In October 2022, Rolling Stone broke the story of ABC News national security producer James Meek’s apartment getting raided by the FBI under very mysterious circumstances.

We’ll get back to those last two tweets in a minute.

Rolling Stone editor in chief Noah Shachtman tweeted about the story as well:

Talk about a crazy story, right? Did we ever find out what actually happened?

As a matter of fact, there is an update to this story. And it’s a pretty major one:

Normally we’re not huge fans of NPR’s reporting, but we have to make an exception in this case because it’s nothing short of damning for Rolling Stone. Remember those last two tweets in the Rolling Stone thread, the ones suggesting that it wasn’t clear why the FBI would raid Meek’s house because Meek didn’t appear to have committed a crime? Yeah, well …

Once you get into NPR’s article, it should become clear pretty quickly why Rolling Stone left out the details they left out:

This is bad, guys:

It should have been a coup. Instead, acrimony inside the newsroom over how that scoop was edited led to accusations that the magazine’s brash leader pulled punches in overseeing coverage of someone he knew. The reporter who wrote the story, enraged, accepted a position at a sister publication two months later. And her complaints prompted a senior attorney for the magazine’s parent company to review what happened.

In the hours leading up to publication, Shachtman changed [article author Tatiana Siegel’s] draft to remove all suggestions that the investigation was not related to Meek’s reporting. He left in the finding that federal agents had allegedly found “classified information” on Meek’s devices.

The article left many readers with the distinct impression that the investigation was linked to Meek’s reporting — which could lead to a clash of the government and the press. Rolling Stone‘s official Twitter account promoted the story this way: “Exclusive: Emmy-winning ABC News producer James Gordon Meek had his home raided by the FBI. His colleagues say they haven’t seen him since.” The tweet’s thrust was echoed by WikiLeaksGlenn Beck and the Freedom of the Press Foundation, which wrote, “If this was related to his work, as this @RollingStone report suggests it might be, it is a gross press freedom violation.”

It sounds like Rolling Stone’s editor in chief deliberately buried the truth about the sex abuse allegations against Meek because the two of them were friendly. Meek looks really bad, obviously. But so does Noah Shachtman. And so does Rolling Stone. And it’s not like Rolling Stone has a whole lot of credibility to spare.

Yeah … that’s what scientists like to call “too little, too late.” And not having anything in the update about James Gordon Meek being chummy with Rolling Stone’s editor in chief makes it seem like Rolling Stone is still trying to keep the truth from readers.


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