Newsweek retracts Marilou Danley story, Latest fact check fail in Las Vegas shootings coverage - iMediaEthics
Menu

Home » Apologies & Retractions»

(Credit: Newsweek Logo Process by Jim Parkinson/Wikipedia)

Newsweek claimed that Marilou Danley, the girlfriend of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, was married to two men at the same time and possessed two Social Security numbers. Now, Newsweek has retracted its story on Danley.

“The initial report was based on the marriage record of Danley, who was known under a different name when she married Geary Danley in Clark County, Nevada,” the retraction said. “Newsweek mistakenly matched that record to a second public record of a different person.”

In its retraction, Newsweek explained it found out what happened when Newsweek “re-interviewed a person who had initially declined to comment for our story.” iMediaEthics has contacted Newsweek to ask how long the article was published before being removed and what prompted the editors to go back to the source who originally wouldn’t be interviewed.

The original Newsweek article, by Melina Delkic, was posted Oct. 3, 2017 at 7 PM, with the headline of “Paddock’s girlfriend used two Social Security numbers and was married to two men at the same time.” iMediaEthics found a cache of the article, which said Danley “holds the key to solving the mystery” of the reason for the shooting.

A screenshot detail of a cache of the Newsweek now-retracted article.

 

The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, who flagged the retraction, reported that, “A quick search reveals that the Newsweek report didn’t penetrate mainstream coverage.”

The full Newsweek retraction reads:

Newsweek has retracted its story that reviewed public records of Marilou Danley, the girlfriend of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock.

“The initial report was based on the marriage record of Danley, who was known under a different name when she married Geary Danley in Clark County, Nevada. Newsweek mistakenly matched that record to a second public record of a different person.

“The mistake was revealed when a Newsweek reporter re-interviewed a person who had initially declined to comment for our story.

“Danley remains a ‘person of interest’ in the shooting investigation of 59 people, including the gunman, Sunday night in Las Vegas.

“Newsweek regrets the error.”

 

Other Las Vegas Shootings Media Ethics Issues

Shortly after the shooting, conservative website Gateway Pundit misidentified the shooter, incorrectly stating that Geary Danley was the shooter. Gateway attempted to use this egregious factual error as a means by which to portray the shooter as an anti-Trump liberal Democrat.

CBS fired a vice president in its legal department, Hayley Geftman-Gold, after she posted on Facebook that she wasn’t “even sympathetic” about the shooting because “country music fans often are Republican gun toters.”

Quotes attributed to Gloria Steinem and David Letterman have circulated since the shooting, but neither said what social media said they did.

UPDATED: 4:51 PM EST With more information

Submit a tip / Report a problem

Newsweek retracts Marilou Danley story, Latest fact check fail in Las Vegas shootings coverage

Share this article:

Comments Terms and Conditions

  • We reserve the right to edit/delete comments which harass, libel, use coarse language and profanity.
  • We moderate comments especially when there is conflict or negativity among commenters.
  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *