New York magazine issued a succinct and straightforward apology Tuesday morning for publishing an article that implied Mohammed Islam, a senior at Stuyvesant High School, made $72 million trading stocks. "We were duped," the magazine's editors said in a statement. "Our fact-checking process was obviously inadequate; we take full responsibility and we should have known better. New York apologizes to our readers."
You seem to be quoted saying "eight figures." That's not true, is it?
No, it is not true.
Is there ANY figure? Have you invested and made returns at all?
So it's total fiction?
New York's initial defense of the piece relied on an eight-figure bank statement from the teen, which the magazine claimed a fact-checker examined. But Tuesday morning, the Washington Post published an article in which a source close to Islam's family said the bank statement was a fake. "[He] created some bullshit thing on the computer with blacked out numbers," the source told the Post. "He said she could look at it for 10 seconds, and pulled it away."
When reached for comment by the Washington Post, Pressler replied via email. "I'm I guess moderately surprised. In my day (2008?) it took at least a few days to cop to a fraud. I have to talk to nymag before officially comments as the story's really theirs."
In the most recent edition of New York, its annual Reasons to Love New York issue, the magazine published a 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.