The New York Times Magazine has added an editor’s note to its M.I.A. profile.
In the note, The Times concedes that writer Lynn Hirschberg grafted two quotes that were given to her at different points in the interview to make one big quote.
Over the weekend, M.I.A. posted a clip from the interview in which she talks about attending the Grammy’s. That quote appears, verbatim, in the Magazine piece. But the piece also includes a sentence about Bono right before she discusses the Grammy’s, which does not appear in the clip that M.I.A. posted.
In The Times‘ clarification, the editors are now saying that Ms. Hirschberg lumped the two quotes together.
When we asked Ms. Hirschberg about this two days ago, she had a different story. “She says the same thing repeatedly,” said Ms. Hirschberg. “She didn’t just say that once or twice or three times. She repeated things constantly. She said that once and said a variation of it on other occasions. She repeated herself all the time.”
Here is the editor’s note:
The cover article in The Times Magazine on Sunday profiled the singer and political activist M.I.A. While discussing her efforts to draw attention to the civil war in her home country, Sri Lanka, she was quoted as saying: “I wasn’t trying to be like Bono. He’s not from Africa – I’m from there. I’m tired of pop stars who say, ‘Give peace a chance.’ I’d rather say, ‘Give war a chance.’ The whole point of going to the Grammys was to say, ‘Hey, 50,000 people are gonna die next month, and here’s your opportunity to help.’ And no one did.”
While M.I.A. did make those remarks, she did not make the entire statement at the same point in the interview, or in the order in which it was presented.
The part that begins, “The whole point of going to the Grammys,” up to the end of the quotation, actually came first. The part that begins, “I wasn’t trying to be like Bono,” and ends, “Give war a chance,” came later in the same interview. The article should have made clear that the two quotations came from different parts of the interview.