Twenty-five years ago, Ruth Shalit Barrett was a rising young political reporter with a contract at GQ magazine when allegations of plagiarism derailed her career as an associate editor at The New Republic. Since leaving that magazine for an advertising job in 1999, he has occasionally written for New York and Elle magazines.
Now, Ms. Barrett finds herself accused of injustice once again over journalism, when The Atlantic published an extraordinary editor’s note on Friday, suggesting that Ms. Barrett had cheated the publication in Buzzy Article He wrote about wealthy parents raising their children in hopes of enrolling in Ivy League schools.
The more than 6,000-word article, which was published online last month and appears in the magazine’s November print edition, seeks to push its children into games such as fencing, crew and squash in a world of wealthy parents in the Connecticut suburbs. Passionate, which he believes will give him an advantage in the hypercompetitive college admissions process.
In about 800 words editor’s Note, The Atlantic stated that, after the article was published, “new information has emerged that has raised serious concerns about its accuracy, and about the author’s credibility, Ruth Shalit Barrett.”
The hoax, according to the editor’s note, focuses on a woman depicted in the article, who was identified by her middle name, Sloan. She was described as a stay-at-home mother with three daughters and a son, details that Atlantic’s fact-checking department said it was verified with the mother before publication.
But Sloan later admitted through his lawyer that he did not have a son, according to the editor’s note, which said it investigated the issue Questions raised By Washington Post media critic, Eric Wemple.
According to the editor’s note, Sloan’s lawyer stated that Ms. Barrett “first proposed the invention of a son, and encouraged Sloan to deceive the Atlantic as a way to protect her anonymity.”
“When we asked Barrett about these allegations, she initially denied them, saying that Sloan had told her she had a son, and she believed Sloan,” the editor’s note stated is. “The next day, when we interrogated her again, she admitted that she was’ entangled ‘in’ reducing deception ‘and that it would not be appropriate to give the slogan’ to blame her alone for betraying the Atlantic. “
The editor’s note states that although Ms. Barrett denied that the invention of a son was her idea, she admitted that “at some stage I knew it was BS ‘and’ I take responsibility.”
Ms. Barrett was an up-and-coming young reporter with a contract in GQ magazine before she was accused of plagiarism in the New Republic.
In 1994 and 1995, those allegations were based on the close resemblance between passages and sentences in the articles. At the time, she said that she had confused her typed notes with articles downloaded from the research site Lexis-Nexis. The New Republic apologized for both incidents.
Ms. Barrett was also criticized for a 1995 cover article in The New Republic, which described the Washington Post’s discovery of the diversity of its workforce because of its poor quality of coverage. Article showed displeasure By the editor and publisher of The Post and he was a carefree reporter.
Ms. Barrett Left The New Republic in 1999 And took a job in advertising.
In 1999 Interview with Washington City Paper, He described the rise and fall of his meteorite in journalism: “I was 23 years old, I was writing pieces for the New Republic, I was writing cover stories for the New York Times magazine, I was filing columns for GQ Thea, and at the same time, I was cutting around and being a 23-year-old and buying a miniskirt with my GQ money. And yes, I loved it, but guess what? A wrong move and It all came down to it. “
Since the 1990s, he has occasionally written for various publications. When she worked in advertising, she wrote Appeared in the salon From 1999 to 2001.
Atlantic stated that she had assigned her sports articles as a freelancer because those events had passed more than two decades and because her work appeared in prestigious magazines in recent years. The editor’s note states that Atlantic also considered the argument that Ms. Barrett was entitled to a second opportunity.
“We were wrong to make this assignment,” however, the editor’s note said. “This reflects poor judgment on our part, and we regret our decision.”
Her bylines in The Atlantic could not immediately resonate with readers because she was using her married name, Ruth S. Barrett, not Ruth Schellit, which was her byline when prior events occurred. In its editor’s note, The Atlantic said it had updated the byline to Ruth Schellit Barrett “in the interest of transparency”.
In an interview on Saturday night, Ms. Barrett said she hoped her article would start a discussion about the grand spending, injuries and jackpot competition in niche youth sports, the “broader social and economic issues” raised by the competition.
“I never imagined such an outcome,” she said. “And I’m so sorry that this is where things have ended.”
She said that Sloan’s son’s invention was not his idea, however, and that it was something that Sloane told him about.
“The claim that I asked him to pretend that he had a son that did not exist is not true. Not true at all,” he said.
She said that she blamed herself for not confirming the son’s existence.
“All of my internal alarms went off about the son’s claim, and I was not wrong to let it down and not resolve it.” “I didn’t cook with him. But I take responsibility for it. “
Ms Barrett said she “had no benefit” from the creation of the son and that “it did not improve the article.”
“Even if you want to attribute me to the deadliest motives, there was nothing to be gained,” she said. “It was just a lapse.”
The editor’s note stated that Atlantic corrected other details in the article, one about the severity of the neck injury sustained by Sloane’s middle daughter and the other about the size of the backyard hockey rink, Which are larger and not equipped with floodlight and generator. “Olympic-size,” as the article initially stated.
“We are continuing to review this article,” the editor’s note said. “We will correct any errors we make, and we will make our findings faster to our readers.”
Ms. Barrett said she was sorry that she embarrassed the Atlantic and broke her faith with readers.
“I’m not the same person I was 25 years ago,” he said. “This piece meant a lot to me. And I wanted it to be my best work. “
Concepción de León contributed reporting.