Journalism Revisionist History

The Irish Times ran a story claiming that using fake—spray—tans was somehow cultural appropriation, and the news outlet chastised white women who used it.

The story itself turned out to have been faked. OK, no big deal; embarrassing as the IT‘s error was, it really falls in the category of stuff happens. That’s not the problem.

On discovering that the paper had been victimized by “a deliberate and coordinated deception,” the editorial staff took “corrective” action. The error—the being duped—

…prompted us to remove [the fake article] from the site and to initiate a review….

This is cowardly and dishonest. Kudos to The Irish Times Editor Ruadhán Mac Cormaic for acknowledging the error (on Sunday after the fake article’s Thursday publication, a pretty prompt response given the research required to confirm the fakery); however, the honest response would have been to leave the article up with a disclaimer, one that summarizes Mac Cormaic’s editorial, posted at the head of the article.

Instead, those journalists have chosen to erase that bit of real history and, as the editorial response fades into memory on Monday or Tuesday, to pretend that that history never actually happened.

This is yet another example of why the press guild cannot be trusted.

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