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As noted earlier in a brief, the LA Times, having eaten more crow than a Lance Armstrong-Eric Clapton Constructicon, have fully retracted their most recent annual Tupac Article.

Among other things, the March 17 article and related Times publications reported that newly discovered information supported Shakur's claims that associates of music executive Sean "Diddy" Combs orchestrated an attack in which Shakur was injured at the Quad Recording Studios in New York on Nov. 30, 1994. The information, which came from the purported FBI reports and other sources, said that James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond, a talent manager; Jacques "Haitian Jack" Agnant, a figure on the New York hip-hop scene; and James Sabatino, purportedly one of Combs' associates, arranged the assault on Shakur because they were angry that he had rejected overtures to sign with Combs' Bad Boy Records.

The Times now believes that Sabatino fabricated the FBI reports and concocted his role in the assault as well as his supposed relationships with Combs, Rosemond and Agnant.

Of course, this move surprises absolutely no one (save the 3 or 4 people who still believe in that whole Don Killuminati: 7 Day Theory/Tupac Is Risen!/And He is Coming Soon thing,) If only the Pulitzer Committee gave prizes for incredulous gullibility. If only...
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As regular LAist readers might recall, Puffy, unlike Tupac, actually does in fact give a fuck. And the times has been forced to pay their respects:

The Times also reported that Sabatino told Combs in advance that Shakur was going to be attacked. The Times now believes that Sabatino had no involvement in the attack and that he never spoke to Combs about it. Any statements or implications suggesting that Combs was given advance knowledge of the assault on Shakur, or played any role in it, are specifically retracted.

And so did the Smoking Gun. As today's long delayed but still just as amusing Mea Culpa admits, the intrepid online BS detectors managed to do what the LA Times' fiscally limited reporting staff apparently could not - see through obvious bu-nonsense and point it out.

Here's a tip: Just like with the ridiculous theory that Courtney Love had Kurt Cobain murdered, when alleging celebrity involvement in a crime, apply this simple test: Does the crime in question require behavior and intelligence far beyond the obvious demonstrated capabilities of the accused?

For Courtney to have murdered Kurt and gotten away with it, she'd have to be capable of planning and secrecy that the Legion of Doom couldn't pull off. Yet, as anyone with eyes will tell you, she's the only person ever to develop fetal alcohol syndrome as an adult. Ergo: She didn't do it. Same rule applies here: Puffy can't take a piss without issuing a press release and requiring anyone signed to Bad Boy to refer to it on their next release. Getting away with an attempted hit on Tupac would require self restraint and discretion that he simply doesn't have.

Meanwhile, we certainly understand these days that dead tree media is desperate to recoup readership losses to competition from web based media, and there's tremendous subsequent pressure to slash costs and drive up circulation. The LA Times has been the recent victim of particularly draconian cost-cutting. However, episodes like this, hopefully, illustrate that the way to compete in the Internet era isn't to slash indispensable staff and adopt Journalistic methods best suited for TMZ. Poorly vetted tabloid style stories from respectable papers just give the internets ammunition with which to humiliate you. The LA Times used to be a great paper. Here's hoping that the Times will reconsider their most recent round of layoffs, stop with the yellow journalism, and try other means of boosting sales.

Any thoughts as to how they could?