Famed investigative journalist Seymour Hersh recently gave an interview to the Guardian that contained a string of highly quotable statements.
For example, Hersh said that the fix for American journalism would be to “close down the news bureaus of the networks and let’s start all over, tabula rasa. The majors, NBCs, ABCs, they won’t like this – just do something different, do something that gets people mad at you, that’s what we’re supposed to be doing.”
But it was his comment about the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden that got many folks, including the Daily Mail, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and the New York Daily News, among others, to write up his comments. (The social media buttons on the Guardian piece shows that it was shared close to 35,000 times on Facebook and tweeted almost 5,000 times.)
The original version of the article had Hersh saying that the publicly reported and official versions of the raid was “one big lie”:
“Nothing’s been done about that story, it’s one big lie, not one word of it is true.”
Well, that got conspiracy tongues wagging, along with all the link posts from online media.
But on Oct. 1, The Guardian added a correction that walks back the Bin Laden raid claim:
This article was amended on 1 October 2013. The original text stated that Hersh sold a story about the My Lai massacre to the New York Times for $5,000 when in fact it was the Times of London. Hersh has pointed out that he was in no way suggesting that Osama bin Laden was not killed in Pakistan, as reported, upon the president’s authority: he was saying that it was in the aftermath that the lying began. Finally, the interview took place in the month of July, 2013.
Did Hersh follow up to get the Guardian to clarify his comments? Or did the publication add the correction due to the (mis)interpretations of others? I’ll update with any detail.
Hat tip to Bethany Horne.