Howard Weitzman Not Ready To Accept LA Times Apology Over P. Diddy StoryFri Mar 28, 2008 @ 01:11PM PST
Posted by Eriq Gardner
Earliler this week the Smoking Gun published a thorough examination of many of the documents the paper relied on. The site fingered an ex-con who spent time in jail for fraud as providing the crucial FBI documents, which now seem to have been fabrications. The Times responded by printing a lengthy mea culpa.
That might not be enough. Weitzman says he warned the paper the story was inaccurate before it ran in the print edition. "I don’t think it is journalistically responsible; you would want your paper to be more careful,” he told Editor & Publisher. “I think it is wrong that they ignored our request.”
Weitzman also has been throwing around the words "actual malice," a signal he believes Diddy would be successful in a libel suit. Normally, these cases are tough to pursue and not worth the bother, but LAT reporter Chuck Philips has been a houndog on this story for a while, and his coverage has been previously criticized for bias and questionable sources.
The paper's swift apology may help abrogate damages should Diddy pursue court action, but we're wondering if the Times may need to do something bolder to save its hide.