Forget what's fit to print, the Los Angeles Times is busy publishing all the news that's fit to retract.
A little more than a week after apologizing for running a story connecting Sean "Diddy" Combs with the 1994 nonfatal shooting of Tupac Shakur, the paper has formally retracted the piece after concluding the report was based on falsified evidence and "relied heavily on information that The Times no longer believes to be credible."
The original article, titled "An Attack on Tupac Shakur Launched a Hip-Hop War," was published March 17 and alleged, based on bogus FBI documents, that three associates of Combs' orchestrated an assault on Shakur outside a New York recording studio after the rapper refused overtures to sign on with Combs' Bad Boy Records.
One of the supposed associates, the currently incarcerated James Sabatino, supplied the Times with the supposed FBI files, subsequently flagged by the Smoking Gun to be less than authentic.
Despite initially standing by the story, the Times has since come around, first issuing a front-page apology the day after the Smoking Gun's March 26 exposé and promising a full investigation. In its retraction Monday, the newspaper agreed with the investigative website's findings that "some of the other sources relied on.....do not support major elements of the story."
"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, [James "Jimmy Henchman"] Rosemond and [Jacques "Haitian Jack"] Agnant," the newspaper wrote.
"To the extent these publications could be interpreted as creating the impression that Combs was involved in arranging the attack, The Times wishes to correct that misimpression, which was neither stated in the article nor intended."
In addition, the paper retracted all implications "suggesting that Combs was given advance knowledge of the assault on Shakur, or played any role in it."
The article and all related materials, including a shortened version of the article and comments made in the paper's blog by the article's author, Pulitzer Prize winner Chuck Philips, have been retracted due to the unsupported evidence and so-called confidential source.
Sabatino is currently serving time in federal prison for wire fraud and racketeering.
Diddy himself commented on the flap last month to Ryan Seacrest, telling the E! News host via text that "this needs to be clear how wrong they were."
While Diddy also told Seacrest he was moving forward in his personal and professional life, it remains to be seen whether any legal action will result from the incident.