The Telegraph Would Like to Apologize For Making Things Up About the First Lady


A note to the media — if you’re going to accuse a public figure of elitism, perhaps you shouldn’t totally make things up in order to achieve that goal. The Telegraph of London learned this the hard way, after publishing an article which falsely reported that First Lady Michelle Obama had an entire Fifth Avenue lingerie store shut down so that she could shop with Her Highness Sheikha Moza of Qatar.

The First Lady, being the kind of person who favors small, independent designers and rewearing the same outfit more than once (the horror!), was understandably upset at this suggestion of opulence, and the Telegraph was forced to issue this rather sheepish retraction in response:

Further to our article “First Lady’s luxury buys boost Agent Provocateur” (Jan 30), we would like to make clear that the “shopping spree” involving Her Highness Sheikha Moza and Michelle Obama that we referred to in fact never occurred, and that Her Highness has never been shopping with Mrs. Obama, at Agent Provocateur or otherwise, and has never sought to have any part of New York closed off to enable her to shop undisturbed. We apologise for the distress and embarrassment this article caused.

In other words: “We are very sorry that we flat-out lied about this happening and didn’t bother to fact-check our sources.” Journalism is really hitting it out of the park today.