NYT Admits Fault in Salmon Story; Industry Spokesman Calls Times’ Claim 'Dubious'

Even when The New York Times admits they were wrong, they still don't quite get it right.

The paper acknowledged May 13 that a March 27 story, "Salmon Virus Indicts Chile's Fishing Methods," was incorrect when an article by Alexei Barrionuevo had identified security guard Adolfo Flores as the Port Director of Castro, Chiloe Island (see full "Editors' Note" here).

Their "Editors' Note" referred to Flores as an "official" that misidentified himself as the port's director and he "in fact worked as a security guard."

Despite the clarification from the Times, a spokesman for a salmon industry group expressed his disbelief that a Times reporter would have been gullible enough to have been convinced a security guard was the port's director.

"We still think their claim that the security guard lied to them is dubious - and harder still to believe that any decent reporter would have been fooled that way," Jim McCarthy said in an e-mail to the Business & Media Institute on May 13, speaking on behalf of the Salmon of the Americas Inc., a group that represents the salmon industry. "[N]ever mind the fact that the security guard had absolutely no reason to deceive the reporter."

Barrionuevo had already been found to have plagiarized on two separate occasions by Slate.com's Jack Shafer, first in a February 27 article posted on Slate.com by Jack Shafer and again on March 5.