Investigation Leads to HuffPost Retraction

Dec 15, 2010, 06:55 ET from

NEW YORK, Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- A new investigation, by media ethics news website has led to a retraction by the Huffington Post.  

On Aug. 29, 2010, the Huffington Post published a story that made serious charges of fraud and mistaken identity.  The story, "Is Time's Aisha Story Fake" by Abdulhadi Hairan, issued false and possibly defamatory claims against TIME magazine and Aisha, an Afghan woman whose nose and ears were cut off, reportedly by Taliban supporters as punishment for running away from her abusive husband.  

Aisha's injuries were controversially featured on the cover of the issue of TIME magazine dated July 29, 2010.  

Hairan, a Huffington Post blogger, claimed that Aisha is really a women he knows as Nazia and that Aisha's injuries were incorrectly reported by mainstream media outlets including Time, CNN and the Daily Beast.

StinkyJournalism's latest investigation "HuffPost Removes Fake Aisha Story After StinkyJournalism Fact Check" details how StinkyJournalism debunked the Huffington Post blogger's claims. StinkyJournalism did the independent verification that the Huffington Post blogger should have completed before publishing his inflammatory charges, in the process discovering that Aisha and Nazia are definitely two different women.

The report, published Dec. 15 on, is the first part of a series on media inaccuracies in the reporting of Aisha's story.

Alexa ranks in the Top 15 most visited news media watchdogs. is published by Art Science Research Laboratory (ARSL), a not-for-profit, co-founded by its director, Rhonda Roland Shearer, an adjunct lecturer at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Iowa, and her late husband, Harvard professor and scientist, Stephen Jay Gould.  

ASRL is a non-partisan journalism ethics program in which students and young journalists work with professional researchers to promote the media's use of scientific methods and experts before publication.