Twitchy has reported extensively on New York magazine’s phony story about a high school investor who allegedly earned $72 million in the stock market (see here, here, here, and here). Everyone now recognizes that the story is horse manure. Everyone, that is, except the author of the story, Jessica Pressler, and her bosses at New York magazine.
Let’s break down that editor’s note, shall we?
the initial headline has been changed to more clearly reflect the fact that we did not know the exact figure he has made in trades.
The initial headline used the $72 million figure. The headline now reads, “Made Millions Picking Stocks.” Actual earnings: zero. The “investor” in question, Mohammed Islam, now admits he has never bought a single stock.
However, Mohammed provided bank statements that showed he is worth eight figures…
If he is worth eight figures, which we rather doubt, he sure didn’t make that money by trading stocks. By the way, do the editors of New York magazine really believe that a person’s trading claims can be established based on that person’s net worth?
…and he confirmed on the record that he’s worth eight figures.
Hey, everyone makes mistakes, but it takes a real reporter to double down on a story that has been this thoroughly debunked.
There is no indication as yet that New York magazine is planning to run a correction or retraction. The story remains on the front page of the magazine’s website:
Let the Twitter mockery begin…
Hooray for “real journalism”!
Finally, about 12 hours after this post was published, New York magazine has apologized to its readers and acknowledged that it got the story wrong:
Editor’s Note:In the most recent edition of New York, its annual Reasons to Love New York issue, the magazine published this story about a Stuyvesant High School senior named Mohammed Islam, who was rumored to have made $72 million trading stocks. Islam said his net worth was in the “high eight figures.” As part of the research process, the magazine sent a fact-checker to Stuyvesant, where Islam produced a document that appeared to be a Chase bank statement attesting to an eight-figure bank account. After the story’s publication, people questioned the $72 million figure in the headline, which was written by editors based on the rumored figure. The headline was amended. But in an interview with the New York Observer last night, Islam now says his entire story was made up. A source close to the Islam family told the Washington Post that the statements were falsified. We were duped. Our fact-checking process was obviously inadequate; we take full responsibility and we should have known better. New York apologizes to our readers.