New York Times Says Philly Story “Not Made Up”

Remember that time when a Denver-bound flight was diverted to Philadelphia because of landing gear problems, circled the airport for two hours, and landed with the (thankfully avoided) expectation of crashing? No? Neither, it seems, do many people. Which is why Noel Gallagher Shannon’s essay about such an event in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine has drawn such attention.

But the New York Times tells media watchdog Jim Romenesko it’s confident in the story:

Times Magazine editor Hugo Lindgren writes in an email: “We are still looking into whether a couple of small details were not as precise as they should’ve been, but we are confident that the story is not made-up.”

The Times’ inquiry occurred after the Washington Post’s Gene Weingarten said online that the story triggered his suspicions:

I am not saying this story is made up; it may well be literally true. In fact, it gets the benefit of the doubt from me because it is in The Times, and I presume The Times checks things out. But everything about how this story is presented raises red flags in my mind.

And the Daily News’ Will Bunch had a similar concern:

Indeed, I’ve worked here at the Daily News for 18 years and have no recollection of such a story, and a search of both Google and another search tool commonly used by journalists called Nexis did not turn up any articles about an emergency landing here in Philly by a plane that was headed for the Mile High City.

Hopefully, the Times will fully clarify the facts behind Shannon’s story.