More on the Sad Decline of Time Magazine

I noted on Thursday that US magazine, the supermarket tabloid, embarrassed itself by taking seriously an online “satire” that claimed Sarah Palin criticized Christina Aguilera for flubbing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl, and said she is a “spicy Latin princess” who should be deported. (Aguilera was born on Long Island and grew up in the Pittsburgh area.)
Astonishingly, Time made the same error:

Was Christina Aguilera’s Star-Spangled Banner slip-up enough to provoke war? Conan apparently thinks so.
And you thought Sarah Palin went overboard by commenting that she wanted to deport the singer?

Governor Palin responded by whacking Time with a two-by-four:

Subject: Great job, MSM!
Jay – pls tell your bosses there at Time Magazine thank you for the invitations to attend the upcoming functions. I’ll sure put a lot of thought into those invitations.
Then, have your editors retract Time’s most recent ridiculous lies about me supposedly giving Sean Hannity a radio interview wherein I supposedly talked about Christina Aguilera (that I slammed her for her Nat’l Anthem mistake, and called for her deportation, etc). You guys were fooled into running a fake story that even US Weekly pulled and apologized for their blunder. Total lies – and you guys (once again) even put quotation marks around things I have never uttered. Then, Time needs to run an apology to Christina along with the retraction. (Add Hannity in your apology, too…those good folks don’t deserve to be in a caustic, untrue story about me.) Thanks much – keep up the great work, Time Magazine.

The mistake by Time and US was incomprehensible: the “satire” they linked to and quoted from was headed “comedy,” and a line at the end said, “For more Election 2012 laughs, visit – political satire served up daily!” Those should have been pretty good clues, even if you were partisan enough to think the Palin quotes were plausible.
Instead of admitting and apologizing for its mistake, Time added a “clarification” to its article:

(CLARIFICATION: Palin did not, in fact, say this. It was a tongue-in-cheek link to an article that was intended as a joke.)

What was intended as a joke, the article or Time’s link? The “clarification” implies that the magazine knew all along that the linked article was satire and its claims were untrue. But there is nothing “tongue-in-cheek” about Time’s original line, “And you thought Sarah Palin went overboard by commenting that she wanted to deport the singer?” On the contrary, Time’s line only makes sense if you assume the alleged quotes were true.
Newsweek recently sold for a dollar. At the rate Time is going, Newsweek may soon be eyeing it as a takeover target.

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