny involves making sure the message is on target regardless of the facts, that the progressive movement is supported, that terrorists are portrayed sympathetically, that Republicans are blamed or are shown in a negative light, anonymous sources are quoted, and that we make our points with difficult to falsify assertions”

“Clearly, we made a mistake by including information that was too easily disproven, and will tighten our editorial process to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. Other than that one small mis-step, we have complete confidence in our fiction – i mean news – team.”

Now they will say all stories reporting muslim atrocities are unreliable/

So the liars and frauds at the NYT fell for the lies of another fraud? You’d think they’d know the signs.

So did the NYT voluntarily give back the Pulitzer, or was it recalled??!!

They can’t keep it.

“The Times admitted it found “significant falsehoods and other discrepancies in Huzayfah’s story” and reached out to intelligence officials.”

A) how did they notice, and

B) shouldn’t they notify intelligence officials about the rest of their “reporting?”

Mistakes were made but no one made them.

Ahhh … (trying to remember the first time I didn’t believe the NYTimes) … ’64-’65 in H.S. debate. He had the actual newspaper page (current affairs topic); I read it, and knew it was wrong. Source was wrong, reporter misquoting, editor thinking he was fixing, … somehow wrong. That was not the way the U.S.Navy would do that. A couple of days later, Mom (WW2 LT. USN) showed me a correction. Long before Reagan, I understood “trust, and verify.” Sadly, I find it still, too hard to really trust.

I understand.
Their system isn’t prepared for truth.