The Washington Post this week deleted about 2,000 words from an article about the incidence of HIV in black men and added a lengthy editor’s note after it discovered major fabrications by one of the sources of the article.
The newspaper’s media blogger Eric Wemple reported about the developments on Tuesday afternoon.
The article for the paper’s “Storyline” project looked at a confounding medical trend that shows that gay black men have higher rates of HIV infection than their white counterparts despite having fewer sexual partners and less unprotected sex.
Reporter Jeff Guo talked to a man named Mickyel Bradford for the article. Bradford described his interactions with someone identified only as Seth, according to Wemple. But after the article came out, “a love interest of Bradford’s signaled to The Post that certain aspects of the story hadn’t happened as presented.”
When the reporter confronted Bradford about the questions, Wemple reported, the man confessed that some of the story was fabricated.
The newspaper deleted those passages and added this note:
Editor’s note: Several passages have been removed from this story because the source of those passages, Mickyel Bradford, has admitted to fabricating them. The passages include descriptions of a lunch in Bradford’s town and a ball that Bradford claimed he attended with a man identified as Seth. Bradford now confirms that neither of those events occurred as described. Additionally, Bradford admits the two men never discussed getting tested for HIV. All passages concerning the two men have been removed.
Ahiza Garcia is a newswriter based in New York City. Before joining TPM, Ahiza interned and freelanced for Nightline, Fox Sports, and ESPN the Magazine. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Columbia University and an M.S. in digital journalism from Syracuse University. She can be reached at email@example.com.