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More Stories Retracted, This Time at 'Technology Review'

By E&P Staff

Published: March 20, 2005 12:30 PM ET

NEW YORK As if the media, after the past two years, needed a little reminder of what can happen when stories go awry, more evidence has emerged with the respected Technology Review magazine posting on its Web site a prominent, if brief, retraction:

”Technology Review, Inc. cannot vouch for the accuracy of ‘Carly's Way,’ by Michelle Delio, published online on March 4, 2005. Nor can we stand by ‘Carly's Gone. HP Celebrates,’ also by Delio, published online on February 10, 2005. We regret publishing the stories.”

The note was signed on Friday by Jason Pontin, the editor-in-chief. The two stories have been scrubbed from the magazine's Web site, at www.technologyreview.com. Clicking on a link to the stories brings a visitor to the retraction.

The two stories, of course, had to do with the recent departure of Carly Fiorina as CEO of Hewlett Packard.
They relied on anonymous sources inside HP.

The “Carly’s Way” story was an “as told to” from the perspective of a former engineer and was billed this way: “A former Hewlett-Packard engineer tells his version of how Carly Fiorina, HP's ousted CEO, wrecked the company's greatest asset: its labs.”

A summary of that story, carried on other Web sites at the time, said that the source was an unnamed 28-year HP employee, and that he alleged that Fiorina was a marketing person who cared nothing about technology and only cared about saleable stock."

The other story was once described: “Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina was shown the door yesterday, setting off internal celebrations within the company. Amidst the joy, the employees hope for a return of the HP Way.”

That story also carried the byline of Brad King, who is not mentioned in the retraction.

Pontin was editor at Red Herring from 1996 to 2002. Technology Review, a frequent prizewinner, calls itself the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s “magazine of innovation” since 1899.

Delio has written dozens of stories in recent months for Wired News. Her most recent article, posted last Monday, is called “Pharming Out-Scams Phishing,” summarized this way: ”A fast-spreading online swindle redirects web users to phony sites where criminals can capture passwords and other data. Unlike phishing, which targets one user at a time, pharming nabs multiple victims at once.”

She has also written recently for Information Age and InfoWorld and is described in author’s blurbs as a freelance writer living in New York City.


E&P Staff (letters@editorandpublisher.com)

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