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Sunday, February 24, 2013

After due diligence, Associated Press issues correction for Manti Te'o story

A few weeks back, Feb. 11 actually, the ever-prudent Associated Press took the corrective measure to retract any references to the death of Manti Te'o's girlfriend in any of its stories which were published by various news outlets prior to Deadspin's revelation that there really was no girlfriend whatsoever.
We ran the correction on and associated stories, but it's not likely many organizations bothered to go through the steps to right the fable several many weeks after the revelation was pulled from the murky depths of humanity, like a catfish.
The correction read:
"In a Sept. 15, 2012, story about Notre Dame’s college football victory over Michigan State that highlighted linebacker Manti Te’o's performance, The Associated Press erroneously reported that he played in the game a few days after the death of his girlfriend, who had a long battle with leukemia. Other AP stories through Jan. 3, 2013, also contained references to the girlfriend’s death, including some directly quoting Te’o and his father, Brian Te’o, about how he played through personal grief. On Jan. 16, Notre Dame officials and Manti Te’o said there was never a girlfriend or a death, and that Te’o was victimized in a hoax. Others have since come forward to say Te’o was duped in a series of phone calls and online messages purporting to be from a girl he never met in person."
Director of media relations Paul Colford told media watchdog Poynter the AP issued the Te'o reversal basically because it felt a need to hold the Te'o story to the same standards of any other story:
“Of course, almost everyone already knew the T’eo story was false, but we feel an obligation to carry formal correctives in any case," he told Poynter.
And just when you thought we had moved on from the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax, Te'o answered questions about the scandal from hordes of media at the NFL Combine.  Even if Te'o wins a Super Bowl championship or enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame, we'll always remember his girlfriend that never existed. 


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