The new fabrication scandal in which reporter Claas Relotius falsified his articles on a grand scale; inventing facts, persons and quotations in at least 14 of his stories. They were indeed “good stories” that fitted the narrative of editors and other German media colleagues. Recently the New York Times reported:
Mr. Relotius invented a condescending fiction. On the venerated pages of Der Spiegel, a German newsmagazine, Mr. Relotius portrayed Fergus Falls as a backward, racist place whose residents blindly supported President Trump and rarely ventured beyond city limits. He made up details about a young city official. He concocted characters, roadside signs and racially tinged plotlines.
Der Spiegel is trying to set the record straight but a repair of the reputation is likely to take many years.
“When the narrative fits, facts become secondary“, wrote Mathias Bröckers, author and editor for various German publications, indicating that Der Spiegel had a history of fake news going back at least as far a 9/11; an attack on the USA by Islamic terrorists.