A British teenager intentionally misled the New York Times in a story about South Carolina terrorism suspect Dylann Roof, telling the newspaper that Roof kept a website devoted to 9/11 conspiracy theories and the My Little Pony franchise, Fusion reported on Monday.
“People could think that this was a joke or a lark, but it wasn’t,” 16-year-old Benjamin Wareing said. “Our ultimate goal of this was to see if a reporter would publish something that was completely untrue.”
Wareing told the Times that he had come across blog posts belonging to Roof. His remarks were included in a June 20 story by Frances Robles, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist.
“He would call black citizens ‘nuggets’ and such,” Wareing was quoted as saying. “He never made direct threats at all on Tumblr, at least it didn’t seem like that, just weird ramblings about how he felt he “didn’t fit in.'”
His quotes were included in the story around 1:56 p.m. Eastern time the day the story was published, and removed by 4:44 p.m. that same day, as seen on NewsDiffs, which keeps archives of the newspaper’s stories.
Wareing published a screenshot of the original version of the story on his own blog, boasting that he “screwed” with the Times with the help of his friend Sadrak Ramirez, who had been added by Roof as a Facebook contact weeks before entering the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17 and killing nine people.
“Think ‘story time’ in school, or your wildest dreams coming true. Instead, this was a fabricated web of hilarious yet believable lies,” he wrote. “We chose to focus on the ‘Brony’ scene of ‘My Little Pony’, emphasizing the fact that Roof was a major Brony. We also wanted a bit of best modern-day internet can give; memes. We told this idiot of a reporter that Dylann was obsessed with 911 ‘memes’. Of course, we have no way of knowing if this is true. As we expected, the New York Times reporter took to this like a fat kid in a candy store. No questions asked.”
According to Fusion, Ramirez was contacted by at least six reporters the day after the shooting seeking information on Roof, but instead referred them to Wareing, who fed the Times the story about the non-existent blog.
Peter Applebome, the newspaper’s deputy national news editor, said the paragraphs including Warering’s remarks were taken out “as soon as we had reason to doubt them, and they would have been removed under any circumstances and replaced by newer reporting.”
Wareing told Fusion — in an interview conducted via the online phone service Skype — that he is interested in pursuing journalism as a career.
“I always wanted to do that,” he said. “I don’t want to be someone who reports complete lies … this makes me want to try harder to make a better change in reporting.”
Kanye ripped for latest Trump defense: Always someone willing to write a check to ‘a black person defending white supremacy’
A panel discussion on recent concerts put on by Kanye West in Salt Lake City and Howard University turned to his new recent comments he made defending his support for Donald Trump -- with one panelist saying the rapper is getting paid on the side for siding with the president.
Speaking with host Kendis Gibson, guests Danielle Moodie-Mills and Clay Cane were harshly critical of West trying to drum up black support for the president as well as his recent comments on slavery.
"What is going on here?" Gibson began. "So you saw the pictures of Kanye West in the middle of Salt Lake City. He drew about 10,000 people here at Howard University, it was a smaller crowd because they didn't get the e-mail about it until 6:00 a.m. on homecoming weekend. Largely, a lot of people who are going to these shows are black folks. These are some of the scenes in Salt Lake City, so people are wondering: is he sort of like Trump's secret weapon, a secret outreach to the black community? "
WATCH: White House protesters chant ‘impeach Trump’ loud enough for aides to hear
Protesters gathered in front of the White House on Sunday to call on President Donald Trump to be removed from office.
Videos circulated online showed protesters chanting "impeach Trump" close enough to the White House for staff to hear the demonstration.
In other videos, protesters were blowing loud whistles.
Meanwhile, demonstrators also greeted Trump as he visited his New Jersey golf course. Pro-impeachment protesters were also reportedly out on the streets in Boston and New York City.
Watch some of the video clips below.
Outside the White House right now:
Here are 3 moves a desperate Trump will likely attempt in order to cling to power
In a column for the Daily Beast, political observer Micheal Tomasky speculated -- and not without good reason -- that a frantic Donald Trump will do anything to remain in office and thereby avoid being slammed with criminal indictments once he departs the Oval Office for good..
As the columnist explained, impeachment seems inevitable and the president will likely take desperate measures and that he has already given hints about three paths he may take -- if not all of them.
Tomasky wrote, "It’s foolish to say that Trump thinks ahead about anything. The late journalist Wayne Barrett said many true things about Trump, but the truest ever was when he observed that Trump says whatever will get him through the next 10 minutes," before adding, "People around him of course are more strategic and are thinking ahead. And they’re all saying and doing and writing things right now that will, if the opportunity presents itself, pave the way for Trump to burn the Constitution."