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Tipsheet

Literal Fake News Reporter Resigns After Bogus Stories Are Exposed

AP Photo/Chuck Burton

If you screw up, you make edits, admit the errors, and move on. It’s okay to be biased. It’s okay to attack. There’s a host of media outlets that do this daily. It’s an entirely different story when you make stuff up, and then make more stuff up to cover up the stuff you initially fabricated. The lie grows into another lie until it spirals out of control. At USA Today, there apparently was a red flag raised in one of the pieces by Gabriela Miranda which prompted an internal investigation. Like Stephen Glass at The New Republic, Miranda reportedly fabricated over a dozen stories. She deceived investigators and manufactured evidence to support her fake news habit.

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Miranda resigned from the paper yesterday. Some of the people interviewed by Miranda could not be verified. The game was over, and now she’s out of a job (via NYT):

USA Today said on Thursday that it had removed 23 articles from its website after an investigation into a reporter’s work revealed sources that appeared to be fabricated.

The internal investigation, which took place over a period of several weeks, began after USA Today received an inquiry related to the veracity of details in an article by Gabriela Miranda, who was a breaking news reporter at USA Today.

Ms. Miranda resigned from USA Today recently, as the investigation progressed, according to a person briefed on the inquiry. Her most recent article for the newspaper was published on April 17.

Ms. Miranda could not immediately be reached for comment.

A note posted on USA Today’s website on Thursday afternoon notified readers about the investigation and its decision to remove articles.

“After receiving an external correction request, USA Today audited the reporting work of Gabriela Miranda,” the note reads. “The audit revealed that some individuals quoted were not affiliated with the organizations claimed and appeared to be fabricated. The existence of other individuals quoted could not be independently verified. In addition, some stories included quotes that should have been credited to others.”

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This is obviously an offense that warrants termination. Kudos to the paper for holding her accountable, but what about the others. There are many reporters whose heads should roll because of their peddling of fake news stories. The Russian collusion hoax was a huge lie. The evidence was also manufactured. It was not by reporters—it was the intelligence community—but they helped them magnify it. When it was clear it was a hoax, these folks doubled down. Getting caught red-handed is one thing, but the cumulative effect of the fake news Russian collusion story should have more people looking for a new line of work. 

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