The National Enquirer has apologized for a false report that some of kidnapped teen Elizabeth Smart’s relatives were involved in a gay sex ring, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, Utah’s largest newspaper chastised two of its reporters for helping and taking money from the tabloid. The reporters wire fired today.
The Enquirer said an article last July 2 article was “inaccurate and false” when it said that law enforcement officials stated that Elizabeth Smart’s father and two uncles were involved in a gay sex scandal.
A spokesman said the family was disappointed with local media and law enforcement sources who contributed to the Enquirer article. Salt Lake City Tribune Editor James Shelledy, in a letter to readers, said two of the paper’s reporters — Kevin Cantera and Michael Vigh — were paid by the Enquirer for help on the story. “Strictly speaking, talking to the National Enquirer or others of like ilk, in and of itself, is neither illegal nor unethical. Rather, it is akin to drinking water out of a toilet bowl — dumb, distasteful and, when observed, embarrassing,” Shelledy wrote.