facts

Originally posted at Scatterplot. I just stumbled across the matter of Jared Diamond’s New Yorker article last year telling the story of vengeance fights in Papua New Guinea based on stories told to him by his driver.  As Diamond told the story, the driver Daniel Wemp and other real people whom he named by name and attributed to a specific tribal group — bragged about murdering and raping people in an ongoing vengeance war. The short version of what appears to be true (the case is still in process) is that Daniel Wemp told Diamond the stories when they were driving around in 1999-2002, but  Diamond did not take notes on them at the time but rather reconstructed them from memory and a follow up interview in 2006, and got the facts all wrong about who did what to whom and when and why and what tribes were involved, as described in meticulous detail byRhonda Roland Shearer at stinkyjournalism.org. The original article was pulled from electronic archives last year. The driver and purported murderer, Daniel Wemp, and one of his purported victims, Henep Isum (who was not, in fact, paralyzed by Wemp or anyone else), filed suit April 20 in New York for libel and defamation of character, asking for $10 million in damages. Continue reading “facts”