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Wednesday, April 9, 2008
WND's Non-Retraction Retraction
Topic: WorldNetDaily


WorldNetDaily's front page currently has a link to a TV station's report that a 13-year-old girl who claimed that she was "beaten and threatened" after displaying a sign protesting illegal immigration apparently made up the story and faces a charge of false reporting.

There's no mention of WND's own story from earlier in the day unquestioningly regurgitating the girl's claim that "21 classmates attacked and beat her in response to a sign she made for a history class calling for an end to illegal immigration." It is no longer linked from the front page, but -- even though the story has now apparently been proven false -- WND has not, as of this writing, updated the story to reflect that.

Will WND print a retraction, update the story, or simply make it disappear and pretend it never existed? We'll be watching.

(We have a PDF that we'll post for posterity's sake if WND chooses the third option. Think of it as blackmail in the cause of responsible journalism.)

UPDATE: WND has now done its own article on the false report, but the old article remains posted, with no indication that it has been proven false, not even a link to the new article.

Curiously, though WND leaves out the details about how the girl made up the story. From the TV station article WND originally linked to:

After Melanie's accusations, administrators reviewed school survellience videotape of the incident - which, instead of showing students beating or attacking her, showed Bowers scratching herself on her arms, face, and neck, and walking through the halls of the school calmly long after she claimed the incident happened.

After Melanie's parents were presented with that information and the video, the school confronted Melanie, and she admitted that she made the story up.

Of course, WND has a history of not reporting newsy details when it's not in their interest to do so.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:56 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 9, 2008 10:39 PM EDT

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