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Former LA Times Reporter Wants New, Front-Page Tupac Retraction

It’s been a pretty sweet couple of months for the LA Times, what with Pulitzer Prizes and the mother of all Schwarzenegger tips. But the newspaper could be headed for much less hallowed journalistic ground, courtesy of an item today in the LA Weekly by Simone Wilson and Dennis Romero.

Disgraced former LA Times investigative reporter Chuck Philips (pictured), who took a buyout not long after the paper retracted his March 2008 story about Tupac Shakur because fake FBI documents were sourced, suggests that recent remarks made by his formerly anonymous story source prove that he merits not just an apology but also a new, front-page retraction of the paper’s previous retraction:

“I want them to run a front-page retraction,” Philips tells LA Weekly. “Same size, same place.”

Times management has not responded to requests by the Weekly for a comment. A front-page retraction is exceedingly rare in journalism.

You’re not kidding. But no matter what happens, it looks as if Antoine Fuqua and others involved in the upcoming Tupac biopic may need to consider adding a couple of Act Three scenes. Wilson has compiled a separate timeline of the Tupac-Philips saga, complete with the latest larger-than-life beats that could give whole new meaning to the term “bum rap.”

Update – 07/15/11: The LA Times has told both LA Weekly and a reporter for an upcoming Columbia Journalism Review piece that it feels there is no need for a retraction. Philips responds that the original retraction was crafted not to tell the truth but rather “to duck a lawsuit.”

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