Errors in Sniper Stories Admitted by N.Y. Times

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In an extraordinary two-page correction, the New York Times conceded a long list of errors in 37 stories by resigned reporter Jayson Blair on the Washington, D.C., sniper case and many other subjects.

Two examples: In a March 3 article, the Times said that statements made by Lee Malvo, the younger defendant in the case, was videotaped. A quote from a law enforcement official said of Fairfax County Detective June Boyle on the tape: “To watch her is to watch a master.” The Times now says there was no such videotape.

The first sentence of an October 30, 2002 story reported that defendant John Muhammad spent more than hour talking to investigators after his arrest “explaining the roots of his anger.” Later, the article said Muhammad “was ready to share everything.” The Times now quotes officials as saying that Muhammad was not about to confess and was not talking about the roots of his anger.

The Times “regrets that it did not detect the journalistic deceptions sooner” and promises an investigation into its own “processes for training, assignment and accountability.”


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