The New York Times added an editor’s note today to its story “U.S. Visa Process Missed San Bernardino Wife’s Online Zealotry” on the social media posts of one of the San Bernardino shooters, Tashfeen Malik.
Yesterday, F.B.I. director James B. Comey called the media out for having messed up reporting on Malik’s social media posts, saying that Malik and Farook’s social media posts were “direct, private messages.”
“So far, in this investigation we have found no evidence of posting on social media by either of them at that period in time and thereafter reflecting their commitment to jihad or to martyrdom,” Comey said. “I’ve seen some reporting on that, and that’s a garble.”
The Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple reported earlier today that the Times was reviewing its coverage of Malik’s social media posts, quoting Times executive editor Dean Baqet as saying “we are reporting it out.”
The editor’s note reads:
“The original version of this article, based on accounts from law enforcement officials, reported that Tashfeen Malik had ‘talked openly on social media’ about her support for violent jihad.
“On Wednesday, however, the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said that online communications about jihad by Ms. Malik and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, involved ‘direct, private messages.’ His remarks indicates that the comments about jihad were not made in widely accessible social media posts.
“Law enforcement officials subsequent told The Times that Ms. Malik communicated with her husband in emails and private messages, and on a dating site. Ms. Malik’s comments to Mr. Farook about violent jihad were made on a messaging platform, officials said. Neither Mr. Comey nor other officials identified the specific platforms that were used. (This article and headline have been revised to reflect the new information).”
Earlier today, New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan tweeted that Times editors were “deciding whether to correct San Bernardino/social media story.”
NYT editors deciding whether to correct San Bernadino/social media story challenged by Comey. Likely to be determined today (as it should).
— Margaret Sullivan (@Sulliview) December 17, 2015
UPDATED: 12/17/2015 7:04 PM EST Added more information