This is one helluva retraction:

An article and related materials published on the Los Angeles Times website on March 17 have been removed from the site because they relied heavily on information that The Times no longer believes to be credible.

The article, titled ‘An Attack on Tupac Shakur Launched a Hip-Hop War’ and written by Times staff writer Chuck Philips, purported to relate ‘new’ information about a 1994 assault on rap star Tupac Shakur, including a description of events contained in FBI reports.

The Times has since concluded that the FBI reports were fabricated and that some of the other sources relied on — including the person Philips previously believed to be the ‘confidential source’ cited in the FBI reports — do not support major elements of the story.”

… The Times also reported that Sabatino told Combs in advance that Shakur was going to be attacked. The Times now believes that Sabatino had no involvement in the attack and that he never spoke to Combs about it. Any statements or implications suggesting that Combs was given advance knowledge of the assault on Shakur, or played any role in it, are specifically retracted.

In addition, The Times was mistaken in reporting that Rosemond has served prison time for drug dealing and was convicted in 1996 of drug offenses. The Times specifically retracts those statements.

It’s about 20 paragraphs just like those. I imagine this will spare the L.A. Times one massive lawsuit from Sean “Diddy” Combs.

Lesson for journalists: Don’t libel anyone — but especially don’t libel people with millions of dollars to hire expensive lawyers.