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How many marginally reputable publications are still around? I've seen NYT issue retractions before along these lines, no word on whether anyone was sacked for it.

The fact that a newspaper doesn't habitually discuss its HR matters in print is not relevant to whether blatant falsehood is "standard practice" in journalism.

The fact that you saw the retraction should tell you that kind of writing does not meet the paper's standard. Editors don't enjoy writing notices to the effect of "Oops, I totally failed at my job there." They do it because the alternative is an even worse blow to the paper's integrity.

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