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Home / World / A common liar flourished in Europe's biggest news magazine because his anti-American and anti-American stories were too good to review

A common liar flourished in Europe's biggest news magazine because his anti-American and anti-American stories were too good to review



D Speigel has fired star journalist Claas Relotius and announced that he fabricated almost everything he wrote in the seven years of his influential newsmagazine.

But the real scandal is not that the four-time winner of the German Reporter Award is a serial fabulist. It's true that in so many cases his lies were so obvious that only acknowledgment bias can explain how they went unnoticed by the supposedly first-rate fact-checking team in one of Europe's largest and most respected publications.

To put it simply, Relotius, whose work was aimed almost exclusively at life in the United States, did not thrive at Der Spiegel because he was a Meister Wiesel, but because the editors wanted to believe the dark and unflattering Portraits he painted of America. That seems obvious. The only ones who do not seem to realize that yet are the publishers of the Mirror.

In a lengthy article published on December 20, the magazine apologized to its readers and anyone else affected by Relotius' liturgical rant of lies.

"He used pictures, Facebook posts, YouTube videos and borrowed material from old newspapers and obscure blogs. He assembled all the pieces, splinters and crumbs to create his figures. "It was not people who made flesh and blood," the article says, listing a series of lies that the magazine has uncovered since they've learned double the reporter. "They are live on paper and their creator is Claas Relotius. Sometimes he made her sing, sometimes cry, and sometimes he had her pray. He added, "And if he fancied, as in" Jaeger's Border, "he let his main character shoot an assault rifle in the night. Because it was such a wonderful end to his fiction work.

The article about the apology comes after Relotius himself confessed to having made a total lie in at least 1

4 stories, including his award-winning profiles on the dark side of American life. The nefarious journalist, whose inconspicuous "coverage" of American politics and culture earned him a laundry list of reputed journalist awards, including CNN's "Journalist of the Year" award 2014, assured his editors that he was not lying in all wrote for the Magazine. Sure, but … fool me once and all.

There's a lot of "How could that happen?" The institutional blind spots that kept Relotius so long were explained in detail. However, the article lacks any kind of self-reflection on how Relotius' own political and cultural inclination makes inventions possible. At no time does the magazine experience a moment of self-awareness when it realizes that it fell for the "too-well-to-be-traced trap".

Consider, for example, this blog entry written by two residents of the city of Trotts Minnesota, in which Relotius is allegedly titled for a report of August 2017 titled "Where They Pray for Trump on Sunday" lists 11 major factories in the city Article on. Some of them are small, but most of them are important. Another drawback to the mirror is that most lies could easily be detected with a short phone call or even a simple Google search. The Editors of Relotius, however, did not care about these traditional forms of fact checking. For them, the story of an outwardly racist backwoods town with Trump-supporting Jokels was too good to check.

If a story seems too good to be true, it probably is. Der Spiegel pays the price for the lack of skepticism of its editors. It will pay this price for a long time.


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