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January 20, 2006



Are we sure this isn't a hoax? It's an old joke. Of course, on this blog, maybe I should be asking what's a hoax anyway . . . .

Marty Lederman

From today's New York Times:


Editors' Note

An article on Wednesday about infidelity exposed by a chatty parrot described the way the parrot, owned by a man living with his girlfriend in Leeds, England, kept screeching the name of the woman's secret lover. When the parrot said "I love you, Gary," in what sounded like the woman's voice, her boyfriend (whose name is not Gary) broke up with her.

Although the article reported that the information had been obtained from reports in The Daily Telegraph and other British newspapers, The Times could not verify the former couple's accounts because the information was given to the British press by a freelance journalist who charged for the account. The Times does not pay for information. The Times should have disclosed fully to readers why we relied on other news reports. Or, perhaps it would have been prudent, given that condition, for The Times to have resisted parroting the episode at all.


At least we now know that the NYT policy of publish first, verify later is not limited to front page news.


This story especially made me laugh because as it happened.

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