The PJ Tatler

New York Magazine to Readers: We Screwed Up

The ongoing collapse of mainstream journalism into a politically correct, agenda-driven sinkhole of literally unbelievable crap continues apace. The most recent sanctioned hoax, about the  stock-picking abilities of a high school kid named Mohammed Islam, turned out to be complete codswallop. At least New York magazine has issued an apology:

In the most recent edition of New York, its annual Reasons to Love New York issue, the magazine published a story about a Stuyvesant High School senior named Mohammed Islam, who was rumored to have made $72 million trading stocks. Islam said his net worth was in the “high eight figures.” As part of the research process, the magazine sent a fact-checker to Stuyvesant, where Islam produced a document that appeared to be a Chase bank statement attesting to an eight-figure bank account.

After the story’s publication, people questioned the $72 million figure in the headline, which was written by editors based on the rumored figure. The headline was amended. But in an interview with the New York Observer last night, Islam now says his entire story was made up. A source close to the Islam family told the Washington Post that the statements were falsified. We were duped. Our fact-checking process was obviously inadequate; we take full responsibility and we should have known better. New York apologizes to our readers.

“Who was rumored to have made $72 million…” Maybe that word, “rumor,” should have been a tipoff of some sort.  Remember, if it’s too good to check — as this story was, as the Rolling Stone “rape” story obviously was — then it’s also too good to be true. Somewhere, the ghost of Clay Felker is weeping.