Science magazine reporter Michael Balter scored a coup. The press has tried–and failed –since the April 20, 2009 filing of a libel lawsuit in New York State Court by Papua New Guinea tribesmen, to get interviews with Jared Diamond and The New Yorker Magazine.
The media sought comments regarding the libel allegations and imediaethics.org’s report on the numerous errors found in Diamond’s New Yorker essay, April 21, 2008, about revenge killings where he named Hup Daniel Wemp and Henep Isum Mandingo as organizers of murders in the Southern Highlands, Papua New Guinea, 1992-1995. Read the Associated Press report for a summary.
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Importantly, Balter’s report in the May 15th issue of Science–“Vengeance’ Bites Back At Jared Diamond” includes quotes from interviews with both Pulitzer Prize winning scientist and UCLA professor, Jared Diamond, and David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker.
This Science article is a “must read” if you have any interest in this case or any belief in the myths and legends about The New Yorker’s fact checking department. Unfortunately, you have to buy the article for $15 for 24 hour access or become a subscriber/member of the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to read it. All is not lost. If you don’t have access to libraries or a AAAS membership, Balter wrote a blog entry that cites a few statements that will shock, if not surprise, those who have faith in New Yorker’s commitment to accuracy. Louis Proyect posted opening paragraphs on his blog. Also, more from iMediaEthics about Balter’s report this weekend.