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March 27, 2008

Smoking Gun exposes Tupac document forgery

Last week, the Los Angeles Times reported that associates of Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs murdered rapper Tupac Shakur in 1994.

Yesterday, the Smoking Gun revealed that the Times had been duped by an incarcerated forger:

The Times appears to have been hoaxed by an imprisoned con man and accomplished document forger, an audacious swindler who has created a fantasy world in which he managed hip-hop luminaries, conducted business with Combs, Shakur, Busta Rhymes, and The Notorious B.I.G., and even served as Combs's trusted emissary to Death Row Records boss Marion "Suge" Knight during the outset of hostilities in the bloody East Coast-West Coast rap feud.

The con man, James Sabatino, 31, has long sought to insinuate himself, after the fact, in a series of important hip-hop events, from Shakur's shooting to the murder of The Notorious B.I.G.. In fact, however, Sabatino was little more than a rap devotee, a wildly impulsive, overweight white kid from Florida whose own father once described him in a letter to a federal judge as "a disturbed young man who needed attention like a drug." [TSG]

The Times has since issued an apology. (Scroll down to read the story as it appeared on March 17.)


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So this post is about to slide off the page uncommented.
I'll send it off with one observation: blogs are supposedly made of lesser stuff than newspapers. Editors of newspapers tell us blogs have to be read with a grainery of salt because the authors are not likely to have the journo-foo to do proper fact checking the way a mains stream print organization can. And LA times was once the mightiest paper on the west coast. tsk tsk.

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