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Examiner blogger admits making up news

The Examiner’s Web site pays writers based on how many hits their stories get. So a Southern California free-lance writer says she wrote a “series of preposterous articles” to see how much money she could get. The writer, L.J. Williamson, boasted about her accomplishment in an e-mail to LAfishbowl:

Williamson’s fun ended when lawyers for Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey complained she was spreading rumors about their clients having Ibogaine parties.

Travis Henry, Examiner.com’s director of editorial, responded on LAfishbowl by saying, “It is true that we put a lot of trust in our Examiners. It is unfortunate if an Examiner uses this freedom to abuse the system.”

(The SF Weekly, in reporting this story, commented on Henry’s quote by observing, “You know, when the Unabomber was identified as a former UC-Berkeley lecturer, the school’s chancellor did not say ‘We have a great number of math professors — and very few of them sent explosives through the mail.'”)

Henry’s response did not indicate the Examiner was going to change its policy in any way. Instead, he turned his response into a pitch for more writers.

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