‘New York Times’ Retracts Entire ‘The Daily’ Amid Revelations It Completely Fabricated Michael Barbaro

Illustration for article titled ‘New York Times’ Retracts Entire ‘The Daily’ Amid Revelations It Completely Fabricated Michael Barbaro

NEW YORK—Apologizing for misleading readers after new evidence came to light, the New York Times announced Tuesday that it was retracting the entire podcast The Daily amid revelations that the newspaper had completely fabricated Michael Barbaro. “Our readers deserve transparency and accountability, which is why we’re being open now by admitting, categorically, that a podcast host named Michael Barbaro does not exist, and The Daily’s reporting, publishing, and promotional structure is based on that fundamental lie,” said New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet in a statement, adding that the publication had used a series of voice actors and pictures of an employee in the newspaper’s sales department to create the fake persona of Michael Barbaro. “To careful listeners, there were inklings early on that The Daily was a hoax, from some discrete vocal tics of the several stand-ins for Mr. Barbaro to many glaring inconsistencies in the podcast’s ability to cover complicated subjects. Of course, as the podcast got more and more successful, the central lie became bigger, we added more fake reporters to the podcast, and we even conjured up illegitimate stories that could help turn our fake Mr. Barbaro into a media darling. We let it completely get out of hand. Ultimately, Mr. Barbaro and The Daily are just some of the more whimsical creations our staff came up with, and we apologize for misleading readers so extensively.” At press time, the New York Times was forced to issue a flurry of additional apologies and retractions after reports emerged that executive editor Baquet was also a fabrication and that the newspaper had based nearly all of its stories for decades on anonymous sources that also turned out not to exist.